Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hobby Jogging: 11/6/10 - Raleigh, NC - Free to Breathe "5k"

The schedule I have been following post-marathon has been great. My legs are coming back to life and thanks to Heather at Back to Basics, my hamstring is too. I had a tempo on the schedule today, but opted to run the Free to Breathe 5k in Raleigh as I knew there would be some competition, being that it was part of the Second Empire Grand-Prix Series. Goal was to run a little faster than my last 5k and hopefully be in the 17:45-18:00 range. This felt like a safe goal considering I haven't done any real speedwork aside from a few mile repeats. I nearly missed the race...

I misjudged my warmup a little and found myself with 4 minutes to spare and about a half mile to the starting line. After finishing my strides and changing into my race gear and flats, I hustled over to the line, probably too fast, but made it about 30 seconds before the gun went off. I got off the line well (as my heart was beating fast for fear of missing the start) and then settled in about 200-300 meters in before the first hill. The first mile has 3-4 good climbs and I was hoping to go through around 5:45-5:50. Thought I heard 5:48,49 at the mile mark, but it was 5:28, 29. Ouch, too fast, but I was competing. This is where it got weird.

I rode the course 3 times last night to get a feel for the hills. I generally do well on hilly courses, but less than 4 weeks out from the marathon, I wanted to prepare myself mentally for where it would hurt. Right after the mile, I was probably in the top 15 or so and was ready to run the down and up part of Oval Dr. After running the tangents to the T on mile one, I angled to hit right and cut the corner perfectly. One problem, the police car went left and everyone followed him, cutting approximately 600 meters off the course. At this point, it was time to just compete and run well on the downhill section.

Went through the 2 mile in 9:29, a 4 flat second mile! I'm the man! Haha, I knew what was going on. Now my goal was to break 16. Was it really breaking 16? No, but sometimes you can get in the top corrals of other good races with times like these. Was it my fault they screwed up the race? No. Might as well take it for what it is. I paid $30 to run ~2.7 miles (UPDATE: Race Director remeasure was 4.34k)! With that in mind I rolled the next half mile and then hit the half mile to go sign with one final hill. This one hurt and I was competing with one other guy at this point. I was laboring and he passed me with 400 to go. I rallied and got it together for the last 100 meters to pass him back and finish 12th in 15:29. "PR"!

All the guys were kind of laughing it off in the shoot and no one seemed too mad. Seeing the joy on the masses faces when they came across the line was a lot of fun as I imagine most people aren't as geeky as I am and don't wear a Garmin to know something was up. "I PR'd by 2 minutes!" was heard often. 2 things I do know: I legitimately ran the first mile in sub 5:30 and the last 1.1 in 6 flat. The middle, who knows! Probably a 17:45-50-ish effort (UPDATE: A 17:50 effort according to race director remeasure).

After the race, cooled down with Aaron Hale and grabbed some bananas and bagels before throwing my compression pants and pullover on. It was pretty chilly this morning, but felt great to race in. Took 2nd in my age group on my last day as a 31 year old. Tomorrow will be my double sweet sixteen and I got an awesome cake of me sitting in a hot tub, one of my favorite pastimes!

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  1. Pat, I was wondering how some of the more advanced runners felt about that snafu. I am a ham & egger, who ran the race. I realized that we had made a wrong turn at the time, but I was more upset than you seemed to be because I had taken a lot of time to run the course and perpare for the race. Anyway, I am glad to get you perspective.

  2. Greg, I do sense your frustration. I had a key race earlier this year that was a good bit short) that bothered me a bit more as I was en route to a PR. In this case, I was using Free to Breathe as a fitness test and I, like you, had gone over the course many times. Not being in the lead, there wasn't much I could do. With all the volunteers they had, it was a shame they screwed this up. Hopefully it won't happen to either of us again any time soon!

  3. I hope so too! I am doing the Old Reliable 10k this weekend, and with a name like that -- they are bound to get it right! ;)

  4. Greg, I actually emailed the Old Reliable race director, Butch Robertson, last week to see if the courses had been re-certified due to the new traffic circles on Hillsborough St. He assured me they were, so you should be good to go. Good luck!