Thursday, April 2, 2009
Heart Mini Marathon 15K Report
The weather was less than lovely. About 38º and rainy. But we all know that's worse for the supporters (aka fans) than the runners! Thanks for sticking it out in Brueggers and the Westin, Greg!
I felt very prepared for this race. Didn't do anything stupid like play kickball the night before or eat loads of spaghetti that would sit heavy in my stomach the next day (some of my past mistakes). I was looking at it as a run, not a race, but had a specific pace in mind. My last 15K was the Mason Mini, and it wasn't great. I was hoping that this time I'd feel good, improve my pace and feel better about the upcoming Pig Half. Check, check and check!
Overall the race course seems like it would be boring, but I enjoy it. It goes out Columbia Parkway from downtown, where there aren't spectators except at the water stops. I think it's the rolling hills that keeps it interesting for me.
Going out, I went a tad bit faster than planned, but it was hard to tell from the hills. I felt like my effort was right on target, so I just kept going at that pace. I listened to different runners' stories (kind of eavesdropping I suppose, but I was bored) and that kept me entertained for part of the time. Things definitely improved when the leaders were coming back and I could start looking at other people ahead of me on their way to the finish.
After the turnaround I could only think about Torrence. It is a huge hill and I kept worrying that it would ruin me for the rest of the race. When I got there, I plodded up it trying to keep my heart and breathing rate under control. I was passing people who were walking it, which kept me motivated. After reaching the turnaround to go down, I was relieved, but it was still hard! My quads were definitely getting weaker, and since it was wet, I was extra cautious. I made it to the bottom and heard someone say, "Well now it's just a 5K!". Ug. That was correct. Just a 5K. On thrashed legs!
There was one more large hill back into downtown that felt similar to Torrence. I really struggled up that one. Plus the wind kicked in pretty hard! At one point a gust was strong enough to stop my progress a little, and me and a guy running next to me exchanged "holy crap I don't need this right now!" faces about it. :)
I gave all I had at the end. It wasn't much of a sprint, more of a flailing push.
Tyrannosaurus Rex arms-RAWR! I also need to work on my grumpy face.
So in summary, I felt great the entire time. My breathing wasn't even hard until the hills in the last half. My legs felt good, until they were pushed, but that was expected. My end time was 1:41:09, which is a 10:53 pace. While still not where I was a couple of years ago, this was a HUGE improvement from last fall (11:43 - eek). So I finally feel like I'm improving! And I feel like I'm ready for the hills in the Pig, at least mentally.