Monday, May 15, 2017

Running races, 2017

Unless I have a breakout race or something, I will put all running races in one post.  The format is more of a journal for me to look back on over the years, but if other people find it interesting, that is great too.

Riverbank 10k
I ran this long standing Missoula race with Sam in the stroller.  Sam was on his best behavior, so I was able to give it a more or less full effort.  I didn't really have a time goal, but after a mile or so of sorting things out, I started pushing hard, which was about a 6 flat pace.  I passed people throughout the race, with the exception of one dude who passed me in the half mile, and who I could not catch despite my best efforts.  I got a lot of compliments running in the top 10 with a baby stroller, but I don't think people realize that a baby stroller doesn't actually slow one down much at all on flat pavement. Final time was 38 low, 6.07 pace.  Without a doubt, Sam was the stroller champion of the 10k. 

Don't Fence me in 30k, Helena
First climb. Me, looking like a chump with one arm warmer.   Moving up.    

I finally did this hilly and beautiful race, and it was every bit as enjoyable as I had hoped.  We had good friends watch Sam, so both Leah and I got to race, which was wonderful.  I went out reasonably hard, and settled into the first climb around 30th place.  Even though I faded a touch over the course of the race, I did not fade as much as everyone else, and I spent the next ten miles or so working hard but also slowly picking runners off.  I was surprised at how fast the course was, especially the uphills, which were runnable with very few exceptions.  I did have a surprisingly low patch on the runnable Helena ridge section, battling a sideache and generally not keeping good turnover on fatigued legs, and both Tory and Leah Handleman (women's leader) came within about 5 seconds of reeling me in.  Fortunately I found another gear somewhere for the last steep climb to the peak, and the ensuing technical downhill was just tricky enough to allow me to hold my lead to the finish.  I crossed the finish tired and with a few calf twinges, feeling like I had a perfectly solid race given my current fitness.  2.53, 17th place.  Leah ran a predictably solid race, finishing sub-3.30, 16th place female.

For future reference: I ran the first two uphills with HR in the 158-162 range and faded to the low 150s by the end. Not an even effort, but I moved up something like 15 places over the course of the race, so it seems as though I paced reasonably for an optimal performance.  I could have dug deeper on the climbs, but not much. With a few cramp twinges on the last downhill it seems as though doing so could have very well risked a blowup.  As a metric, I am feeling slower than past years, but not too far off.  But (fingers crossed) healthy and grateful to be building fitness. I'll take it.

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