Monday, April 12, 2010

Red Rooster Ramble 2010, #3

This Ramble was less eventful, in that I drove there instead of biking. Alan and I chatted with the Jackmans a little and they said they planned to run together at a little under 7-minute pace. The main contenders eliminated, I discussed with Alan the possibility that he would let me beat him so that I could win the race outright instead of just the women's division. We left this possibility unresolved. I had already stated that my goal was to run 31 minutes (6:12 pace) as a tempo run. I had done a 5-mile tempo in about 31:50 the previous week.

I felt a little self-conscious changing into racing flats and doing striders because I was the only one doing it, but these things must be done. When the whistle blew to start the race, a guy in a green shirt took off, with Alan and me following behind. After about 50 meters, Alan said, "I guess it's just you and me." "And that guy!" I pointed out, not wanting to unfairly discredit a competitor. But we both knew that he would not hold his pace, and indeed after about 1/2 mile it was just Alan and me.

Alan ran the first mile with me, which we passed in 5:58. When we made the turn onto the road, he said "bye!" and accelerated away. He had told Bob he was going to run 29 minutes, so he had to run 5:45s to achieve that. I ran the second mile in 6:13 and was pleased that it was almost exactly the 6:12 pace I had desired (and that mile included a little hill).

I knew that the third and fourth mile would be the hardest, because my times have always been slowest on these two miles. I kept the pressure on, and it was gratifying that I could see Alan ahead of me for the entire way until about 3.8 miles (two weeks before, I couldn't see him after mile 0.8 or so). I ran these miles in 6:17 and 6:28, respectively. I was pretty shocked about the 6:28, because I didn't think I was running that slow. But after the race Bob and Alan were talking about it and they agreed that the fourth mile is long. I think this is probably true (map).

In any case, my elapsed time was now 24:56 and I had just over 6 minutes to get to the finish line. What was supposed to be a tempo run was definitely a race by this point. I got to the "1/2 mile to go" mark in just over 28 minutes, and the "1/4 mile to go" mark in 29:31. But I managed to kick hard and by the time I got to the finish line the clock still had "30" before the colon, so I was safe.

I finished in 30:57. The race director came over to me and told me I had set a course record! He told me the previous CR was 31:24 and showed me the sticker saying so at the top of his clipboard. I thanked him heartily for this but tried to correct him, because I knew that JoAnn M. had run 30:15 on the course last year and I had run 31:20 in a failed attempt to beat her time, so the course record couldn't possibly be 31:24 if I had run faster than that and not even won! But in any case I guess 30:57 is the new CR, at least until JoAnn comes back to defend her position. The guy in the green shirt who had gone out ahead of us finished in 38 minutes or something.

We did a two-mile cooldown, during which both my feet fell asleep and only one woke up, and chatted with the Jackmans over pizza.

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