This is the second of three in the Strider's Distance Series that help prepare runners for the upcoming Shamrock marathon and half. I had been looking forward to this one about a week ago but the last few days was wishing I had another week to prepare. Haven't felt good the last few days and think I have caught my youngest daughters cold that she has had for the last week. I was feeling run down and tired, but tried to keep my training up...yesterday I would have taken a complete rest day if it weren’t for the exercise challenge streak. Earlier in the week, I was looking for a goal time of under 1:45 but come race time was just looking to finish in a decent time.
The race again takes place at Fort Story Army base in Virginia Beach. A picturesque place with historic lighthouses, sandy beaches and tree lined trails and lakes...also has some hills. We start off by running a 5K course and two of the standard 10K course, which lets us go over the two hills three times...what a treat!
The weather looked ominous throughout the week with forecasts anywhere from cold rain, windy and freezing temperatures. It ended up being pretty nice with hardly any wind, no rain and some sunshine but it was cold with temps in the lower 30's to lower 40's...the race starts at 9:00 so it gives the sun a chance to warm things up a bit.
I decided to wear my long sleeved UA that I wore at last weeks 5K XC race since I thought it would be windy out on the course, and even some gloves and regular shorts.
This is a mixed race of 15K and 25K runners all starting at the same time and pretty much running the same course of an initial 5K loop and then the regular 10K loop or two depending on which series was being run. The air horn again squeaks to get us started and we are all off running the first shorter 5K loop. I found fellow blogger Steve a short time after the start and was able to run the first 5K loop with him until he started pulling away after about four miles...or it could have been that I started slowing down. I didn't have any miles splits on my watch because I missed the first few miles and decided not to worry about splits and just note the time at certain points in the race. The first 5K loop came in at 20:36 and we were off doing the first 10K loop. The first 6 miles in 40:22 and the finish of the first 10K loop (9.3 miles total) came in at 1:04. All the top runners were constantly catching and passing me during the first 10K loop since I had slowed quite a bit, but I didn't really care...until this one runner gets up to me and tells me that he's going to stay with me because he thinks he started off too fast. During the second 10K loop, I seemed to get a second wind and started upping the pace and dropped the runner that had been pacing off of me and my times started to improve. The 13 mile mark came in at 1:29:08...which told me that I had a real good chance at breaking 1:30 for a half marathon at next week's Norfolk half marathon. For most of the middle part of the race I was running pretty much by myself...except for the runner that was pacing off me. No one in sight since the faster runners were way ahead out of sight on the winding roads and glancing back, there didn't seem to be anybody either...which made for a very lonely run. But by the beginning of the second 10K loop I started passing the 15K runners that were walking by now...a couple at first and then groups of them. It gave me something to focus on and something for me to try to catch and pass. The final turnaround came and then the final hill and I tried again to give it a little more gas and finally crossed the finish line in 1:47:35...a few minutes slower than my goal time but happy to finish strong. Went home, showered, took some drugs...legal OTC cold meds...and took a two hour nap.
There were 24 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 214 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 18 of 214
Age group finish place was 3 of 24
Time: 1:47:35 for an overall pace of 6:56 per mile
The race results listing also combines the times of the two races in the series and for those results, I end up third in my age group and only 1:40 from second...but only because one of the runners in my age group is in the Men's Overall/Open standings...I'll take it...Something to build on for the next 30K race on 16 Feb.
Next race is next Saturday...02Feb...The East Beach Norfolk Half Marathon where I hope to break 1:30, and as long as I am healthy, I'm sure it will fall!
Hope all are having a great weekend.
Forgot my weekly totals:
Mon: 41 min elliptical, 46 min cycle, 20 min stairstepper
Tue: 9.1 miles run, 31 min cycle, 10 min stairstepper
Wed: 30 min elliptical, 30 min cycle, 21 min stairsteppper
Thu: 10 miles run, 30 min cycle, 11 min stairstepper
Fri: 32 min elliptical, 31 min cycle, 10 min stairstepper
Sat: 25K race, 17.5 total miles run
Sun: 45 min elliptical, 45 min cycle, 30 min stairstepper