Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Trot 2012

In the days leading up to this race I was not sure how I would approach it.  I was coming off 2 marathons in 14 days.  It would have been 11 days since the second marathon, of which both were run sub 4:30.  I knew all the marathon training plans called for significant time off after a marathon, but my mind kept wondering how fast I could push a 10k.  Yet in my mind I knew I should not push it, I had a 50K coming up in just under a month, and one of my injury free running Mantras has been “Don’t sacrifice tomorrow for today.”

(might be the best race shirt ever)

Race morning was near perfect, bit on the cool side (44 degrees) with bright blue skies and a slight wind.  The Erie Runners Club has hosted this event for years on Presque Isle State Park and this would be my second running.  I get an extra kick out of running an event in my old home town, like I have something to prove to the streets.  I was not a runner in those days…so maybe I do.  Another bonus for the day was my wife Michele would be walking the 10k, I so enjoy events we can share together.  Even as we staged for the start, Michele asked me how I was going to run this race, “I’m not sure…we will see” was best I could do.

To start the race, I lined up semi near the front, no corralling here, back to the old school lined up and go.  And when the horn went off I found out how this race would be run, “all out.”  The field jumped out to a fast start and I went with them, even against my better judgment, but I was committed.  Within the first 50 yards I would get the first big test of the day.  A supportive spouse was leaning in to the roadway to get a picture of their favorite runner.  I did not see her until the runner in front of me had made “jet fighter” maneuvers to get out of the way.  Then it was my turn, I had to decide in the blink of an eye was I going to be Jim Brown or Walter Payton (football analogy for turkey day seams appropriate).  To avoid collision I made the best NFL spin move at full speed ducked my head under her out reached camera and continued on my way.  SCORE!

Mile  1 7:29 – The start blasted off like the Millennium Falcon racing away from the moon of Endure.  I knew when I made the first mile I was committed.  My breathing was up and I was putting out my too much effort to call this a recreational run, if I was going to pay Jabba the Hutt, might as well make it worthwhile.

Mile  2  7:12  Once I had settled into my pace and got my mental game intact…it was on, I was hammering out near sub 7:00 pace and feeling good.  The force and my legs were with me this day!

Mile  3  7:33  Mid way point and I knew the fast start was going to be hard to hold up over the closing miles, and it was at this point that the thought of posting a PR jumped into my Jedi Mind.

Mile  4  8:03  It got a little tough in mile 4, but my Jedi powers were so locked on the PR that I was able to hang on to a 8:00 mile pace, doing some quick on the fly math told me if I could hang in the 8:00s I would be able to threaten the Sith zone of 48:00.

Mile  5  8:08  I’m aware that Yoda and all the running coaches, books and sound racing plans advise running negative splits, but that plan was out for this race.  The overriding thought that was echoing in my ear was “I’m your father Luke…a PR is there for the taking” so I dug in and continued to put the hammer down.  To tell you how focused I was it was at this point that I passed my wife coming in the opposition direction and although she moved to middle of the road to high five me.  Seeing her, I lifted my head, raised the peace sign and advanced the speedster throttle never moving over to greet her.  Later she would tell me “I knew you were up to something, you were flying.”

Mile  6  7:42 I had a vision of Yoda,  “Luke, lose it you shall not…a PR is there for the taking”  A glance down at my GPS and I knew it was game on…thinking, I’ve got this…Now Go!  I had hoped to really put on a closing mile dash, but when my brain neurons fired and said “GO” the muscle fibers in my legs said…”Hang on, Darth Vader, this all we got.”  I pushed as hard as I could.

Mile  6.2  :38  Home stretch for this race takes a right and a left turn on to the beach access road of the park.  This road provided a clear view of the finishing line.  With that goal clearly in sight I gave it my best Galen Rupp Olympic dash.  46:46 displayed on my GPS…..#BOOMBABY!

Some people may undervalue the social media relationships we build with Facebook and Twitter, but a driving force today was that I so wanted to post a PR on my timeline once this race was over.

PR Baby 10k in 46:46 (my GPS) and an OFFICIAL Time of 46:42 (chip time) by RD #BOOM!