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Tour Des Fleurs 20K: Extended race report

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5ksandcabernets: Tour Des Fleurs 20K: Extended race report


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tour Des Fleurs 20K: Extended race report

*Long races humble you: How many times have you run a race longer than an hour, and in the last few miles, you pass someone you think you should be faster than: an older person, a person with a different body shape, a little kid. And you think to yourself, "How the heck are they faster than me." Of course, to think that aloud probably makes you a bad person, like you are high and mighty. But I bet its true for a lot more people than myself. That happened to me a lot Saturday. People who don't look fast are fast. And that's the thing I love about running. Its all on the inside, what you have in your heart, your muscular-skeleton system, your training, your genes.

*If I could run this course every day, I would. The White Rock Lake area is absolutely beautiful. Just beautiful. And there were tons of people out who didn't race, neighborhood folks on their bikes or walking their dogs, people on the lake in kayaks. Now, the scenery is not as nice as Austin's Town Lake, but it beats the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth, which is an out and back course along a river/creek bed that in places looks like toilet water runoff.

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*I ate right, I think: Usually, before long runs or races, I stuff my face with pasta the night before, thinking that's the right thing to do. But I've noticed that the beginning of those runs are usually very sluggish for me. I guess my food is still digesting. So this past week, I decided to have the big spaghetti meal Thursday night. On Friday, I ate like it was a normal day and Friday night, I had a few bites from a baked sweet potato and a slice of ham. On Saturday morning, I got up at 4:30 for the 7:30 race, had a bowl of granola (no milk) and a glass of orange juice. Then, 20 minutes before the race, I had a Hammer gel shot and took one Hammer endurolyte capsule. That worked out perfect for me. No stomach problems. Didn't have to pee a lot. The only thing I could have done differently was take a few more endurolyte's during the race because my right leg tried to stiffen up on me late in the race. But I think it had more to do with the crazy hills than not having enough electrolytes.

*Calm nerves are important: For the first time in any race, my heart was not skipping a beat before the race. Usually, I'm so pumped up with stress and anxiety that as they sing the National Anthem before the race, I'm nearly hyperventilating. Not so for me Saturday. I treated this run like a training run, knowing I could have a decent time without over-running this race, knowing I was going to go out slow the first half. It also helped that I had people to talk to before the race, which kept my mind off the task. Bloggers Rich, Bryan, and Susan talked about wine and hanging out; Kimberly, Chris, and Jenna, a few of the people I run with from the Fort Worth Lukes Locker, kept my mind off things as well. I was so relaxed at the gun that my first mile was my slowest mile of the whole race (8:26).

*Negative splits mean a positive race: Piggy-backing on the last point, I knew I wanted to go out much slower than I would finish, especially since I'd seen the course and knew there were some major hills on the second 10k. My goal, my goal was to run an 8-minute mile pace the entire way _ pouring it on at the end if I needed to. Running the first mile in 8:26 was perfect. And at the 10k mark, I'd run just two seconds a mile faster than I'd set out. (49:23). My avg heart rate for the first 10k was 82 percent. This 10k time is a little more than 2 minutes slower than my PR, so I still had a lot left in the tank for the second 10k, so I just decided to go for it. Still, running this fast for so long is uncharted territory for me. I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out: a spasming quad, burning lungs, low energy. But it never happened. Even though there were hills, and I mean a lot of hills, like four really big ones, I finished the second 10k in 47:45, a 7:42 pace.

*Sometimes, wearing a GPS watch confuses things: The people who measured the course, of course, measured it in a straight line. I spent the first few miles weaving around people, or zig zagging to a spot on the trail where I was not running on a slope. My Garmin 305 would beep at me at every mile, then I'd look up and notice that the actual mile marker was 20 to 30 yards away. Late in this race, as mile 9 turned into mile 10 and so forth, I had to do some quick math in my head. Uhhh, I'm actually just at mile 10.8, even though my Garmin says I just hit mile 11. So, I'll be running a total of 12.6 miles instead of 12.4. Folks, this is not a good feeling when you are near the end. I guess it would be like serving a 12 year prison term (and I've never been to prison) and the on the last day, they come in and say, "ooops, you got two more months.)

Garmin splits (It said I ran 12.62 miles. Guess I did too much zigging and zagging.) time Avg Heart rate for the mile
1..... 8:26..........................76 pct
2......7:44........16:11...........82 pct
3......7:51........24:02...........82.5 pct
4......7:51........31:03...........83 pct
5......7:36........39:29...........84 pct
6......7:42........47:12...........84.5 pct
7......7:25........54:36...........87.5 pct (worked harder because of the hills)
8......7:37......1:02:13..........87 pct (slowed down a tick)
9......7:42......1:09:56..........88 pct (another hill)
10....7:41......1:13:47..........88 pct (another hill)
11....7:25......1:25:02 .........87 pct (Mostly downhill)
12....7:49......1:32:51 .........88 pct (Major hill near the end of mile 12.)
12.62..4:24....1:37:15.........90 pct (poured it on to the finish line)

Here is the Motionbased hill elevation:

*What this means for the future: I ran all but the first mile in a sub 8-minute mile. The first half was much much easier than the second half. I think an 8-minute mile marathon is doable, which would give me a marathon time of 3:30. That would be more than an hour faster than my marathon PR. Stay tuned.

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Blogger Jenny said...

Nice Race!! You did this one right in every way and it paid off. Glad you had such a great you are getting that much closer to the marathon!

September 21, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

dang you are fast. i guess i need to drink more wine.

September 21, 2008 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger rodney said...

Nice! You're getting so fast, I'll need a moped to beat you now.

September 21, 2008 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Just12Finish said...

Nice report! Good foreshadowing for a marathon PR :-)

September 21, 2008 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Whoo-hoo! I'm so excited about the marathon for you! (Especially because, as we all know, I won't be running a single step for a while-- I'm going to live vicariously through all the other runners I know!) That whole piece about being calm and relaxed-- I think this is going to be my next running focus. I look forward to seeing how/what you do with it too.

September 22, 2008 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger DawnB said...

nice race report congratulations on a great race sounds like your marathon goal is doable.

September 22, 2008 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Just_because_today said...

like runner susan said, I need to drink more wine...if that is possible. I agree so much with this

And that's the thing I love about running. Its all on the inside, what you have in your heart,
and yes, I have had those races where I pass or are passed by people I think "they can not be possible running faster.." but they are. Gotta love it, and we do

September 22, 2008 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Run For Life said...

Great job! I'm glad you had such a good run and have finally figured the food issues out. :)

September 23, 2008 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You’re very similar to me – I’m with you on so many counts. I always wonder why others who don’t look like they should be faster are, and I also try to do my big pasta dinner two nights before. Unfortunately, this is difficult when most races host the event the night before, because I like it for social reasons. As for Garmin, I actually don’t mind when it beeps before the mile marker because then at least I know it’s right up ahead.

September 30, 2008 at 10:12 AM  

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