"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So that's how racing feels...

I feel like disappointed in my running ability but pleased with my prognostication acumen.
I came into the St. Patrick's Day 8k with pessimistic, realistic and optimistic projections.
Pessimistic- based on my 2x4 mile workout two weeks ago, when I averaged 5:40 for all of them, I felt at the very least I could run 28:20.
Realistic- since I ran those miles alone, in the dark and in trainers, I should at least run 5:30s for 27:30.
Optimistic- I felt my reasonable limit was 5:15 pace for 26:15. Perhaps 5:20s for 26:30 would have been good.
I wound up 18th in 27:23, and I needed a strong kick to make that happen.

It was pouring in Falls Church, but only drizzling lightly in DC.
I held back at the start, wary of getting out with the Africans and Dirk. I still pushed at the beginning, and I can tell I was pushing too hard. 5:25 would have been a great first split, but I hit 5:18. Despite how fast it was,I felt good. The course, though pretty flat, was questionably designed, with four 180-degree turns. Two are within about 200 meters in the second mile, and as odd as it is to say, I started to get a little lightheaded after the second. I noticed some cottonmouth at the start, but I didn't think too much of it. In the second mile, however, I started seeing little black spots in the bottom halves of my eyes and I started to feel woozy. That's a little too early to have problems like that. I faded from the group with which I was running and just kind of tried to make progress.I regained my sense of urgency after the last turnaround with about 600 meters left and put on a burst that dropped four guys, including the ubiquitous "Sheehy"whom I heard people cheering most of the way. With 200 meters left I kicked hard. finished and immediately undermined my months of training and declared my efforts a failure.
With a little time, I reconciled my disappointment with the conditions- it was my first serious race since the Richmond Alumni 5k Labor Day weekend, I'm not exactly sharp right now, I felt as though I had been dehydrated, the course was the kind I tend to avoid, and I had a dubious sleep schedule coming in. I planned to spend Saturday evening socializing with Matt and Amy and taking in a few birthday parties, plus dealing with the time change that would rob me of an hour. I took a 3.5-hour nap in the early afternoon, hoping to store some rest for the next day. This is all very logical, because I rarely sleep more than an hour or two without waking up, choking on my tonsils. In the end, I stayed home but didn't sleep well. That tomfoolery needs to end...

Good points:
  • I went through 5k in 16:54, 14 seconds faster than I ran for 5k in December. Obviously that was December, but the point is I ran almost two more miles after.
  • Dirk and Robbie Wade were convinced the course was long. Wade's GPS device said it was 5.05 miles, and those things tend to underestimate, if anything.
  • I ran 5:30 pace while feeling pretty awful. There's something to be said for that.
  • I ran most of the race in no-man's land.
In the afternoon, I ran an easy 3.25 around Falls Church on a boring but effective loop.

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