Nov 30, 2008

Race Report- Rockland Road Runners 5-mile turkey trot

Not much to say on this one. Thanksgiving morning, we showed up at Rockland Lake at 8am. 6-7 coworkers were supposed to come to this, and 4 or 5 actually showed up. There were thousands of people there, a surprisingly large group, especially for Rockland County. I didn't think the gigantic parking lot at the north end of the park ever filled up, but it came darn close on thanksgiving morning.

Weather was perfect for running, dry and 40degrees. I picked up my timing chip (got the race bib and packet ahead of time), went to the bathroom, and lined up. Now, keep in mind that this race was only 5 days after I finished the JFK 50 miler. I had not run in the 4 days prior, and was still feeling kind of tight and certainly wasn't sure how I'd do. I set as a goal 50 minutes, 10 minute pace, but I would have been more than happy to do it at 10:15 or even 10:30. It was a crowded race, so I figured 10 minutes was a safe place to line up - if I flopped I wouldn't be in front of too many people.

Mile 1: Like I said, it was a huge race for where we were. It took me 1:15 just to cross the starting line! As it turns out, I think less than 10 people passed me the whole race. I passed hundreds of people. There were a lot of walkers who lined up at the 9 minute sign. (??) The road wasn't wide enough for all the runners (??) and I ended up running on the grass on the shoulder. People bunched up tight, especially at the steep hill at the beginning of the race (??). After we crested that first hill, the field spread out enough that it wasn't stupid-crowded anymore, but I still had to zig-zag around folks to run at my pace. It was like that the entire first mile, which is very hilly.

As for residual fatigue from the 50-miler, I was tight for the first quarter mile, then I didn't feel it again.

Mile 2: Field opened up. Still hilly, hit the uphills hard and passed a ton of people. Starting to feel a little tired from aggressively attacking those hills, but I knew the last three miles were almost completely flat, so I didn't back off.

Mile 3: Looked at my watch and noticed that my average pace for the race was right at 10:00. Cool, all I have to do is maintain it through the second half. Passed a coworker at this point, another former 400-pounder who has lost weight and run marathons, a man who I know to be very mentally tough and fiercely competitive - but not today.

Mile 4: Starting to feel kind of tired, feel like I might not be able to maintain it through mile 5.

Mile 5: I think I broke the ego of some guy who desperately tried race me for 100-yards but couldn't maintain it. (It must suck to be 195lbs and get beat by a 295-lb guy). I just made sure I ran my own race and I actually didn't modify my pace for him. I did put in one hell of a kick for the last quarter and was probably going at a sub-8 pace for those last 100 yards.

Finish: Crossed the finish line in 48:34 (that's net, official time was +1:15) - with a strong negative split on the race. Needless to say, I was very happy and celebrated with deep-fried turkey and 8% belgian beer.

The JFK race report is coming very soon. Sorry for the delay!!