Monday, March 21, 2016

Great Race!

On Saturday, I did the 10-mi race that was part of the Beaufort Twilight Run, which is a running festival with 5K, 8K, and 10-mi races, along with the Beaufort Challenge, which is the 5K + 10 mi races.  I had signed up for the 10-mi race when I found out that I was going to be down in Hilton Head that weekend, because it seemed like a fun thing to do.  The race was also scheduled for 5:30pm, which is an unusual time, but that is the theme of their event.

My last 10-mi race was the Revenge of the Penguins 10-Miler, which I did in 1:47:01.  My goal for this race was to finish in less than 1:45:00.  I rested up at all for this race, running 11 miles in the two days before, over 30 miles in the week before, and playing a lot of tennis.  I thought it would be a good hard run for preparation for my goal race in May.

In the days leading up to the race, the forecast said that it was going to be rainy, which I had been dreading, but I decided I was going to run the race no matter what.  Fortunately it stayed dry!  Not only was that nice for the race, but it was good for the charity festival overall.

The 8K and 10-mi races started at the same time.  The 10-mi race essentially did two loops of the 8K course, with small changes at the ends to get the correct distances.

The race started promptly at 5:30pm.  I started out in the middle of the pack and tried not to go out too fast, since I figured a lot of the 8K runners would be going out faster.  Well, my phone's GPS screwed up almost immediately, jumping me ahead a half-mile.  Fortunately the first mile marker had a course clock, so I re-set the GPS to start there.  Unfortunately I could see that I had done the first mile in just over 10 minutes, which was faster than I had intended.  I tried to slow down a bit, but couldn't really seem to do it.

The course was pretty.  It zig-zagged throughout the neighborhood, and the first time I did the loop, there were lots of people out to cheer on the runners.  There also many kids giving high-fives, which was fun.  The cutest thing I've ever seen in a race was that some of the kids put out their stuffed animals on the sidewalks with hand-written signs like "You can do it!"  So much fun!

By the time I'd gotten around the loop once (and past the end of the 8K), I was still going a bit slower than a 10-min mile.  At this point, I decided that if I'd done that pace for so long, maybe I really could keep it up for the rest of the race.  Also, somewhere over 5 miles (4 miles after the GPS re-set), my phone GPS completely crapped out.  It ended up recording my whole race time, but with a distance of about 4.2 mi - ha, my slowest 4.2 mi ever!

Fortunately, the course had clocks or volunteers calling out the time at every mile marker, so I could see that I was still keeping quite a steady pace.  I started to think that I would be able to finish way under 1:45:00, and maybe even close to 1:40:00!  The course was getting very empty, because the 10-mi race was new to the festival, and obviously very few people chose to ran it.  It was like I was doing a long run by myself at home, except that there were course volunteers.

Once I got to the last mile or so, I just focused on keeping up the same pace.  Without my GPS, I didn't know exactly how far I had left, but I had done the loop before.  When I came to the homestretch, I could see from the clock that I could make it under 1:40:00.  I pushed as hard as I could, and got 1:39:45!

I had thought that I had started maybe 10 seconds after the starting gun, but the official results say that my gun and chip time were the same.  Oh, well!  I'm still very, very happy with how well I did!  It was hard, but not a total killer.  It was definitely a huge confidence-builder!  If I can do the same pace for my goal half-marathon, I'll finish in about 2:10:00.  With some actual rest ahead of time, hopefully I can push that down a bit!

The funny thing is that even though I had a very respectable time for this race, I placed really badly:  57 out of 77 runners.  Apparently only "good" runners did this race, as the last place finisher completed the race in just over 2 hours.  The winner did it in 51 minutes!  If I had gotten this time in the Revenge of the Penguins 10-Miler that I ran last September, I would've been 42 out of 140!  Oh, well.

I was very impressed with the running festival overall.  It was very well-organized.  The 10-mi (and 8K) race had a lot of turns in the local streets, but everything was well-marked and there were lots of volunteers keeping an eye out for the runners.  Having clocks at the mile markers was great!  There were a lot more runners in the other races (a couple hundred in each), and there were lots and lots of people attending the festival.  It was obviously a big deal for the local town, and everyone was out enjoying it. 

Yesterday, we drove home from Hilton Head, so I didn't do any exercise.  My legs didn't really appreciate sitting in the car all day.

This morning, I did the next workout from The Master's Hammer and Chisel, which was Iso Speed Hammer.  This is a short workout, which I appreciated, because it gave me time to do some extra stretching and foam rolling.  I burned about 65 calories in the workout.

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