The recent theme has been to use races as workouts. Actually, this is not a recent theme, but it is something I have done for years. I love the racing atmosphere. I love being around my running friends, and nothing says a good workout like a race. I had high hopes for this one. For years this was my PR course- 19:21. Unfortunately, I get to the race and find out the course has changed from a basic loop as it was before, to a sorta-loop with TWELVE turns. Hmmmm, so that's a turn every 400 meters....???? Even that didn't kill all hopes of a good time b/c it was still going to be slightly cooler (below 80 degrees) and flat.
This was a race to support the marines. It was time to line up, and I wiggled my way towards the front, but couldn't get really as close as I wanted. I usually like to try to get 2 rows back, but I couldn't get any closer than 4- marines EVERYWHERE! And not to be judgmental, but I had a feeling that most of them wouldn't be running the race with a pace in the 6s. Traffic jam foreseen ahead.
So, we take off, the marines and I are all packed in like sardines, forcing me to start at their blistering pace- like 5:30 according to Garmin. This lasted about 800 meters and then...ARRRRRTTTTTT!! (That was supposed to be a halting noise.) All of a sudden, the majority of the marines fizzle badly, most of them to walk. Now I'm dodging and weaving, trying to salvage this mile as much as a possible, and get out of the way. Not to mention, we've already made 3 turns. I've stepped on one guy's heels and gotten partially pushed into the gutter, which I didn't appreciate since I had on the new Pure Connects. Mile 1 6:14
We finally turned on the Bayfront Pkwy- nice and straight and wide. I always have a love/hate relationship with this road in races. It's nice a straight and flat, and the bay breeze provides a blast of cooler air. On the other hand, it can get VERY windy, like too windy. Today was one of THOSE days, but I was glad to cool off a bit. I turned the loop back into the residential section and hit Mile 2 6:13.
My legs finally seemed to wake up a bit and I decided to push the pace a tad. I was seeing 6:00 on the Garmin, but it was hit and miss with all the turns. I caught up to a small group of marines and ran with them for about a quarter mile. I finally passed the group and heard a few "Go, girls!" Mile 3 6:10.
It came down to the final stretch and one of the guys from the small group was trying to kick past me. I think it's funny when stuff like this happens b/c don't they know I'm not in their "category", but whatever. I kicked back and passed him by a hair. It's also possible he thought he was about to plow right into me in the narrow finishing chute, so backed off a bit. Hahah.
0.15 in 53 seconds.
Final Time 19:30
First OA Female
One of the reasons I wanted to do this race was to win a beer stein! I know that sounds crazy, but I have started a little collection of them. They are perfect for my "Adrienne's Special" beer mix. *wink wink*
Another cool thing happened to me after the race. I was standing at the awards and a 10 year old came and asked me to sign her racing certificate. (She had won her AG.) I spent a lot of time talking to her about her running. Her dad told me that she had been talking about the new Pure Connects and telling her dad she wanted them. She also told her dad that I was "so awesome." Hahaha. I had won a gift card to a local beach favorite restaurant, along with a small pelican figurine (kind of like the beach's mascot). She kept looking at it talking about it, so i decided to give it to her. In return, i got a sweaty hug. YAY! Hopefully when I'm 40, I'll see that gal as a sporty 20 year old runner, blazing out in front of me.
Anyway.... that's a wrap! I do promise to blog about my training cycle soon. On a non-running note, I'm struggling a bit with my new job. I really like everyone, but I'm having trouble with my students' behavior. I'm also spending a TON of time on lesson plans. It's leaving me feeling a bit strung out. :(