Three Martini Lunch
This is a bit of a novel. Irrelevant side note: I don't like that RnR calls this race "USA." I liked the name of the race they took over, the "National" and would be ok with a place name like "Washington" or "DC" like all of their other races.
I had some trepidation about this race and how I would do. I came down with a cold last weekend that really knocked me on my back for a couple of days, and I was still feeling the lingering effects of it on Thursday. I still thought I had a PR in me, but I didn't know by how much. Going into the race, my A Goal was a 1:36, B Goal 1:38, and C Goal a PR.
I'm glad I wasn't trying to check anything; it looked like a cluster. The forecast rain held off for the entire race, which meant that the weather was perfect. I stretched out some more and hopped around to stay loose, and then ducked into my corral with about ten minutes before gun time.
Mile 1-4: 7:28, 7:16, 7:14, 7:18
Mile 5-6: 7:27, 7:22
These two miles are a gentle incline through Rock Creek Park, a deep valley that cuts northwest DC into two. I run this part of the route all the time as part of my long run route, but it is a pretty part of DC that most visitors don't see. I slowed down a bit through the park because I knew that the one major hill on the route was right after the Mile 6 marker. This part is also mostly devoid of spectators, so it is pretty quiet.
Mile 7 had the hill where we climbed out of the park and back onto the city streets. I have my watch set to display average lap pace; when I got to the top of the hill it was showing 9:00, which is still a lot faster than I've run it in training. It also took me longer to recover than I thought it would. But, as I was gasping up the next rolling hill, I realized that when I run that part of the race route in training I am not running as fast overall and usually have to wait a light cycle to cross a street at the top, allowing me to catch my breath. I usually am in a tunnel when racing and don't pay much attention to spectators, but the crowd of cheering spectators at the top of the hill was a godsend. Mile 8 and 9 had some rolling hills, but I'm back on pace. This is also the point where I feel that the cold I had earlier in the week is affecting me; I'm not getting my wind back as quickly as I normally do on the uphills and have a minor twinge of a side stitch. I choke down a Gu at the water stop just past the Mile 7 mark, and it doesn't sit well. The queasiness lasts for about half a mile, goes away for a bit as the course levels out, and then comes back as we head up another roller.
There is a water stop just past the Mile 9 mark, and that allows me to get some more water in, and that seems to dissolve the Gu lump sitting in my stomach -- or at least that is what it feels like. The impending stitch also goes away about this time, too. This is also a rolling downhill (the uphills are just where the street dips below grade to allow surface streets to pass over it), and begins the mental home stretch -- by this time the hard part is over. My race plan was to pick up the pace once I hit the downhill, but it really is all I can do to stay around 7:20s. As we turn east just past the Mile 10 mark, we turn into a headwind. It isn't much, but at this point I'm running out of gas, and I start to fade a bit. After I hit the 12 mile mark, I dig in to finish strong, and manage to pull out my fastest mile of the race.
Chip time ended up being 1:37:33, a 2:26 PR. 7:27 average pace. I feel I ran close to the edge of my fitness, but feel that I would have had a bit more were it not for the cold and diminished recovery on the uphills. But despite that, I think I executed my race plan well; I was hoping to have more in the tank for the last four to five miles to reduce my overall average pace, but just didn't have it today.
ETA: They posted official results while I was writing this. 759/19945 overall; 136/1495 in my AG.
Congratulations on a strong performance- especially on what sounds like a tough course.
PBs since age 60: 5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.
10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.
Congrats on the race and PR, Flinders, especially considering the tough course and your cold. My frienassailed the bag check was a cluster, so good call there!
You da' Man, Flinders! You da' Man.
PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42
Awesome race Flinders! I attribute 100% of your fitness improvement to the new Garmin!
PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)
Great job! Congrats on a great performance and on the PR.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner, INKnBURN Ambassador
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
It's always fucking hot in Miami!
Ball of Fury
Awesome race Flinders...you absolutely killed it!!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
(Evidently, I really think you killed it since I told you twice!)
What a great race. Super speedy! And 7:04 for the last mile! Wow. Congrats!
Sweet race, Flinders! I knew this was coming based on the paces of your recent "easy" runs.
Congrats! You killed it!
3/17 Shamrock Marathon
4/20 North Coast 24 Hour
7/27 Burning RIver 100M
8/24 Baker 50M
10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)
Brands I Heart:
Altra Zero Drop
Nice race Flinders. I don't care for USA either. I I always call it RnR DC anyway.
PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011) | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013) | 26.2 - 3:40:40 (2014)