Friday, December 9, 2011

Indie 5k at The Running Event

Time: 88:12
Distance: 18.96k

W/u: 37:37 for 6.88k
Race: Indie 5k, 15:45 for 10th
Meagan's Workout: 16:55 for 3.73k
C/d: 17:55 for 3.29k

The Indie 5k: The fastest, free 300 person, 3.1 mile race for no money. This is what my season came down to, a joke of a race with lots of pride on the line. Last year I placed 4th overall and hoped to improve upon that effort, but I knew this year's competition would be better and my training has been worse.

Meagan and I jogged over to the race site at Zilker Park with Dan Matena. The race was scheduled to start around 7:00 AM, but I knew it wouldn't not make that mark. I didn't know that it would be closer 7:30 when the racers were off which made for an interesting bit of warming up. It's a good thing the race was delayed as I'm pretty certain the sun wasn't out until 7:15.

Once at Zilker I jogged a few extra loops around in an attempt to wake up the body some more. I was also checking out the competition which would be pretty impressive. Ryan Bak (Yurbuds) would be toeing the line who was fresh off a 2:14 marathon debut at Cal International the previous Sunday. Also in the field would be Andrew Letherby (New Balance) who is a former 2:11 marathoner from Australia, Harry Norton (New Balance) who ran at Dartmouth and boasts a ~4:01 mile PR, Sergio Gonzalez (Puma) who has run impressive times on the roads and track. It should also be noted that Kevin Sullivan was in the field who has a mile PR of 3:50. Word on the street was that he ran an out of shape 4:26 mile the other week to check his fitness baseline.

My warm up kept getting longer and longer as the race was pushed back. I jogged around with several individuals hoping to stay loose and warm. In the end, I wound up talking with lots of friends instead from Nuun, TGA, and accounts. Upon lining up near the front of the field, the Star Spangled Banner was aired over the speakers and I joked with Kevin Sullivan that if he waited long enough they would play Oh Canada for our citizens to the north.

The signal was given and we were off to the races. I started in about 15th position and noticed Kevin was sitting off my right shoulder for the first 600m. Something just wasn't right about that scene. He quickly moved up to near the lead group as I slowly picked off a few guys. We climbed the only riser on the course that isn't steep, nor long, but just enough to make it hurt. The fact that you have to run up it four times over the course is a cruel punishment to ruin fast times.

I was just off the back of the lead pack approaching the mile, and may have even latched on momentarily before the first steep descent. My arms and legs pinwheeled downhill when might tight right hamstring let me know you wouldn't be running with the leaders anymore this morning. My formed remained strong and my lungs were relatively comfortable, but I couldn't make up ground on anyone in the field. I could see a good battle shaping up out front and would have loved to be in the mix, it just wasn't meant to be. I spent the rest of the race chasing a guy in a Spira uniform and couldn't believe I wasn't making up ground.

It's been a while since I raced a 5k and it felt like I was sprinting the entire way. Again, my lungs felt good so aerobically my fitness is coming along, but I had nothing in terms of turnover. The legs were definitely a bit tired and showed it on the third and fourth climbs up the annoying riser. Last year, I ran 15:22 and was pleased with the effort. I was certain that the pace I was running and considering the talent in the field that the overall times would be much faster. When I approached the line and say I was well over 15:30, I had to be a little disappointed. I thought running 15 to 20 seconds faster wasn't too much to ask. Nobody ended up breaking 15:00 whereas last year Darren Brown ran 14:49.

To get a little more in depth on the results and make me feel better about my lackluster time, last year Lorin Wilson (RunTex) ran 15:09 for 3rd, this year he was 15:27 for 8th, I was 15:22 for 4th last year and 15:43 for 10th in 2011 and BJ Christensen was 15:37 last year for 10th and 16:04 for 16th this year. I think the course was the same and conditions were about the same in terms of weather. Coincidence that all three of us just ran 20-30 seconds slower? Perhaps.

After the race I caught up with Meagan who had a great performance to win "fastest vendor in America." She would be awarded with a heavy ass trophy later in the evening, a Timex watch and a hydration belt from a brand that won't be named. I wanted her to do something a little extra so we ran across the street and got in some pickups. The goal was to run hard based on feel and that I could listen to her breathing to determine the length of the interval. Once I could hear she was really working, Meagan would run 10-15 seconds longer and we would be done.

(5:01), 70.68 @ 3:29 pace, (1:31), 72.21 @ 3:50 pace, (1:32), 79.90 @ 3:29 pace, (1:30), 71.60 @ 3:23 pace, (1:01), 1:21.00 @ 3:29 pace.

We cooled down with Dan Kittaka from Fleet Feet Chicago, Sergio from Puma and another guy from Puma before starting the long expo day from 10 AM to 6 PM.

And now my 2011 race season is over... Hoping 2012 brings some better times from 5k to the marathon.

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