Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ocean's Nine. Ocean's Eleven. Ocean's Nine.

Marathon Plan - Regressive Countdown - Week Fifteen
01/18/10 - 01/24/10 - Week Total: 28.3 miles

I have had issues with my long runs pace. I slow down and seems there is no way to speed up. One day in Green Lake I decided to stick behind two ladies that were running at 10:20 min/mile. That was the only way I could keep that pace. Once they finished their run, I slowed down, and went back to a 11:30 min/mile. I have even had some long runs at 12:50 what really concerned me.

Knowing that I perform better when I race, I replaced my 13-miler yesterday for a 10-mile race to determine what pace I was able to keep. The race was part of a four Kilometers/Miles races series: 5k/5M - 10K/10M - 15K/15M and 20K/20M. (I didn't run the 5M and won't be able to run the 20M as I already registered in a Half the day after).

So here I go, running at a good pace with a lot of people for 2.30 miles when we got to the point where the 10K and the 10M races split. And all the people running with me, turned to the right (10K) and I alone turned to the left. I could see in the distance only two people ahead of me. Then a girl passed me and told me "What a gorgeous day!!!", I nodded and told her: "Yes, and I think we are on our own", as I realized that we probably were the last runners. She nodded and took off.

The race was put together by a running club and many of its members are training for spring marathons. Do you know what it means? That most of the runners of the 10M are very fast runners. At mile 3.5 the lead runner was coming back. He was 3 miles ahead of me. And then I saw ALL the runners. I was really happy because at least, I was NOW running with a lot of people. They were running in a different direction though, but it didn't matter to me. I had company!!! I had to be one of the last, but as I never look back, I didn't know how many people were behind me, if any. I would find out at mile 5 when I would have to turn around. Finally mile 5 arrived (or I arrived to it) and in my way back I was able to count how many people were behind me. Nine. Then I passed two ladies, so eleven. Then they passed me, and I went back to nine. Ocean's Nine. Ocean's Eleven. Ocean's Nine.

And that was it. I was going to keep that pace, and not let any of these nine to pass me. That would be the way to push for the pace. I was doing very well, until ... I missed a sign!
Fortunately the race director was driving by and stopped me. Also, a volunteer at a stand on the street I had to turn saw me and chased me.... They saved me big time. Who knows where I would've ended.

While I was going back to the race course I saw four of the people that were behind me closer to the curve that I should have taken.
I was about to be reduced to Ocean's Five. No!! I sped up, and took the curve first than two of them, and later I could passed the other two. I was running at 10:30 min/mile, but again being alone, when I didn't feel any pressure I slowed down, and found again these two people breathing down my neck. Time to speed up again, left them behind, slowed down, they are again at my side. LIZZIE ! I wanted to scream! We were in that game for about 1.5 miles, but this was going to be an Ocean's Nine. Period. Not less. When we were about 0.5 miles of the finish line I accelerated, and as I know I am a good sprinter, as soon as I entered in the track I pushed the song Gonna Fly Now, and ran the track at 8 min/mile. Ocean's Nine it was!

Official time 1:46:33 for 10:40 pace. I was one of the slowest persons of the race, however I felt great as I ran a 10-miler a hair faster than my marathon goal pace (10:56)!!!

And BTW, I proudly got a ribbon for third place in my division. If I can't be that fast, I can outlast runners my age!!!


ShirleyPerly said...

Congratulations on third place, Lizzie!!

I think it's true for most of us that we run faster when we run with others and esp. in a race. Any chance you can find a group to do your long runs with? At my local running store we have various marathon training groups and there are usually a LOT of folks wanting to run marathons in the 4:30-5:00 range.

PS - I like your lime clock!

小白 said...
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