Thursday, April 2, 2009

Race report - Heart Mini 15k

Much to everyone in Louisville's confusion, a "mini marathon" is not necessarily a "half marathon." Sunday I headed to Cincinnati for my first race since Memphis. I decided to just drive up that morning, so that I could sleep in my own bed and save money, so I was on the road at about 7:30 a.m. ... gotta love a 10 a.m. race start! I had a coffee, a donut, some poptarts, a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade with me. Most of those were consumed en route.

Got to the parking garage at about 9 a.m., watching everyone walk around the pickup area in tights and jackets. "Crap," I thought to myself, "I hope I'm not the only fool in shorts." My current philosophy is that if it's too cold for shorts, it's too cold to race. Granted, I wore shorts and short sleeves in Memphis and it was 35, so the bar is pretty high.

I had resigned myself to the weather; when I arrived it wasn't awful. Mid-40s, occasional drizzle. I had packed short sleeves and a singlet, plus my shorts. And gloves.

Inside, I scooped up my packet, along with a rare creature: a race shirt that fits. When they handed it to me, I was worried it would be too small. It looked tiny -- probably because it was a youth small. It fits perfectly. Go figure.

At 9:15 I was back in my car, heater running, pondering my warmup options. I had a running jacket and warmup pants, but couldn't decide if I wanted to warm up in those and come back and sit in the car for a few and change, or if I wanted to ditch everything and and warmup just before the start. I opted for the later.

I listed to a litany of obnoxious songs that make me want to run fast: Drop it like it's hott (Snoop), Walk it Out (DJ Unk), Ole Ole, etc. I put my tag on my flats, pinned my bib to my shorts, and locked up the car at about 9:40. I jogged over to the convention center, hit the bathroom, did some strides inside where it was warm, then jogged outside some more.

Had a hard time getting to the front of the start, so guess I should have warmed up earlier. They had seeded spots, but nothing about them on the website, and the female seed standard was 57 minutes anyway. Yeah right.

Mile 1: 6:20. Totally uphill through the first half mile or so. Nice overpass bridge. Weather crappy. Too fast. Pull self back under control.

Mile 2: 6:44. Right on pace. Water stop at mile 1.5, the 5k turnaround from earlier that morning. Really loud stereo. I hate running past speakers. Makes my head want to explode. Nice view of the river.

Mile 3: 6:34. Fast? Slow? These middle distances (10k/15k/HM) kill me. Trying to settle in. 5k in 20:16.

Mile 4: 6:37. Better. Nice hill thrown in here. Approaching turnaround, always fun to navigate. This race has two! Count seven girls ahead of me, so I figure I'm in the top ten, but you don't always know for sure.

Mile 5: 6:40. Back up the hill we came down as we approached turnaround. Getting to see runners still coming in.

Mile 6: 6:48. Hill from HELL. Goes up about a quarter mile so steep you can touch the ground in front of you, whips around the second turnaround at the mile marker. Wind getting nasty. 10k in 41:04 (a new PR).

Mile 7: 7:05. Then you go back down the hill, and up a really long one. At this point the wind is so hard I can't breathe or see. Catch girl in front of me who looks totally spent. Stay with her for a bit.

Mile 8: 6:46. Wind still terrible, hills still terrible, I'm starting to be miserable but it's almost over. Encouragement gained when crossing chip mat at mile 8.3 -- they give awards for the fastest final mile. It's a good reminder there's just one stupid mile left.

Mile 9: 6:57. Back up the huge hill from the race's beginning. This one hurts. My calves are screaming, the wind is blowing me backwards, and I'm ready for it to be over. 2:09 for the .3 - not much of a kick. Chip timed to 6:40 for the last mile (seventh fastest final female mile).

Finish time 62:40, 6:45 pace, ninth female overall. Somewhat encouraged that the seed time was 57 but the weather was so rough only the first-place girl ran that fast -- she ran 57:30. I'm happy, had gone in hoping to run anywhere between 6:30 and 7 pace, so I was about dead middle. Think better weather and I could have ran faster for sure. But, all things considered, for that course on that day, it was a good performance.

Flats worked out well, no owies. A little dinged up overall post-race, but that's to be expected. Other updates to come later.


Ed Hammerbeck said...

Fantastic! Cincy is a hilly, hilly place, so my hat's off to you for that.

Anonymous said...

great time, great finish! i've enjoyed the "play by play" to see where you were at each point. congrats on a great race!

joec0602 said...

wow!! Great time and race report!

Mir said...

Wow, you are ready for a great one at Boston! And it looks like just a matter of time before you hit sub-40 for the 10K as well. Way to go, Speedy McFast!