Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowman Shuffle 4 Mile RR

Today was the second leg of the three race series, the Polar Bear Grand Prix. This race was 4 miles on a familiar course that has a couple of killer hills. I woke up this morning and visualized me running a PR and got up, followed through my pre-race routine and a little after 7AM, I heard it--the rain came all at once and it was pouring down! I expected rain but I was kinda hoping it would be a light mist--not a pourdown!

When Joey and I got there, we found a decent parking space and sat in the warm car for a few minutes getting everything ready before hopping out into the cold and the rain, which had died down considerably to that mist I was wishing for. (MISTY RAIN!!!)

I had to go to the bathroom, which is customary for me before a race and luckily, I saw Joe coming out just as I was getting in line. We hooked up with Tom and did our warm up a few minutes before the start. The warmup actually made me feel a little off balance and my ears felt a little strange--I didn't have them covered and I think that's why. When we finished our warm up, we came back together at the start line and a relatively new forum member approached us and introduced himself! I was pretty excited to meet him, and glad he wasn't scared to approach our crazy asses!! Scott, if you read this, it was a great pleasure to meet you and I'm really glad you were there to help push Joey a little!

As for the race itself--I had a great first mile. I felt strong, got in the groove relatively quickly, thanks to our warm up and just ran a smooth, comfortable 9:30 pace. Can you believe I'm actually calling 9:30 comfortable? LOL It was mostly downhill and smooth but I felt great and earlier this year, I would NEVER have been able to run that quickly!

I didn't check my Garmin much during the first 2 miles, as I was just focused on running as fast as I could comfortably, and I was just HOPING to reach mile 2 in 20:00. I also got to see Joe, Tom and Joey (I somehow missed Scott) pass and that TOTALLY made me feel happy and distracted! At the 2 mile split, the guy called out 19:00 and while I was elated to have surpassed my goal, it was at this point that I realized I still had a tough time ahead but that I wasn't ready to give up. I still felt like I could totally pull off the 40:00 race.

By mile 2.5 though, I started to crumble. The hills were popping up and my early speed was catching up to legs were fine but for the first time in several months, I was actually REALLY short of breath. I slowed down and even had to stop and walk for several seconds just to calm my breathing down as I was going up the worst hill.

I can't recall the mile 3 split but I just kept pushing to the end of the race--when I rounded the top of the final hill as I was approaching the finish, I knew I was close and I looked ahead to see the time. I knew I was going to finish with a brand new PR and a milestone of which to be proud. I finished several seconds after the 39:00 mark and I am SO PROUD! A new PR, and my first time running a sub-10:00 pace during a race that long!

UPDATE: Race results have been posted and they have my official time as 39:00!!

I had a blast as usual, and I'm loving these PRs every time--though I am aware that I will not PR every race I run. I'm just excited to see improvement, as I say so often. I'm proud of the work I've done!

Tom, Joe, Scott and Joey ran GREAT races, all of which should be very proud. We're such a tough group!!!!! I'm bummed I didn't get to speak to Hippiedigger--I saw someone standing with Tom and Joe after the finish but I didn't recognize him or even have a clue who he was, and I had to take off to catch up with Joey. Maybe I'll get to holler at him next time!

And of course, Panera Bread was THE BOMB!!!! I LOVE LOVE their breakfast. And I always love the company!

After breakfast, I went home and showered and Joey and I watched Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (second try)--bleh. After the movie, I got the urge to log some more miles so I headed up to the park to meet mom. I got in a VERY solid 4 miles that actually seemed to loosen me up and make me feel so much better.

Feels like next week should be a taper week but it's not...hopefully I can take it easy but still get in some quality workouts. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and everyone who raced--I hope it went great.

By the way, I'm loving these guys, I just bought them last week and they've been great for me!


wmd said...

Nice shoes... I have some sort of running shoe fetish and everyone has been posting pics of their shoes lately!

Pearl Izumi makes some nice lookin shoes.

tjohnson1970 said...

Great RR. Guess that training is really paying off. It sure is nice when you can PR isn't it. Great job on a great race. Congrats on the new shoes as well.

Some guy named John said...

Congrats on a great race!