Thursday, May 3, 2012

Race #3 of the Season: Cherry Creek Sneak

When I first planned on doing this race, I was hoping to be able to run fast enough to get a different BolderBOULDER qualifying wave. With my goal of speed this year, I figured it would be possible.

And then I got injured and had to essentially take two weeks off.

My runs coming back from injury weren't anything special and were definitely slower than they had been pre-bike crash. As a result, I didn't have any expectations going into the race. Which, thinking about it, was probably why we did so well.

We woke up a bit later than we had hoped race morning, but still with enough time to eat breakfast, load up the bikes, get down to Cherry Creek and find a parking spot. We missed our early packet pick-up (dang work) so had to pick everything up race morning. We got our packets and went back to the car, while the 10 mile race went off. In prepping for the race, doing our pre-race business, grabbing the hubby a banana and whatnot, we also heard the guns go off for the 5K, the kids' fun run and the 1.5 mile sprint.

Eventually, though, it was time for us 5 milers to start. While we didn't have many expectations for the race, we were still hoping to do better than the last time we ran the 5 mile (51:24 for me). We figured we could take the first mile easy-ish (no more than a 10:15) and then try to speed it up from there.

The plan? Worked perfectly. The following splits are as best as I remember from Brandon's watch ... (and will be edited once i get them from him)

Mile 1: 10:07. Perfect. Faster than we expected, but still good.

Mile 2: 9:10. Holycrapfast. Near the end of this mile, I mentioned to Brandon that I might need to walk soon. We slowed it down after that, but didn't walk.

Mile 3: 9:20something. Early in mile three we had a slight incline that we slowed down for and then picked it up again on the subsequent slight downhill. End of this mile started getting warm.

Mile 4: 9:30something. Probably due to the new 10 mile addition, they changed the course this year. I liked the change - slightly in the neighborhoods as opposed to running in Cherry Creek North. When we went into the residential area, we also went into the shade and that gave me a bit of a boost. As we were turning back on Speer, however, my legs started to hurt. The thought popped into my head, but I refused to voice it. At this point, hearing the split, I also knew a PR was in the bag.

Mile 5: 9:something. We slowed to a walk for a moment to take some water; otherwise, we just tried to maintain our pace. Fatigue was definitely building in my muscles, but I pushed through it to the finish, leaving Brandon at the end only to kick to the finish which OMGhurt but worth it. My watch didn't stop immediately - dang thing switched modes under my arm warmers - but I stopped it at 47:46 ... a HUGE PR.

Actual race time? Better than that, even.

Final Numbers:
Gun Time: 48:10
Chip Time: 47:40
Overall Place: 1133/2890
Gender Place: 479/1730
Division Place (F25-29): 93/229

Pace: 9:32/mi

Us post race!

The day wasn't over for us, though. If you recall from the beginning of the post, I said that we packed our bikes before leaving for the race. That was because the Colorado Rockies had one of their "green games" where you could get a special deal on tickets by biking to the game. They also had free, guarded bike parking where you could leave your bike while you were in the game.

Given that we haven't quite figured out how to get downtown by bike by trail from the new place yet, we figured it would be a lot easier (and less of a time crunch) to just leave from Cherry Creek right after the Sneak and bike downtown that way.

Super easy and super fun and a great way to work the legs out after the run.

Ginormous PR in the 5 mile plus an almost 11-mile ride afterward? I'll take that for a great day.

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