Sunday, May 6, 2012

Race Recap: Cherry Creek Sneak

Ok, blogger changed their format, so this will be interesting to work with.  Bear with me here.

I had a great week of training leading up to this race.  However, with Theresa's bike injury and the time off we had to take due to that, I was not expecting much from this race.  I thought beating my previous P.R. was possible (51:23) but other than that, I wasn't planning on much.  I figured we'd take it easy, ease back into serious running, and go from there.

We woke up with no sense of urgency.  Not a bad thing, actually.  We had breakfast (I only got one egg, boo) and then headed down to Cherry Creek.  With them adding an early 10 mile race, it was surprisingly busy in terms of getting to our usual parking spot, the Cherry Creek Mall parking garage.  However, we made it eventually.  We walked to pick up our bibs, and from there just settled into a pre-race routine, which involved a lot of walking and more or less hanging out.  I bought a banana from Safeway and we just waited.  Then soon enough, the 5 mile race was corralled.  

From running this race before, we knew the start got crowded quickly, so our plan was to run the first mile at around a 10:15 mile.  We hit it in a 10:07.  From there, things only dramatically improved.

Mile 2 - this was a nice downhill mile.  T mentioned to me as we were closing in on the sign that she thought she might have to walk but I told her we could dial it back and we did.  When we hit the mile 2 sign, she didn't have to walk and we kept going. 9:08

Mile 3 - this involved a very slight climb which we kept slow and steady.  We both started settling into a nice groove.  Also, I rolled up the sleeves of my long sleeve technical T which I wore under my Sioux technical T. 9:32

Mile 4 - this was an interesting mile.  Pretty much flat or so I thought; turns out it was very slightly downhill.  However, we continued to dial it back.  Also, the course had slightly changed since we last ran it and therefore we were a bit surprised.  We also started mumbling how a PR was in sight.  9:26

Last Mile - at this point, we knew we had it.  Not only were we going to crack our PR, we were going to crack 50:00, and even potentially squeeze our way into a better qualifying BolderBoulder wave.  We hit the water stop, walking through it.  I also made the determination that while I knew I was going to crack both the PR and my 50:00 goal, why the hell should I not push it faster and run as fast as I could???  I was hurting pretty good, not in my lungs, but in my muscles, which surprised me a bit.  However, I wasn't going to stop.  Something switched off in my head to just keep going faster.  T kicked it at the end and I couldn't catch her, but I didn't care.  I finished strong and stopped my watch at 47:45, which was just awesome. 

My official finishing time was 47:44, which was just amazing to me.  I ran hard, I ran well, and as I said to T later, we ran the perfect race for us.  I know a 9:34 per mile might not seem all that speedy, but compared to two years ago, where I ran a 51:23, this was a vast vast improvement, and something to quite frankly be very proud of.

After the race, we rode our bikes to the Rockies game.  Somehow running a 5 mile race wasn't enough exercise for the day, I guess.  :-)

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