Sunday, March 14, 2010

Winter Park 10K

Alternative titles for this post:

46:05, I Survived!
Slip & Slide
Twist & Turn
B Race, Be Careful
Zone 4, Ouch

I gave myself an extra day before writing this race report to allow me to gain some perspective. Because I was not really pleased right after my race. I'd hoped to run a negative split and finish in 46:00 or better. Instead, I ended up with a positive split and 5 seconds over my time goal. 5 SECONDS!!!

BUT, when I set that time goal awhile ago, I had no idea how technical the course would be: 25 turns (click on the map above to enlarge), half on uneven brick roads (yuck!) and quite wet and slippery thanks to two days of heavy rain. Have I mentioned that I train almost exclusively on fairly straight, smooth roads and bike paths that are relatively free of puddles, slick leaves, slimy algae/moss and toe-catching surfaces?

Man, my heart rate was over 100 just waiting at the start. Coach's last instructions to me echoed in my head:

Be very careful with the cobbles and the crowds - this race is a tough one because of the course and people - stay out of harms way.

Plus, he'd assigned me a 60-mile bike ride to do after the race and a 10-mile run the next day. Gee, thanks Coach ... Perhaps that was his way of making sure I didn't overdo things at this 10K. After all, it was only a "B" race while the half iron tri next week is my "A" race.

Yet, at least I'd made it to the start line. Since my last post, I actually had some serious doubts. On Wednesday my left calf mysteriously began feeling like I'd done a hundred heel raises. WTF? I haven't a clue why but it was same calf that bothered me most from the half marathon back in December and I was quite worried. I bailed on all runs this week and only swam, stretched and foam rolled hoping I could run by the weekend. By Friday it was better, thankfully.

Before the race began I found Running Geezer 26.2 and Sheri (photo of us above but from after the race), who'd run 10Ks before and this particular course a couple times. I wanted to make sure I didn't start out too fast and hoped to run with Jim the first mile or so as he'd told me he'd be shooting to run 7:30-ish pace. But, that was before we knew the course was going to be slick. At the start he told me he was going to back off his original pace to make sure he didn't slip and fall. The gun went off and I followed him for about the first half mile through two 90-degree turns until the crowd thinned out. I hit mile marker one where the course clock said 7:30. Right on target.

But how long did it take for me to get across the start line?

Of course, that answer would have been easy if I'd just looked at my Garmin and computed the time difference but I was WAY too busy. Avoid running on slippery leaves! Don't run on the painted line! Pick your feet up on that brick! Watch out for sneaky depressions! Stay clear of puddles! Whoa, felt a little slide on that last step -- be careful! Don't slip, don't trip and whatever you do, DON'T FALL!

And all the twists and turns on the course were driving me nuts. I never felt like I could get into a rhythm. Ack, another turn! Which line to take? Hop up on the grass to avoid the big puddle? No, go wide, go wide! No, don't go wide, there's someone passing on that side! Slow down and get up on that grass! Eeks, it's squishy. Don't roll an ankle! Whew, made it. Now speed back up!

So they say this is a very scenic course but all I saw was the ground below me. I ran mainly by effort but began feeling like I was working way too hard by mile 5. There wasn't much shade on this stretch of road we were on and the temperature was now about 60 degs F, which with 90% humidity felt hot (esp. having run in cooler, drier conditions much of this year). Blech! To make matters worse, we went around a traffic circle that made me think I was still somewhere back on mile 4 (I got it mixed up with a lake we were supposed to go around, a lake that I missed seeing!). AHHHH! Slow down, you've still got 2 more miles to go!

Obviously, I'd lost my mind at this point in the race. I'd lost count of the miles. I'd forgotten the last course clock time. I finally glanced down at my Garmin, saw 83 and assumed it was 4.83 miles (it was HR 183!). I glanced down again a little while later and it still said 83. Gah, screw it, just keep running!

But a couple turns later I saw a familiar stretch of brick (like the road we started on) and glanced up to see finish line straight ahead -- Woohoo! There were two women not far ahead of me, one further front who was in her 20's and another one who was possibly in my age group (AG). Is it just me who wishes people's ages are written on their calfs at every race? The second one kept turning around to see where I was and made me decide to drop the hammer and leave nothing out on the course. I'll figure out how to do the bike ride later!

As I passed her she told me "good job" and I tried to say "thanks" but I think all that came out was a grunt. After that I just focused on the bricks to make sure I didn't do a face plant on the final stretch. I didn't even see the finish line clock as I ran under it!

Gun time: 46:12
Net time: 46:05 (7:25 pace), 5/113 F45-49, 41/979 Female

FWIW, here are my Garmin splits:
mi 1, 7:23, AHR 165
mi 2, 7:21, AHR 177
mi 3, 7:15, AHR 184
mi 4, 7:19, AHR 185
mi 5, 7:29, AHR 183
mi 6, 7:35, AHR 183
0.27 mi, 6:34 pace, AHR 184
Tot 6.27 mi in 46:07, 7:21 pace, AHR 180 - zone 4*
*Ouch. Perhaps I started out a bit too fast but I think the slippery, twisty course really made me work a LOT harder than I expected!

Whatever, being my first 10K, it's a PR either way :-)

I stuck around afterwards to watch my friend Marathon Chris finish with a 2:32 PR. Congrats, Chris!

Then a couple hours later, Dave and I rode 60 miles on one of the windiest days this year (steady winds shown in the left, gusts in the right). Averaged only 16.9 mph, but I'm just glad we were able to get it done.

Sunday (today), 10 miles run on a cool, breezy, low humidity day. 9:10 avg pace, AHR 153. Zone 1 bliss!

Next Sunday, the Gator Half Iron Tri!!!


Marlene said...

Congrats Shirley!!!

That's a time to be proud of for sure... +5s from you goal time is not bad at all given those course conditions. YIKES!

My best 10K is on a downhill race with exactly 2 turns on an open stretch of 4-lane highway. I;d be toast on a course like that. ;)

Meg said...

Some times is very good experience to run on technical terrain and really pay attention to your footing. I started doing that more and more with trail running, especially with rocks and mud, and it seems to have helped my "normal" running. I'm just more aware now. I wouldn't want to do it everyday though, I do think it zaps your energy and speed a little. Nice job and I'm excited for your race next weekend too!


Lookin like a pro in the picture.
I didn't know people our age (I know I've got you by a few...) could get our heart rates that high. Obviously you have the heart of a 20 year old (you even look the part, that's my "oh gosh" compliment)

jen said...

Congrats Shirley! VERY impressive time. That course sounds annoyingly technical. But you owned it! Well done. :)

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

Glad you were able to get some perspective! I think you are amazing and I'm trying to figure out how to get your smokin fit bod!

DaveP said...

BTW, she rode away from me on the ride.

Jim said...

Great post. I never bothered to count all the turns, just knew there were plenty. Puddles, leaves, bricks, don't make for easy footing! Thanks for the photo!

Karen said...

I can't believe you rode after the 10k - you are amazing (and speedy)! Five seconds! Don't you hate missing a goal by a smidge like that? Congrats on your first 10k :)

good luck on the half iron next week!

Kevin said...

Awesome job. That is a smokin fast 5K. I wouldnt worry too much about not negatively spliting it given that you last mile was only 13 seconds slower then your first. You evenly paced the race very well

Rainmaker said...

Dang, an accidental 10K PR - very nice!

Dori said...

You're such an incredible athlete! I'd be going crazy, worrying about slipping and turning an ankle. Congratulations and good luck at next week's "A" race.

Irish Blue said...

Congrats on the PR Shirley! You look awesome btw. I hate it when you have to watch for rain/ice/slick surfaces and can't enjoy the scenery...bummer. Way to stay vertical though. ;-)

Maria said...

I know you may not be as happy as you could be about your race, but I think it was great! It sounds like a really touch course in not-so-ideal conditions. Now you know you could really rock out a good 10k in ideal conditions!

Kevin said...

I saw you at the race and you looked really strong. That was not an easy course. I nearly fell twice and slowed down a lot after that.

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

You worked you BUTT off just to avoid falling on a course like that. Are you crazy? GIRL!!

Still, you times were amazing. Great job!

WOW..hard to believe that your first HIM is this coming weekend.

X-Country2 said...

Congrats! Great race pic too. Look at those guns!

The Alien said...

That's an awesome time! Congrats!!
I've been on a couple of races like that, where you stare at the floor most of the time and are more worried about turns, people, the ground, the water... than the race. It definitely takes an extra effort to focus on all those things, plus your pace.

Really good pics, on the last one the floor looks scary to run on!! Good thing you made it in one piece.

Regina said...

That is an enviable time!! I would be so pleased with that, great job!! Too bad about the tricky 'terrain'. You still rocked the race! (and you looked good in your kit!)

EndorphinBuzz said...

That's awesome fast! Good work!!!

Spokane Al said...

Congratulations - Shirley you are one fast lady. 10ks are fast, painful affairs and you really rocked it.

Marathon Maritza said...

Whoa Speedster! I know you missed your goal by 5 secs but what a fabulous time! And PR! Great job!

Kristi said...

Wow! Well done. Not just the 10k PR, but the whole weekend. You are one tough lady! Best of luck on your "A" race next week, have fun!

lindsay said...

nice job shirley! that's an excellent 10k time, and your first!! only gonna get faster ya know ;) love the part where you passed the other lady at the end. i grunt (if anything) too, lol.

i'm glad you took a day and hope you've gotten over the 5 seconds. we can be too hard on ourselves sometimes!

aron said...

you did great out there!! sounds like a tough race and you still pulled off a great time, and only 5 seconds away from your goal! next time that sub 46 will be yours :) CONGRATS!

Runner Leana said...

Yeah Shirley! Congratulations on your first ever 10K. That was awesome! It sounds like a tough course with all the turns and the cobbles and such. That definitely makes things difficult. You did great though!!! So when is your next 10K? :)

TRI TO BE FUNNY-Carrie Barrett said...

Dang you are awesome!!! What a tough weekend of training and I like how Coach kept you honest by making you ride 60 miles after the 10K!Have a great race this weekend!!!

Jennifer Neu said...

Great job! Still a very impressive time. Nice job running and biking, you truly are a machine.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

WOW! I just stumbled upon your blog from Maria's Bringing Racine 2010. I love your goal of hitting all 50 states and not that many left to complete it. Awesome. I am training for my first IM distance and decided on doing that this year b/c i;m turning 40 in August. Something about turning 40 does something to our case, it was a positive. I'm going to enjoy following your progress. Good luck in Sarasota this weekend!

Missy said...

Right on, it was a PR kind of weekend! I love it. I'm so with you - if they only had their ages on their would be so much easier.

Formulaic said...

Sweet job out there.

Couple points:

180 avg HR?! WoW that is working it, but zone 4? What in the heavens is your zone 5?

60 miles plus 10 mile run the week before the half? Where's taper? Obviously I am not doubting your coach. He is doing an awesome job, just curious

ShirleyPerly said...

Form: My Zone 5 is estimated to start at 187. I don't know why I have a very high HR when working out but I doubt it's because I'm very out of shape (what one tri coach told me, one that I chose not to work with ;-).

And, yeah, not really much of a taper but this whole week is super easy.

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!!

MarathonChris said...

Great seeing you at the race! Great job on your first 10K.