August 4, 2011

Racing Trilogy

The new running club schedules 2 Tuesday night races at the beginning of August. Crazy hot, yes, I know. Also, one of my favorite Pensacola races is the Bushwacker 5K, which happened to fall on the Saturday between the two Tuesday races. That meant 3 races in 8 days. No worries, though. This would be just like my 3 speed workouts a week I've already been doing. I planned to use all 3 as "workouts", therefore no tapering or cutting back prior to these runs. I also had the private goal of getting Top 3 in all 3 races. Here's the run down.

Race 1: Crime Prevention 5K I am not a weather guru, but I know it was blazing freaking hot and humid at 6:30 p.m. T.P. got off work late, so we were a little late getting down there. Meaning, I had NO warm up. Luckily I had run 6 miles that morning, and was still feeling a little loose. Remember Speedy Amy? Well, she is in my new running club! LOVE that girl! It's so great to have someone to challenge you that you also really like and respect as a person. Makes training SOOOO much fun! Anyway, we lined up with a couple of other speedy guys from the club and we're off. I had decided to leave the visor in the car b/c it seemed overcast, but of course the sun showed it ugly head the moment the gun was fired. This was a flat, but turny course. The group stayed tight for the first mile, which was WAY past workout pace- 6:04. I immediately dropped back from the group, realizing that this was way past my workout pace, especially considering the weather. Mile 2 I still felt good, but Speedy Amy stayed with the pack, moving me into 2nd place. 6:17 I was really glad that I dialed it back. The pack was starting to spread out anyway. My legs started to feel like lead, and I kind of checked out mentally. I just started thinking about the heat, the mileage of the week (80), and how I had two more races in very few days. You know, excuses to slow down. Mile 3- 6:26 It wasn't really a "crash and burn" but just a deliberate slow down. I did kick it in at the end b/c one of the guys in the group started yelling, "She's about to catch you!" Last 0.14 in 50 sec.

Final time: 19:37, 2nd female OA & winning a Target gift card!
Ps. The next female was almost a full minute behind me. The guy was yelling that to "get me going." Haha.

Race 2: Bushwacker 5K I was in the midst of an 80 mpw, not to mention the hottest, most humid weather conditions of the year. I was not expecting much, but did get OA female in this race last year. I am close with the RD, and he had told me that a recently-graduated college runner from New Orleans had registered, as well as an African-native-Top-O-Country high school runner. So, Top 3 was really looking like something I would have to work for. I did 11 on Friday, leaving my legs a bit fatigued. And we were OFF!

In the first mile, I tried to stay with the Top 2 females (mentioned above). I could actually keep African on a long string, but college gal was gone. The first mile, all through a flat residential section was 6:00 on the nose. WAY.TOO.FAST! Why do I do this? I have gotten soooo frustrated with myself not being able to properly pace these short races. What is my problem? I can pace the heck out a half or marathon, but anything shorter is ridiculous.

Mile 2 was up the Bob Sikes Bridge- STEEEEEEPPPPPP! African gal was pulling away, but no one was behind me. So 3rd place seemed to be locked in tight. 6:36

The beginning of this mile actually felt really strong. I was passing a lot of people at this point. I felt *okay*, just not fast. I think everyone else was just cooked, allowing me to make up some ground. At this point, there was a big possibility that I catch African. Some friends that were working the course were cheering like mad. I tied it down to about 4 paces behind her, finishing Mile 3 6:21.

I started getting slightly light-headed on my final kick, allowing African to really kick it in and blast me away on the final stretch. 0.15 in 58 sec.

Final time: 19:55, 3rd Overall Female

Race 3: Chickasabogue Park 2 Miler
So, Tuesday morning I determined that I was badly dehydrated. I'd had trouble keeping up with my sweat loss, but I think Sunday's LR, followed by a day at the beach really put me over the edge. Let's just say that my pee was darker than beer! I did an easy 9 miler Tuesday morning, just planning to use the 2 mile race as a workout. I tried Tuesday to hydrate, but I was busy working in my classroom. This and the mileage left me feeling like complete crap. Had this race not been the local running club's annual picnic and membership drive, I would've bagged it. During our warm up, I was telling TP how bad I felt- tired, sluggish, bleh. Not to mention that a storm was on its way, proving even more humid conditions than usual (if that was even possible). Ever try to do a workout with a hot washcloth over your mouth and nose? To me, this is what our humidity feels like. Anyway, after the warm up, I squeezed in a few rows back and we were off. A speedy college girl was there, so I knew OA Female was a no-go. From the start, I positioned myself behind Mr. Postman, a guy from our group that is slightly faster than me, but always starts conservatively, providing perfect pacing for my shorter races. (Even though I usually blow up anyway.) College girl took off and was gone. I stuck behind Mr. Postman and his group of regulars. It was out and back course, with Mile 1 at exactly 6:00.

After the turn around, I Mr. Postman sped up, and I noticed college girl slowing down. In the process of trying to close the gap on her, I passed TP. TP and I used to have a friendly competition, but now we hardly even consider "racing" each other. It just all ends up how it ends up. Also, it's kind of a fact that TP is way better than me in 5Ks and anything faster. He can blow me away on the track, and his 5K is significantly faster, too. He had tried to go out with the lead guys in the this race and really blew up.

I closed the gap on college girl, but still not enough to catch her. I ended up about 5 seconds back.

Final Time: 12:13, 2nd Overall Female

After the race, we really enjoyed the potluck and officially joined the running club!

In recap- 3 races, 8 days, 88 miles. Fastest race pace: 6:07, slowest 6:25. I think I'll be off racing until September. There are a few trail races coming up, but I think I need a little break. :)


  1. Fantastic week! The fact that you're able to do 3 hard speed sessions a week, much less races (where you work harder than on your own) is incredible. When you start racing in normal weather, it's going to be like a gift from above (and actually, since the sky's up there, it will literally be). :)

    Very interesting that you now have more competition for your races. I'm sure this will have its frustrating moments but will surely be another kick in the "getting faster" pants. All good.

  2. I agree with GIM. Doing three races, even at "workout effort" within one week (an 80 mile one) is just amazing. This really points towards your endurance + speed and will bode well for longer fall races!

  3. Girl you are awesome! I can't believe you got 3 races done in an 8 day period. :hail: When is your next sub-3 attempt? You are going blow it out of the water.

    Hope the move and your new school is fantastic. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

  4. 3 races and 88 miles in 8 days! Bowing down over here!! :) For reals!