Saturday, August 20, 2011

Run For The Hills, Farmington Hills, MI; 20th August 2011

Run For The Hills

So here goes; the story of the day.

Pick up of race stuff was the previous evening between 4 and 8pm. Traffic was a bitch up Grand River due to road works, but got there in plenty time. I walked up to the desk and they didn't have my info. I had filled it out online and they had no record, but no big deal, I filled out the forms and they gave me the stuff anyway, I was #185 and kinda committed now.

I was a wee bit nervous on the morning of the race, just not wanting to make an arse of myself and a wee bit concerned that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I got up around 6:30, planning on leaving the house around 7:15. Drank some water, eat a banana and waited. Myself and Bren got on the road as planned and we were heading down. They wanted everyone there an hour beforehand, so we milled about and I grabbed a free banana at about T-30mins. Bren attached my number and I surveyed the competition, a whole lot of fit people and I was sure I had made a mistake. Miss Farmington Hills sang the national anthem and then we headed to the starting line. I gradually moved further and further down the field as it was separated into projected mile pace, so I was very near the back at due to my >10min miles.

Cotton t-shirt, kinda crappy, now donated
The race started with shotgun blast and we were off, and damn was it congested. So much so, that I spent the first 3/4 mile actually trying to get away from people and find a space I could run in without getting boxed in. This was when I first looked at my watch and realized that I was in danger of committing the cardinal sin of starting too fast, I slowed a little but I only got my pace down to 9:19, after planning on 10:15, I was concerned, but feeling good. When the 5km route split off I was thinking that my fellow 10k'ers looked kinda hard core and a whole lot fresher than I did, again I wondered what the hell I was thinking when I decided to do this bloody thing.

About 2/3 of the way through the 2nd mile, we see the 10km leaders coming out of a subdivision that we are entering and, bloody hell, they are sprinting, but c'est la vie, I know I'm old, fat and out of shape, so no surprises there. Mile 2 finishes a little slower at 9:40, but still quite a bit faster than I would normally expect.

Mile 3 was spent running around a good sized sub division on the way out, we passed some people running in, putting me about 1.25miles ahead of them, which buoyed my spirits a little. It was at this point I saw the first person starting to walk, at least I wasn't going to be that guy, but I still felt ok. Mile 3 came in, rather inexplicably, at 9:25. Generally, when I run, my pace gradually slows over time, so this is quite the departure from the norm.

We finally saw the water station at about 3.2 miles, way too long in my opinion. I had toyed with taking my water belt with my but dismissed it. Took on some fluid, poured some over my back and kept on going. My previous record for duration running is a solid 35mins, but I still felt fresh and my pace kept up. Running with others around you I guess, makes a huge difference. Mile 4 was a long slog up a gradual incline, which took its' toll and hence my slowest mile of the day at 10:03, still better than my projected pace though.

The next mile was a complete opposite, down a gradual decline, through a nice, exclusive sub division, not too much to say really apart from, running downhill was not as big a break as I anticipated. My legs were starting to hurt but I was determined to run for longer than 35mins, which I did, I kept asking myself to run to the next corner, or the next big tree, or another minute, just to keep on going. The next water station came which involved me, again, liberally dousing myself and drinking what I could, although not too much. I slowed as some friendly people were holding a hose on fine mist and hence the pace drop around 45mins. Still determined and knowing that the end was nearing I put in a, not too shabby (for me anyway), 9:48.

Mile 5 and I'm struggling even though we are on a gradual downhill pretty much all the way to the finish line, I had hoped to feel better because the end is so close, but I don't. I finally decided to take a short break at 55mins, but the thought of having people pass me is too much, sot I start running again after only about 20-30secs. Getting close to the end and it is all downhill, until the last 1/4mile which is dead flat. I decide that I have to try and finish strong, but my legs are killing me, but the end is right there and I just keep on going. Mile 6 goes by at 9:28, I cross the line at 59:08.

I survived.

Results for the 10km -

Here are the age graded results, what ever that means -

This is how it looked from my watches point of view -

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