Well it getting late, but I wanted to squeeze this race report in before I go upstairs, shower and get some shuteye. Before I start, I do want to thank those who wished me a great and wonderful Birthday. I think yesterday's was the best birthday I've ever had. Surrounded with my family, I couldn't have been happier.
That being said, I didn't actually run my 'race' on my birthday. The day started out very nice, got up early and was on the golf course by 8:00 am. Our tee time was at 8:30 so I got in a little putting which helped me. I shot a 16 over, 10 over on the front nine and 6 over on the back for an 87. That's pretty good for me. Considering that I was 5 over on a two hole stretch on the front nine I'll take the 87 any day. Getting home at around 2:30 pm, I had to drop off two of the kids with Beth, and go pick up the third at my Ex's. An hour later I made it home, got in a little stock work in even though the market had already closed and then showered and made our way over to my parents for dinner. Long story short, I got home after 9 pm and was just a little too tired to go out and make a serious stab at a 5k PR so I waited until today.
In direct contrast to yesterday's 80 degree and sunny weather, today was overcast, drizzle and 52 degrees. I like running in this stuff every once in a while; it reminds me of my senior year in High School traveling up to Big Bear for soccer training. We'd do a training week up there in altitude for conditioning purposes - it was always COLD and wet. Running in this stuff always brings me back to that time. It's nice, but only if it once in a blue moon - I'm a Southern California fan through and through. Shoot I was wearing my flip-flops yesterday. :)
As you can see it's not a particularly difficult course, but it's no cake-walk either. Today for my RACE I did start at the 1 mile marker instead of the actual start, the reason for this? It's because the 1 mile marker is the closest to my house and I used the distance between as my warm up and cool down. Anyway, the first mile went really well, I felt pretty good even though my back was sore from playing golf yesterday, I knew I had a sub 30:00 in my legs - running in my new birthday mock turtleneck running shirt, nike sleeves, and gloves I actually felt a little 'overdressed'. Usually I make fun of runners that looked like me today but I didn't care, in fact no one was out so it just made me feel better, I was braving the elements to get his run in.
Mile 1 split was 9:23 - not too bad, the first hill grouping was finished and I was feeling strong. Water was dripping of my hat, and my watch was soaked (secretly I was worried about it breaking), but I plodded along attacking the second uphill mile. Clocking a 9:30 here I knew that the final stretch was all downhill and I could really push myself since I feel good. My breathing was coming harder but at least my heart wasn't going to jump out of my chest or decide to quit on me, so I opened myself up more than I have done since I tore both of my hamstrings back in 2004. I put in a 8:32 third mile feeling like I could have gone even faster. At this point my lungs were starting to hurt a little and my left arch was starting to cramp up, but I pushed out the final tenth of a mile and clocked a 28:04! Yeah a PB by about :20 seconds! I had just missed my stretch goal by :04 seconds - and I had it in me. Still I learned a few things tonight.
1. I can go faster much faster, I just a little scared that I'm going to hurt myself. Mentally I'll have to gt over this. When I started to push during the third mile I felt my hammies pull a little, but they didn't give out. Surprising that mentally I'm still a little scared.
2. I need to get my core stronger if I'm going to get faster. It's sore now afterwards. Beth has been trying to get me to start Pilates - for some reason I'm holding back.
3. My hard work is paying off - since last year my PB pace per mile for the 5k distance has lowered from approx 9:56 per mile to 9:04 per mile. That a :52 second difference per MILE! Or approx 3 min difference over the total distance! Could I make these kinds of strides in 2010? That would put me down at around a 25 min 5k. I would be very pleased with that.
4. The pain I feel making a PB really isn't that bad - I've felt much worse (see my 8 mile run entry.) I can ignore this and go faster.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas - if you did run this virtually with me, feel free to give me your times, age and splits (if you have them) and I'll put together a good post with links to your blogs for your reports. (If you want). Have a fun and safe New Year.
PS - I'm going to do an update on my Brooks for my next post. I just hit 500 miles in them I wanted to give you an update.