An Every-Other-Race-Kind-Of-Runner

A head-to-head comparison of my last 2 races

A head-to-head comparison of my last 2 races

The streak lives.  I continue to run well in every other race.  Last weekend, I ran a 10K in Concord, and while my finish sounds respectable (seventh overall, second in my age group), I felt horrible during the race, my split times dropped precipitously every mile, and my final time, 46:58, was about 4 minutes slower than I had hoped. 

Today, I ran the Lungstrong 15K in Cornelius.  I was hoping to run the race in about 1:10, or 7:30/mile pace.  Last year’s Lungstrong was my first race back after a 3-year, post-knee-surgery, hiatus.  So today was my 1 year, ‘return to racing’, anniversary.  I really wanted to perform better than I did last year (and last week, for that matter).

At the start, I was surrounded by running friends – Christi (Blue Ridge Relay teammate), Todd (training partner since 2004), Bill (long-time friend, relative newcomer to running, racing in his first 15K), Dean (training and racing partner), and Theoden (recent training partner and latest racing rival).

My original plan was to start out slowly, to run around an 8:00 first mile.  I desperately wanted to avoid the horrible crash and burn of last week’s race.  I hoped to run negative splits.  But when the start sounded, that initial burst of adrenaline instantly changed the plan.  I asked Christi how fast she planned to run and she answered, ‘7:15 to 7:30 pace’.  Knowing that Christi is a pacing machine, I closely followed her.  Theoden and Dean ran on my left and right respectively.

I knew from speaking with Dean earlier in the week that he planned to run around 7:05 – 7:10 pace.  So when he pulled ahead at about the 1-mile mark, and since I felt fine, I tucked in just behind him.  Theoden, who has finished within seconds of me nearly every race we’ve run together, came with me as we eased past Christi to follow Dean.  The first mile split was 7:14, a little faster than the original plan but still manageable.

Dean started pulling away shortly after the first mile.  I tried to go with him.  Around mile 2, I passed an older gentleman who said, ‘You make this look easy’ to which I responded, ‘Must be some kind of optical illusion because it’s not easy.’  The mile 2 split: 7:13.

Thanks to the cool temperatures in the low 50’s, I felt good throughout, and infinitely better than I felt last week (a humid day in the 70’s).  To give you an idea of how much better – my 10K time last week was 46:58.  Today, I went through the 10K point in 44:00.

The rest of the race basically consisted of me attempting to do 4 things:

1) Catch up to Dean (I didn’t)
2) Manage my effort expenditure to prevent a last-week-like-red-lining (I did)
3) Hold off Theoden (I did, barely, but there were some extenuating circumstances)
4) PR (I did) 

Here’s how we finished:

83  14/64    72/304   Dean    1:07:12 1:07:20  7:14
84  15/64    73/304   Allen   1:07:46 1:07:53  7:17
89  19/58    76/304   Theoden 1:07:55 1:08:04  7:19
90   2/33    14/280    Christi 1:07:59 1:08:06  7:19
235  34/64   172/304  Todd    1:19:22 1:19:34  8:33
272  37/64   189/304  Bill    1:20:52 1:21:03  8:42

(complete results here)

So the streak of running well every other race continues.  Here’s the breakdown:

1) Blue Ridge Relay – ran well.
2) Davidson Half Marathon – sucked.
3) Salem Lake 30K – ran well.
4) Concord United Way 10K – sucked.
5) Lungstrong 15K – ran well.

With the Richmond marathon less than a month away, I need to make sure to run another race between now and then.  Luckily, I’m scheduled to run a 5-mile race in Dallas next week.  I just have to make sure not to run any races between then and Richmond.

 

 

Other happenings of note:

With less than a half mile to go, one of the volunteers furiously attempted to flag us down to stop as we neared a firehouse where the firetruck, sirens blazing, was taking off on a call.  But instead of stopping, we ran off the road, up an embankment and past the firehouse – bizarre.

Team 2517 performed admirably:

  • Ken won his age group (65-69) in the 5K.
  • Bradley finished second in his age group (20-24) in the 5K.
  • Bill, Laura, and I all PR’d (granted it was Bill and Laura’s first 15K, and only my second, but a PR is a PR)
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One Response to “An Every-Other-Race-Kind-Of-Runner”

  1. Bill Says:

    Keep up the good work Allen. This blog is going to be an awesome souvenir/keep sake when you run at Boston!

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