Saturday, April 4, 2009

Race day

Well, I finally found some time and energy today and got a chance to write about my race.

We hadn't pre-registered for the race but my brother and I had gotten there early. Still, I had a bit of a bad feeling for some reasons. My first clue was our inability to find the registration table. Something told me that we should just skip it and go jog on our own. But we found the place, and so did scores of other people. We signed up and when I did so I asked if they had any sort of storage places so I could throw my jacket and some other things I had with me.

There wasn’t, so of course I had to go all the way back to the car and all the way back to the start line. I had to run there, a light run, and then went back to the start line. It was about a mile, maybe a little more. So of course I was already more than warmed up by the time I started the race, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

I found my place behind the masses, and there were masses out there running. The streets were somewhat narrow so the crowd did not thin out much for the first two miles. And as I had been on a mile run beforehand, my heart rate jumped up pretty quickly. About a half-mile in, it was about 170.

My biggest problem with the race was the amount of people and trying to maneuver around them. It was quite a chore, and perhaps if I had started closer to the start line (it took me three minutes from when the race started to actually cross the start line). I tried weaving in and out of people but it got tiring. About a mile in, I knew my PR goal was shot so I tried to settle into a comfortable rhythm.

Now, the race featured a 5K as well as the 10K and we all ran the same route at the start. When the 5K runners diverted away from us, the crowd became a little less congested but it wasn’t completely barren. I believe it was around the two-mile mark when that happened, but by that point I grew tired of trying and not being able to pass people so I was just trying to maintain a good pace.

My Garmin read 9:12 for a good chunk of the race. It got as low as 9:08 that I saw but probably didn’t get lower than a 9:00 until the very end.

I felt good though. I knew I would finish the race and knew that I could give it a push at the end, which I did. I tried to run fast down the last straightaway and maybe that effort kept my time close to 56 minutes. My official time was 56:00.1. Now of course I wish I would have ran just a little faster somewhere to have gotten it under 56 minutes but oh well.

I suppose my main question would be why I couldn’t get near my PR time of 52:55. In some ways, the masses slowed me down. But I can’t blame them on everything. My heart rate was pretty high. Part of the reason too that I kept my body in check was because of my heart rate.

Here are the stats for the race:

Avg. HR: 176
Max HR: 190
Cal: 1015

That’s quite a lofty average heart rate, and to be honest I forgot to stop my watch right after I crossed the finish line. When I stopped it, the heart rate dipped into the high 170s, so those few seconds may have brought the heart rate down a notch or two.

Quite high, which means I exerted a lot of energy. I was very tired throughout the rest of the morning, and I did not think I would be as tired as I was.

Still, not sure if the tone of this is a bit on the negative side. If it is, it’s because a purchase of a new laptop fell through. Grrrrr. But I am glad that I ran the race. I learned a lot, ran yet another race (fourth in one year, which is four more than I’d ran my first 32-and-a-half years), and accomplished yet another milestone in my running career.

Of course, the big race is now two weeks away (yikes!) as the Run Through Redlands Half-Marathon is on April 19. I will not be in the same predicament before the race and will in fact be relaxed, comfortable, in a good frame of mind and won’t have run more than a mile before the start (a few trips up and down a street or something might do the trick).

What I can’t do is run at the same pace as I ran on Saturday. I cannot maintain such a high pace for 13.1 miles. And I can’t be so concerned with the people around me when I first start the race. I’m going to have to monitor the Polar and the Garmin closely at the start of the race.

Anyway, that’s still to come and I’ll be blogging quite a bit about my race strategy as we approach the half-marathon (I can’t believe it’s almost already here).

Well, here are a couple of pictures of today’s race.

I think I was the only guy who wore sweats. I didn't see any other guys long pants on, but it was cold and I was comfortable. I also had gloves on.

That's my brother Danny, who finished in 52:04. Punk.


Raoulysgirl said...

Here's the thing, are beating yourself up over a few seconds! I know that you have gotten to the point you are at by being diligent (and maybe beating yourself up a lot)...but YOU'RE THERE! Look at where you were 10 years ago. Could you even do the jog to the car and back??? Hmmm??? You are really an inspiration and a poster boy for "taking control of your life." A few seconds? At least you could tie your shoes without getting winded! GREAT job today! My thoughts are with you as you prepare for your next race (my other thoughts are with your totally hot brother...HELLO!) Ahem. (Don't tell my husband I said that!)

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I think you have a great time, definitely better than I would've. Seriously, pat yourself on the back!!

5thsister said...

Any way you look at it, this was still an awesome accomplishment. Keep on pushing on, Luis, as you are truly an inspiration to many of us!

thrasherswife said...

Way to go - awesome job - and more importantly, no bloody nipples - YIPPEE!!!!!

Willoughby said...

Even if you didn't beat your personal best time, you did a great job. Congrats!