Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Cary Road Race: 4/9/11 Race Report

This was my most intelligently run race to date because of the elimination of past mistakes and management of my body while not feeling my best.  I had some cranky leg issues over the last few days, which made me cautious.  A PR was within reach as long as I ran a decent race and didn't do anything dumb, but considering how much of a dumb ass I have been recently, there was at least a 50/50 chance I'd find a new a creative way to screw up!  My previous 10k time was 57:25.  I got it in race for which I wasn't prepared and went out way too fast.  My previous 10k was also run at a time when my overall fitness level was declining due injury and poor work habits.  Currently my fitness level is on the rise, and my preparation has been geared towards this race.  So, my old PR was as ripe for a fall as .

Unfortunately, my lower quads started to get cranky on Wednesday, and Thursday didn't seem that much better.  Friday they improved some, but we had lots of thunderstorms and the temperature dropped that night and didn't help things in the slightest.  My legs felt tight when I woke Saturday morning, and my left calf almost felt knotted.  I tried to warm up and loosen me legs before the race but was hit by a sneezing fit, which took away from my time to get warm.  I had taken allergy medicine before I left and figured that with the rain, allergies wouldn't be an issue.  I was mistaken, and after eight straight sneezes I had no choice but to sneak off to the side of the starting area and launch some snot rockets.  Disgusting? Yes!    But, I most of the people there were runner, so I am sure that they all been there / done that at some point or another.

The race was chip timed, but the only timing device was at the finish, so you may as well say it was gun timed.  Hiroko had to work and I was flying solo at the race, so there won't be any pictures unless there was a race photography company there, but I never noticed one.  The course was a double loop around a the 5k course, and I was happy for it because I had never seen the course before.  I thought that it would be fairly flat and was right for the most part.  There was one good sized hill towards the end of the first mile. 

My Garmin times are a little more accurate than the race time, so I'll use the splits from Old Bob in the report.

Mile 1: The first mile started with an immediate slight decline which got my pacing off, but I was able to fight off the urge to go out fast for the most part and held myself back.  I was hoping to run the first mile as close to 9 minutes as I could get.  But, I picked up time on the down hill that I never gave back and came in at 8:32.33, which was alright in my book.  I was hoping that my legs would loosen up more than they did over the course of the first mile, but the dampness in the air seem to work against me.  It also didn't help that we were running around a little lake.

  A lot of people passed me throughout this mile, but I didn't fight it at all because I knew that I would see them again as the race went on.  I just picked out a few people to target later.

Mile 2:  We continued up the hilly area just for a bit more then turned around and returned the way we came before turning off to go around the lake.  This portion had a large downhill that I had to take some advantage of and pick up speed.  I put Newton in the drivers seat and let my big ass pull me down the hill.  I didn't try to run anyone down or get caught up in anything going on around me.  No one really seemed to pass me here at all, nor did I pass anyone else.  I was still hoping that my legs would loosen up, and my calf still had most of my attention at this point.  I did this mile in 8:33 51

Mile 3:  this portion of the course was the  flat portion of the course and runners just streamed past me.  I didn't pass a single person during this mile.  I just kept my pace right where I wanted it.  I could feel a slight burning feeling in my hip flexors, sort of like I had applied a muscle cream to them, but I hadn't.  I wasn't sure what was going on, but I knew something was a miss.  I did the third mile in 9:08.8, which was pretty close to the 9 minutes for which I was aiming. 

Mile 4: this was a repeat of the first mile.  About a halfway into this mile people, who had passed me earlier started coming back to me.  I wasn't really passing them yet, but I was picking off a few people that had been ahead of me for most of the race.  I caught the first person I had marked earlier as we were going up the hill, and I just eased by him was the hill took his legs out.  I was glad for all of the Umstead running that I had been doing because the hill wasn't hurting me as much as it was a lot of the runners around me.  I kept my pacing right where I wanted it and finished mile 4 in 9:09.82

Mile 5: The big downhill was right in this mile, and I again used it pick up some speed and began to take down a lot of the people that had passed me on mile 3 and got the last person, who I had marked.  I was running alright and knew that I was on pace for a big PR, but I also knew that my hips were not right and doubted that I had much for the push I wanted at the end.  At the end of Mile 5 my time was better than my 8k PR that I had set just last month by about 6 seconds, which made me feel pretty good because I hadn't used any kind of kick, which I would have had this been an 8k race.  I did mile 5 in 8.42.19

Mile 6: Once again we hit the flat ground and about five or six people passed me at this point, while I continued to pass about four others.  None of the people that passed me were people I had recently passed, so I didn't try to fight anyone except the last two ( I nearly caught the last person to pass me at the finish line, but she edged me out by a foot fall).  I debated about where to start my kick throughout this mile because I just didn't confidence in my legs at this point and knew that I had a 5k the following week where I was going to take a better performance than this to challenge my 5k PR that I want to challenge.  I held off until the end of the mile and just picked up a little bit rather than launching into the beginning of a kick.  I did this mile in 9:01.68

The last .2 was a little confusing it was the only portion of the course that I had not run on as part of the first loop and the finish line was right around a hairpin turn, so I did realize just how close, so my kick was shorter than it could have been.  I did it in 2:02  Old Bob say that my time was close to 55:00 flat, but my official time for the race was 55:14,which shave off 2:09 from my old PR, so I'll take it and be happy considering my legs never really felt their best.


  1. Great job, Greg!!! All that training and hard work definitely shows. How's the hip feeling now?

  2. Thanks! I have a 5k this weekend, but I am going to take a break from races until June to train more. I am giving a half Marathon a lot of thought and thinking about doing one in the fall, so I want to work on running loner distances and bring down my weight more.

    My legs are still cranky at the moment. Hips, quads, and hammy are just not too happy with me!

  3. just re-read my comment, it should read after this weekends 5k, I will take a break.