Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Turkey Trot Challenge

I am not above smack talk. Well, at least when it comes to mrp. It's all in fun of course! Now that I'm running 50 miles a week and mrp's down to about 10 on a good week I thought it might be fun to see if I could finally take him down at the local 5 mile turkey trot this year.

Of course, I'd love to be in shape to challenge mrp the holder of a 27 minute 5 mile pr. However, upon further reflection I realized that even though on paper I'm running a lot more these days mrp could almost certainly beat me just on the fumes of the 10 hard years of training he put in before his recent hiatus. Plus the trot would be my first real race post-baby and I've done next to no real speed work and am just not there yet. I'm not practiced in pacing or pushing myself hard or any of those things. So, I backed off a bit and we loosely called a truce and figured we'd pretty much run the same time.

We woke up this morning to the beautiful sounds of howling winds and pelting rain drops hitting the house. But we would not be deterred! My sister was running it too, straight off the plane from NYC. Grandma came over to watch the critters and mrp and I headed out first to the airport and then to the race downtown.

We sat huddled in the car procrastinating and putting off the inevitable exposure to the elements. 40's, crazy wind and driving run. My favorite race weather! Luckily, the rain more or less stopped so it was just crazy windy and a little slippery. We all headed out for warm-ups. I ran about 1.75 miles, came back to the car and put on my Brooks Green Silence racing flats and did some strides for about a 2.6 mile warm-up total.

Mrp and I lined up together next to my friends CV and Z. The gun went off and I went nuts. I went through the first mile in 6:06 and the next .5 had a big downhill so I came through 1.5 miles in 9:00. Big oops. It felt kind of good, but I am not in shape for that kind of pace. At that point we headed uphill straight into a headwind. Mrp passed me and I tried to tuck in but that never seems to be worth the bother for me. Mile 2 ended up being 6:20, so that means I slowed down A LOT in that last .5 mile. Uh oh.

Unfortunately things never got better. Mile 3 started uphill and continued into a thick and nasty headwind. I had to really work to keep it under 7:00 pace. Not good. 6:58. Mile 4 wasn't much better: 6:43. I basically tried to reign mrp in over the last mile. I was toast by then and pushing to the finish and sprinting head to head with mrp over the line gave me a 6:35 for a finish time of 32:50. According to the clock, I beat mrp by .02 seconds, but he chip-times me by .3 seconds. So, I would call that a tie. It was pretty neat crossing the finish line together like that, even though mrp swears I was throwing elbows and trying to run him off course. (I wasn't! I swear!)

CV ran a whopping minute faster than me, but waited to get in a cool-down. We ran about 3 miles and caught up and hopefully I've convinced her to train for a spring marathon with me too. I'm telling you. This is going to be a fun season of marathon training! On our way out we saw my sister blazing in with a 39:18--a huge pr! Go sister!! Despite the nasty disgusting weather, it was a good day to trot.

Going in, my goal was 6:40 pace for a 33:20, so I'm happy I'm clearly in better shape than that. I definitely ran a very stupid race, but a lot of that has to do with no race pace training or speed training in general to ingrain race effort. I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like. The 6:00 actually didn't feel bad at all--not as bad as I would have thought. Even with the horrid 3rd mile, I was super close to breaking 20 for the first 5k, which is something I wasn't sure I was in shape to do. So, despite the error in pacing at the beginning, I'll take it. There's a lot of good news in this race for me.

So that my friends was this years turkey trot and my first race post-#2. Onward and upward!


Audrey said...

That's great (and rare!) you finished head-to-head! It definitely sounds like a tie to me! Happy Thanksgiving!

Ness said...

I know the feelimg of wanting to do better especially that you are a great runner. I am sure you will reach your best level in no time in meanwhile i think you are doing great!! Happy thanksgiving!

E-Speed said...

sounds like you had a blast, and that is the main point :) great job!