Monday, April 7, 2008

CCC & Hogeye Race Reports

Wow, it has been a whirlwind weekend. Back to back races and back to back PR's. First I'll start with Saturday's race at the Capitol City Classic 10k.

Saturday my plan was to "race" this one and use Sunday as a training run. Annette and I met Bailey and Robert at Team 1 so we could car pool to Two Rivers Park. It was somewhat chilly but not bad. Low to mid 40's. If the wind would stay down it would be perfect. This is a pretty flat course and very fast. I think I raced 3 or 4 10k's last year and my PR was on this one at about 1:04 and some change. My goal was to break 1 hour. Anything below that and I would be happy.

The race started and we were off. I ran for a little bit with Annette and Michelle but I was feeling good so I went on. I had plans to run solid to the water stop at about mile 2 or so. It was warming up pretty fast and I was ready for a drink when I got there. One thing I cannot do is drink from a cup and run at the same time. I can with a bottle but not a cup. Quick walk, drink and I was gone again. I could hear Annette and Michelle behind me every now and then so I figured they would be passing me soon. I think it helped to push me some too. I slowed a little after mile three and they did catch me. We ran pretty close till the water stop around 4. Michelle's husband James had been close to the girls most of the time also but about here he started speeding up. So Michelle took off to stay with him. Annette picked up speed and so did I. I ended up passing Annette at about 5 then pressing on. I knew she was trying to catch me all the time so this kept me runnig strong. No spectacular race to the finish here but I did set a new PR of 58:01 which I was very happy with. Annette came in at 58:17 which was a great time for her. Several of the cruisers had PR's also. I almost had a perfect split time, wish it would have been a negative split. Here they are.

6.2 Miles
Time - 58:01
Avg Pace - 9:21

After the race, we headed home to shower and pack so we could drive to Fayetteville for the Hogeye 1/2 Marathon.

Bailey met us around 1:00pm and then we headed to Jackie's to pick her up. We always try to car pool when possible plus its always fun to ride with a group. We met more of the Cruisers in Conway along the way. Michelle, James, Robert, Rock and Brenda were at Chic Fila when we got there. Also Marianne and Heather were there. James had done a bike ride after the 10k with Marianne, Heather and some others. They are training for Ironman Couer Delane. (I'm sure that is spelled wrong) The trip from there was uneventful, we had a 3 car caravan pretty much all the way. One thing for sure, with three women runners in the car the conversation never stopped.

After we got to Fayetteville we headed to the Expo at our hotel. All I can say is WOW. This was the smallest expo I had ever seen. I think there may have been 7 booths set up if that. Well, that was fast getting in and out of there anyway. From there we all got checked in and made plans for dinner.

We all met about 45 minutes late in the lobby. Since we were only 2 blocks from Dickson Street we walked down to the restaurant. It was the Hog Haus Cafe and we were on a 35 minute wait. Gary and Curtis had been at the hotel waiting for us but we lost Marianne and Heather as they had other plans. It didn't take long to get us in for food. With 9 runners there is always conversation going on and we were already having too much fun!

We finished up with dinner and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the 7:30am start. When we got back I realized that I didn't plan for breakfast. No big deal, I figured they would have something around there. Wrong!

I got up at 5:45am, made coffee and went out to find some food. I walked probably half a mile and there was nothing around there. The hotel didn't even have room service in the morning which I thought was weird. I ended up eating some of my peanut butter and crakers which proved to be a good choice. I had my doubts at the time.

The cool thing about this race is that the starting line was 100 feet from our hotel. All we had to do was take the elevator down and walk a few feet to the start/finish line. I liked that about this race. Also the hotel was allowing late check outs till 2:30pm for the runners.

There was a cool breeze at the 7:30am start time with temps in the mid 40's. I wore shorts and a technical t shirt along with throw away gloves and baseball hat. I knew it was going to get warm once we got started and we had 13.1 miles and about 2.5 hours of running to do.

Everyone in our group was doing the half but Gary was doing the full. He is training for Ironman Louisville and also will be running Nashville with us. He is an animal when it comes to training and this was suppose to be a training run for him.

I never had a goal time in mind for this race. We had decided that this was just a training run and would count for Grand Prix points so I didn't care what my time was. The race started and I ran the first mile or two with Annette and Michelle. Less than one mile into the race we had a big hill. Let me tell you, this course has some hills. For the first 4 miles it was nothing but one hill after another. With every uphill there was a downhill which was good. By mile 2 I was already feeling the hills. I quickly changed my plan of attack. I decided that if the hill was hurting running up that I would just walk up it and then take advantage of the gravity and run down them. We had practiced this many times with Coach Dennis and I knew how to properly run downhill. On every downhill I would pass people. No one passed me on the downhills. Very few on the uphills. Some of these were so steep that you just wasted your time and energy trying to run up them.

I walked a lot in this race and stopped at almost every water stop to get a drink. By mile 4 it was hot and we hit a semi flat area. I was starting to think about taking my gel. Before we hit mile 5 I could see the turn around in the back of the neighborhood. Just before the the turn around I also started seeing other Cruisers and Gary. I was cheering them on and this gave me an extra boost. I kept waiting for Annette and Michelle to catch and pass me. I had no idea where they were but I figured they were close. After I made the turn around I was about to get worried. No Annette or Michelle yet. After about 1/4 mile there they were. I must have been 1/4 to 1/2 a mile ahead of them. They said I looked good and they did too. Then I heard James come up behind me. He had been in front of me but took a bathroom break. We ran pretty close for a couple miles. I would run for a while then I would take a quick walk break. But when I was running I was running pretty good. For some reason this was working really well for me. I figured James would pass me on one of my breaks but it never happened. Still, I really had no time goal in mind. I just wanted to have a good training run.

That came to an end around mile 10. I looked at my garmin and started calculating my times. I knew I had a 5k left, say 30 minutes. Wow, I could possibly beat my Little Rock PR. Then I thought no, I still had all those big hills to deal with again on the way back so I would lose more time. Again, these hills were monsters. One of them was so steep walking up it was hurting because it was stretching my calves so much. By mile 11 I was calculating my pace remembering that when I did Little Rock I needed about a 10:25 average pace to finish around 2:15. Mmmm, I was very close to 10:25 now. I started smelling a PR. PR? How could it be? On this course? No way. I died in Little Rock and ran a 2:22 gun time and it was flat compared to this. But I was running strong and I was taking advantage of every downhill. Thats where I got my speed.

By mile 12 I was telling myself "you can PR, you can PR". This helped push me. When I hit the last hill going into the square where the finish was I did one last walk. As I turned the first corner on the square, there was a man and a woman just ahead of me. The man looked like he might be in my age group so I decided I better take him out, so I sprinted the last 25 yards to the finish line passing them both. That was exciting! Final time 2:18:16 and a new PR. I was very excited, especially on this course to be able to PR and even more so to have back to back races with PR's. Here were my final splits. You can see where the hills were.
Total miles - 13.1
time - 2:18:16
Avg pace - 10:33
1720 calories

I have some photos and maybe a post race story later. By the way, my good friend Gary finished the full marathon in 3:47. Awesome job for this course! Several Cruisers won age group awards for the 1/2 also. Too many to mention right now but you guys are awesome!

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