Sunday, April 17, 2011

Race Report: Run for the Parks

What a difference a week makes. Last week before the Scotland 10k, I felt age catching up with me and my fastest running behind me, especially for the 10k and shorter distances. But breaking my 4 yr-old PR after the 10k though changed my outlook 180 degrees.

I carried the confidence into today's 4 mi Race for the Parks. Just like last week, I warmed up for about 2.5miles before the run, only I didn't do any fast warmups today. Opted instead to catch up with an old friend.

My strategy going into the race was to take it easy on the uphill first mile, make up time on mile two, eke out what I could in a very hilly mile three, and balls out in the final mile. Also decided to reward myself with stuffed french toast (best french toast every!) at the Eatery, IF I PR'ed today, breaking my non-dessert and processed sugar consumption. My splits were as follows:

Mile 1 - 6:31
Mile 2 - 6:20
Mile 3 - 6:44
Mile 4 - 6:28
Mile .06 - 18s
Garmin time: 26:27
Official time: 26:21 @ 6:36/mi

Missed my PR by 7 seconds! Nice little reality check and worse, no stuffed french toast. Still, it was a good race. It just wasn't another PR day today.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Race Report: Scotland Run 10k

I'd been dreading this race since I signed up for it. I've developed a distaste for the shorter races, especially 10k's. Of all race distances, they seem to hurt the most. Additionally, I've been mired in a running funk of self-doubt and I had not raced a 10k since last year's Scotland Run. To relieve some pressure, I decided to treat this as a baseline race for the year. It would be a reflection of the cross-training and the treadmill intervals I've done this brutal winter.

It was great Scottish weather today. Warmed up jogging lightly to the bag check, and when I couldn't find my colleagues, I decided to do something different. Instead of going directly to the corral, I did some warm up hill repeats on the bridle path to get my heart rate up. I thought it might be good to get my heart rate up before the race so I could settle into pace easier.

I headed to the corral, stretched for a little bit, then waited a couple of minutes for the race to start. I was placed in the second corral this year so when the race started, I did quite a bit of dodging and weaving.

My Garmin splits for the race were as follows:

Mile 1: 6:39
Mile 2: 6:34
Mile 3: 6:26
Mile 4: 6:45 - Bottom of Harlem Hill to Engineer's Gate, hardest stretch on the course.
Mile 5: 6:31
Mile 6: 6:37
.31: 1:56
41:32 Unofficial

My official finish time was 41:28. Woohoo! A PR by 19s. I'll take it. Completely unexpected. I remember feeling like I was going to fall apart after 4 miles, and at the same time trying to outrun a loud and heavy breather who, just by being around me, was draining me. Luckily he faded back. And the one thing I can't forget today - I was outkicked by a girl the last 10 meters. She came out of nowhere and I didn't have time to react.

After the race, I brunched with some friends and colleagues, one of them a first time NYRR racer. Whole wheat pancakes with strawberries and pecans. No syrup for this (mostly) sugar-free month.

Lessons learned today:
- age hasn't quite caught up with me yet as I've feared
- strength, speed and stretching training works for me as an alternative to lots of miles
- raising the heart rate before the race helped to settle into a pace quicker
- I think I can get faster