Monday, June 1, 2009

Race Reports: Two For Two

People. I need race rehab or something. Seriously. Since April 29 I have run five races: two 5Ks, two 10Ks, and the marathon. I set personal records at four of those races, including one which stood for all of eight days before falling like a house of cards. I already wrote up the two 5Ks and the marathon. I'm here today to discuss my latest racing addiction, the 10K.

It started with the Bayshore race on the 23rd. I was in Traverse City in order to support a couple of running friends (FK & JF) who were running the Bayshore Marathon. I decided that six days off were more than enough. I hadn't run a single step since the Cleveland Marathon the previous Sunday. I was itching to get back on the road. Thus, I signed up for the 10K at the race expo Friday evening. Of course I had come to Traverse City prepared to run; I had a whole separate bag packed only with running clothes (multiple outfits, if you must know).

I had my highly irritating year-old PR in the back of my mind and I really wanted to break it, to run under 50:00, but I didn't know what my body was ready for. I had been hobbling around like a cripple all week and my legs were just beginning to feel normal again. So, I thought, just run and enjoy yourself. It's supposed to be fun, after all. You're not training for anything. Just run and have a good time and remind yourself why you love this sport so much. I didn't get off to an auspicious start, trapped as I was way in the back of the pack behind people walking four abreast and such. I did the usual bob-and-weave until I was running in the clear and could open up my stride. The course was a straight-up out-and-back along the Traverse Bay shoreline, and was quite beautiful, as well as pancake-flat. My legs felt surprisingly loose and limber, and I let myself flow over the road like water. Shortly before the turnaround I passed a somewhat familiar face (that's what you get for posting pictures of yourself on your blog!) for which I had been keeping an eye out: it was Nitmos. I saw him coming toward me on the other side of the road and we gave each other a silent "hey, I know you" point. I reached the halfway point in the vicinity of 24:00, and, still feeling fresh, kicked it up a couple of notches. I started picking out people ahead of me to pass based on completely shallow, arbitrary reasons. That chick with the way, way too short shorts? Toast. The teenager who was fading fast? See ya. The douchebag who would zip by me only to fade and slow (lather, rinse, repeat on that one)? Gone. That guy with the ugly-ass outfit? Eat my dust. I sped up even more and before I knew it I was rounding the final turn onto the track where only 300 meters of all-weather surface separated me and the finish. I pounded down the homestretch and knew a PR was all wrapped up when I hit the line and Garmy said 48:13.

Splits: 8:02, 7:48, 7:44, 7:49, 7:40, 7:24. Final chip time: 48:11 (7:46/mile avg); 7/134 AG; 47/849 women; 207/1419 overall; NEW PR by 1:49.

Note the laserlike focus as I near the finish line! My Bondi Band matches my shorts. This was not an accident.

The classic "stop the watch!" finish line pose.

Nitmos pointed out that I missed out on age group hardware by a mere 11 seconds. If I'd finished in 48:00 I would have been in fifth place in my AG and therefore would have collected some bling. Next time!

After changing into clean clothes, I took a shuttle bus out to the mile 20 spectator spot on the marathon course and, armed with my Big Sign, waited for JF & FK to appear. In due time they both did, and I ran with each of them briefly. It was the very least I could do for FK, who ran with me for three miles during Cleveland.

Not content with this effort, I decided to run the Dexter-Ann Arbor 10K on Sunday the 31st. I wanted to erase all traces of my overly round numbered PR from the race last year, even though I had successfully killed it a week earlier. The morning of the race was unusually chilly for this time of year; when I got up it was 39 degrees. Nonetheless, I wore my sleek new running skirt and tank top outfit (let's call it Summer Stealth Bomber) which I had purchased at the race expo on Saturday. Once again I found myself stuck too far back in the huge field when the race began, although in retrospect this was most likely beneficial because it prevented me from tearing out too fast and blowing my wad too early in the race. Once I had delicately threaded my way up to my pace peers, I relaxed. I felt amazing, even better than I had the week before. I found the coveted "my body is a machine" groove and let myself glide over the road with next to no effort. Even during the final mile I felt superb, and powered up the nasty hill to the finish. I was working very hard at the end, and I started to feel a sick burning sensation which I can only assume was lactic acid buildup. I crossed the finish line knowing I had crushed my PR again; Garmy said 47:15.

Splits: 7:57; 7:32, 7:28, 7:26, 7:27, 7:23. Final chip time: 47:13 (7:36/mile avg). 9/170 AG; 34/876 women; 168/1624 overall. NEW PR by 58 seconds!

Here I come!

I think I look like a "real runner" in this picture. Why, I'm moving so fast I'm out of focus!

After an incredible month of running, I am taking it easy, at least until 1) the Flirt with Dirt 5K trail race on June 13 and 2) the Green Mountain Relay the weekend of the 20-21. I'm fully recovered (as far as I can tell) from the marathon and I'm enjoying running on my own terms again.


MCM Mama said...

Great job on the 10K PRs!! I love that distance. We don't have nearly enough of those around here.

And, something you'll appreciate, I got hugged by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head this weekend. Yes, yes I did. You can be jealous now. (I also drank several of his beers).

girlrunningaround said...

Great post and great runs! A friend of mine saw you at Bayshore. I'm secretly hoping to run into you someday too! And it would have happened at Flirt with Dirt, but I didn't sign up before it sold out. Boo. Maybe next time. :)

jen said...

Wow, great job! You're on fire. Back to back to back and so forth. Keep it comin!!

Unknown said...

Nice job with the back-to-back PRs! The only disappointing part of it was that you saw Nitmos and didn't take the opportunity to tackle him. ;-)

Maggs said...

Sweet PRs. And I'm all about matching running clothes and gear. I need to find one of those hair band thingys.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Well, you can only go downhill from here, right?


Great job, Sarah! You should BQ more often. It seems to give you a boost.

My Bondi Band matches my shorts. ...

All this and color-coordination, too? Teh 'Bride would definitely approve!

I'm looking for a 10k to run hereabouts - My goal?

Just to finish it!


Congrats on the multiple PRs!

Anonymous said...

I would say you are recovered from the marathon! Way to double PR. You do look very speedy in the last picture.

Nitmos said...

Double congrats though, when you post them together in one post, you rob yourself of two separate "Congratulations on the PR!" comments. So you get just this one for both races.

You are killing it right now.

Carolina John said...

woot, that is fast twice! nice job sister.

M2Marathon said...

Dayum, you are fast girl! Way to kick those races' a$$es! And I do love the running skirt outfit--think I'm needing something like that to make me look as fast as you actually are.

raulgonemobile said...

Wow.. nice job..

You show more restraint than I do, because I would have busted into that Chocolate Oatmeal Stout after any one of the accomplishments you had this past month.

B. Kramer said...

Congrats x2 on your 10-K PRs. That is my favorite distance to race, but sadly not many races around here that I've found.

Zoomy said...

Wow, I'd say you've recovered from your BQ VERY well!