So far 2010 has been a horrible year for the "Running Rocks" blog! There are so many times I've meant to write something and it hasn't happened. Anyway I wanted to get something out for February 2010. Also, I want to record my races of the past month, therefore, I bring you the "Express 3 Race Report."
January 24, 2010 - Manhattan Half Marathon (Central Park)
Overall time - 2:00:23 pace/mile - 9:11
The gist: My main goal for this race was to go sub 2 hours. Therefore, I wanted to run as close to a 9 min. mile pace as possible throughout. Unfortunately, my GI tract did not cooperate. I may have overdone it on the pre-race nutrition and hydration a bit. I was desperate to go the bathroom as soon as I got off the train, then again right before the race start, so it shouldn't have surprised me when I was ready to burst on the course itself. Miles 1-7 went according to plan. Then, mile 8 I got that desperate bursting feeling again. I slowed down drastically and with the Harlem hill on the horizon I was afraid I wouldn't make it if I didn't find a latrine. In the situation I think it was the right decision because I would have continued to slow down and been extremely uncomfortable had I not stopped. However, it's tough to look at that time without thinking if I could just deduct the time it took me to make the extra pit stop I would have my goal. Onto the 2010 Brooklyn Half, I have some unfinished business with that race. That will be a great place to hit my goal!
February 21, 2010 - Cherry Tree 10 miler (Prospect Park)
Overall time - 1:27:37 pace/mile - 8:46
The gist: I was really happy with this time! I ran around lot before the race between the number pickup, the NYSC where I dropped off my stuff and the start (which I overshot by nearly a half mile and had to run back, the PPTC start line was not as obvious as the NYRR corrals...) I feel confident had it been a Half Marathon I could have hit the sub 2 hour goal. This time I really didn't make a lot of effort to do everything right: I didn't get the right amount of sleep and I didn't think much about race nutrition (no gu's or electrolyte beverages on route) yet during and afterword I felt awesome. The only problem was I ended up feeling pretty beat up the next day. My ankle that has been acting up on and off this year felt pretty stiff for the rest of week.
February 28, 2010 - Al Gordon Snowflake 4 miler (Prospect Park)
Overall time - 32:29 pace/mile - 8:07
The gist: Great race! This is a PB for my fastest race pace ever!! I think it really helped that I ran the same loop three times last week in the Cherry Tree 10 miler. It made this one seem like a breeze. My ankle was a bit stiff in the beginning. The thing I found in the first mile was that it actually hurt more if I went slow and less the faster I went (good incentive to speed up!) Also this race started with the big "North Hill," which meant a lot of the people directly around me slowed way down and I couldn't stand it. So, knowing the course as well as I do, I knew that I could take the hill relatively fast without sabotaging myself later (especially knowing we'd only do it once!) As a result I sped around the outside and passed a ton of people going up the hill (thanks to Coach Sasquatch and his killer hill repeats!) Then when I got to a faster paced group I settled back into the pack. I also knew mile 3 would be mostly downhill and used that to my advantage. Mile 4 I felt like throwing up a little, but managed to pull myself together going up the last hill on Center drive into the finish line. I was singing the words to my song "Engineering Masterpiece" in my head and it really helped a lot for the final push.
Al Gordon is actually the first race that I've run two years in a row. It's a bit disappointing that it went from being a 5K to a 4 miler this year because I really wanted to set a new 5K PR and also it makes it harder to compare the times but the improvement is clear:
2009 Al Gordon 5K Overall time - 28:54 pace/mile - 9:19
Overall I have made a lot of progress this year. I wish I could say it was all because of the new music I've been working on. In a way it is because it has inspired me to do a lot of extra research into running and testing of what works and doesn't. As a result I have added a lot more "quality running" work outs (tempo, intervals and hills) and have tweaked my biomechanics. Going from a heal to a mid/fore-foot strike has helped me get faster. Unfortunately, it has also assisted me in getting my first running related injury- the ankle thing. I have a theory on where I went wrong there that maybe the subject of a future post.
2009 Brooklyn Half Stats - Overall time - 2:17:28 pace/mile - 10:29
Brooklyn Half Marathon 2010 - You will be toast!!