Sunday, April 19, 2015

Springing forward into the racing thing again

After the Big Sur Half-Marathon in Monterrey last November, I found myself pretty burned out from racing.   But thankfully not from running.   In the five months since that race,I've rediscovered that running without some impending race hanging over my head is rather enjoyable.  If I have a good run, that's nice, and if I have a bad run, oh well, there's always tomorrow.  I've done some hard workouts over the past couple months, but with no race on the horizon, it was never critical to run them fast, even though they all went pretty well.  Surprisingly, the best part about all this was that on the easy days, it wasn't critical to ensure I'd recover for the next hard workout.  Easy days, were well, easy days.

But of course, the racing bug hit finally hit and now well into 2015, it was time to lace up the racing flats and jump into the Spring Forward 10k, a little charity race held yesterday in Mountain View. Having already signed up for San Francisco's Bay to Breakers next month and Wharf to Wharf held in Santa Cruz this July, it seemed time to get myself into a tune-up race and get back into the flow of racing again. The first race of each year always has a built in inherent optimism to it  If the race goes well, it's reassuring to think, "Yep, everything's on track for a good year".   If things don't go so well, then there's always the reassurance that it's just the first race, and there's plenty of time to get better.

As for yesterday, I'm glad I ran it for no other reason that it provided a necessary relearning experience.  For some reason, I wore my standard stop-watch rather than my GPS watch which tells me pretty accurately how far and fast I'm running at any given moment.  That proved to be a bit of a mistake as many of the mile markers were clearly not accurate.  I went out easy for the first mile, but it's hard to believe I covered the first mile in 7:19 pace.   More likely, I was at least a minute faster than that.  Even more unlikely that I blitzed a 5:10 mile between miles 3 and 4.   

My shoe came untied about 1 1/2 miles into the race, which caused me to lose 15-20 seconds retying it.   Still, I fought the good fight and held pace pretty well throughout the whole course and even had a decent kick at the end.  Looks like some of those track workouts I've been doing are starting to pay off.

I was hoping to finish under 39 minutes and crossing the finish line and looking down at my stop watch and seeing 38:35 was initially pretty satisfying.  But then, the guy ahead of me told me the course was at least 0.1 of a mile short according to his GPS watch, and most likely that 38:35 was more like a 39:00+ 10 k.  That's OK, there's plenty of time to get better before Bay to Breakers next month.

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