September 28, 2011

The Race Through the Labyrinth Maze

This past weekend was another race/workout weekend. This was not my choice race. There was another one in Pensacola that I wanted to do, but this race was the best choice b/c it was so close to home and I had friends coming to town later in the day. It would be a DOUBLE out and back 5K course, making it 10K. Most people (the smart ones) were doing the 5K. The week before the race, Sam (training partner) and I discussed how this course would be super hilly, but that we would have an advantage b/c it was where we do our hill runs on Thursdays. So, Thursday morning I run a few miles with other training bud, Kenny. He tells me that the course has been changed. It is still out and back, but an out and back DOUBLE on a different route. Fast forwward to Saturday morning when I actually get the course map. It's one of those situations where you turn the paper around and around, but still can't find the start. Haha. Speedy Amy, Courtney, and I decide to jog the whole course beforehand. I am especially bad-luck-prone and wanted to be exactly sure where I was going. We did the 5K course (the course I would do TWICE during the race), and there were 20 *TWENTY* turns. Do the math for the 10k and you 40, plus the actually turn around, making 41. This would definitely be a workout pace, not a race pace. There are far better things I can ruin my legs on. We all discuss our paces and set to work.

Speedy Amy shoots off b/c she's doing the 5K. Courtney shoots off too, because she just graduated college (where she ran on the team) and is fast as crap. Sam and I tie in together behind a group of guys. Let the turns and hills begin.

Mile 1 6:26- Sam tells me that we are right on pace. Neither of us know how the hills and turns will effect our projected tempo workout, but we had decided on 6:30-give or take. This mile had the short and small hills, but lots of turns. Sam is shooting for 3:10 in the marathon; so many of our paces are similiar.

Mile 2 6:35- We have approached the steepest part of the course. This slow down was anticipated and planned. Sam begins to speed up. I decide to hang tight.

Mile 3 6:43- So, Sam is gone and my shoe is untied. WTH? I have raced for 17 years and this is the VERY first time this has happened. I am running with this guy I know that's doing the 5K. He's really struggling and his friend is trying to encourage him. Men crack me up during races sometimes. His friend yells, "Come on, Keith, you F*&^%ing sandbagger!" I pull over and take care of the shoe.

Mile 4 6:31 -I see Sam very close ahead and decide that I want to push her to beat me. She's never beat me in the race, but I'm thinking that today would be a good day. I won't make it easy on her, though. I decide to tuck in behind and try to add some pressure.

Mile 5 6:25- Sam is cooked, and I am feeling really good. I decided to pass her, but do feel bad about it. This is the steepest part of the race (for the 2nd time) and I'm trying to catch the guy that was yelling at his friend. Apparently he was doing the 10K, too. I catch him and tuck in behind. I'm kind of scared when I see 6:20s. I have dedicated myself to this tempo pace and don't want to trash my legs for tomorrow's long run.

Mile 6 6:41- I feel fine, but there is so much going on on this course! We are back on the windy and turny roads, but the 5K walkers aren't finished. "Excuse me! On your left!" I even stepped in some sort of hole thing while trying to get around walkers 5 abreast. I do NOT want to do something stupid and injure myself.

0.2- 1:21 And then I went the wrong way for the finish. I assumed they would have 2 finish lines and let the 10K finish where we had turned around, but I was wrong. I had to back-track right here. Hahahaahha. What a joke of a race.

Final Time 40:43
2nd Overall Female

I really did like the awards at this race, though. I won a VERY cute Tervis tumbler with the race name on it. I also got called for a doorprize- matching bead lecklace and earrings! Score!

I'm really, really glad that I used self control in the race. It enabled me to do my REAL training on Sunday when I did my 21 miler. See training week below:

M: 9 easy
T: 9.5 with 6 x 800 (2:55-2:59 range, 400 m recoveries)
W: 11 easy/ 4.5 easy
T: 11 easy
F: 8 easy
S: 10K race w/ 5K warm up & 1 mile cool down
S: 21 miles @ 7:38 pace. WOOT! I know this isn't blazing fast, but... I think it shows that my legs ARE handling the work load. I ran a workout on Saturday; plus we are still in hot & humid territory.

Run Happy, friends!


  1. I'm just so amazed by so many things in this blog. Your mileage is amazing and the fact that you can race so well and place second as a "workout" is incredible. It sounds like you are doing everything right and your training is going awesome. CONGRATS!!!!

  2. Way to go! What's up with all the terrible races in North Florida, though? It seems like every one you do is poorly organized and on some weird course.

  3. 40:00 and change on a course that's practically turns?! As a workout? That's awesome!! 17 years without a shoe coming untied is quite a streak. I am constantly amazed with how hard you work and succeed at doing it. When I grow up i wanna be like you!! :)

    ...just a week and a half left!!

  4. Sure does say a lot, that 21 miler after the race? Great work! And yeah, that race course was idiotic but the prizes sound good. Yay prizes! :)

  5. That whole race sounds like a comedy of errors! I hate 10K courses that are just 5Ks twice, and dodging slower/shorter race finishers in any distance is always annoying. Still, sounds like it turned out to be a good day and an even better week.

    I wish you lived closer so we could do track workouts together!

  6. Looks like a smart race girl! well done. Great time! And then 21 miles at 7:38 pace! Impressive!