Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hobby Jogging: 4/2/11 - Raleigh, NC - St. Timothy's Spring Sprint 5k

So this was it. Race number six in the Second Empire Grand-Prix. One last chance to lay one down to solidify my claim to the top 5 in the overall standings. That's about all I did today. Didn't feel great, didn't feel terrible, but did what I needed to do to hold serve to secure an overall podium spot at the Second Empire Awards Luncheon in June. The St. Timothy's Spring Sprint is no doubt, the hardest 5k course in Raleigh. I rode what I thought was the course Friday afternoon (per the USATF Course Map), but once the gun went off and we made the second turn, I realized it was totally different.

After battling some injuries, I have finally gotten in a few weeks of decent training. Now I am not out of the woods just yet with some serious shin splints being the injury du jour, but some of the hamstring pain has subsided and lots of rolling around on a tennis ball has dulled the literal pain in my a$$ that is Piriformis syndrome. I am hoping this bodes well for my upcoming return date with the Boston Marathon. It could be a nightmare, but if you know me, you know I will be going in with a positive outlook!

Got to the race about 45 minutes early and did an easy 2 mile jog with John Simons. Knocked out a few strides and got to the line with hopes that my shins would make it. I felt great doing some Yasso 800's Tuesday, but during my recovery lap jogs, my shins would kill. They felt ok on the flats, but hurt on the hills. And there were a ton of hills. About a half mile in, we started climbing for the first time. Over 200 feet in that next half mile before a short, steep downhill at the mile. Got through the first mile in 5:35 or so and didn't feel great, but kept slogging along, picking off some of the high schoolers. At the turnaround, I was slowing and two people passed me.

Getting passed mid-race doesn't happen a whole lot these days as I keep a pretty steady pace, but today was one of those days. Did my best to latch onto the back of the train for the second half of the race before I had to dig deep and make a hard move that would make me feel warm inside and keep my man card intact. The second mile was hard and hilly and the third mile was worse. Per the garmin dump, my second and third miles were 6:02 and 6:03. Ouch!

Now I have been beaten by plenty of women (and some girls) in my lifetime and it happens. No shame in it. Not this season though. As I trailed the lead woman over the last mile and a half, I was having a serious conversation with myself. "How bad do you want it?" was what I kept thinking as I slogged up the last 2 hills. When we got to about 1/4 mile to go, I started to pick it up. We then made the turn onto Rowan and I could see her just ahead, starting to struggle up the last hill. This is where I went for it. Sprinted the last 200 meters hard to pass the first female and finish 9th overall in 18:30 (although I had 18:26 on my watch). Tough day, but all the times were about 30 seconds slow, so I'll take it. Most importantly, I will hold onto 2nd place in the Grand-Prix standings and should finish no worse than 5th when the last 2 races are done and my competitors have gotten in their 6 scoring races.

All in all, I am happy with my efforts during the Grand-Prix series. My goal was to finish on the podium (top 5 overall) and it looks like that dream will become a reality. Now on to Boston. There is no finish line!

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