Monday, January 3, 2011

Race Report: Lowell 1st Run 2011

2010 started with something like a whimper, as I had what can only be described as a terrible race at the Lowell 1st Run 2010. I had my slowest ever 10k in a race that felt like it was never going to end, and I didn't see a single runner the entire second half of the race. I came home demoralized and angry, determined not to let a lack of motivation stop me from properly training for a race.

Fast forward a year to the week leading up to the Lowell 1st Run 2011, where again I wasn't training, but not because I didn't want to be. So while I was training about the same amount, this year I was eating a lot better. Plus, I had a full year of training to fall back on this year which I definitely didn't have going into the 2010 race.

I was a little unsure of how I would do because of the lack of recent training, but I was determined to beat my time from last year. I started off feeling pretty good, which I guess was because I've had plenty of rest. I knew I wouldn't be able to run the whole race, but I knew I could push myself pretty hard with no races in the foreseeable future.

The first two miles went pretty smoothly, and for not running too much I was right under 27 minutes. During mile 3, it felt like the wheels were falling off. Quite a few people were behind me, but I knew most if not all of them would be finished after 5k. I wasn't looking forward to doing the last 5k alone, AGAIN, and I thought hard about stopping after 5k.

Once I made the turn and was headed towards the timing mat for the second half of the race, I started feeling a lot better about finishing the 10k; even if I was going to be alone again. I crossed the 5k timing mat around 43:30 minutes, which isn't my best 5k by a long shot, but I felt like I was hopefully on a pace I could maintain.

This was my first race with the Forerunner 305, and I am head over heels in love. Knowing my pace made it so much easier to know how slow I can go to recover, and how hard I have to push it to get the time I want. I still need to get used to the lap button, and remember to hit it each mile, but that'll come with practice. I can wait to give it a go in a triathlon.

I was shooting for anything faster than 1:28, because that's what I thought was my time for last years race. With one mile to go, I felt like it might be a bit tight, but that I should beat last years time by a minute or maybe even two. I was walking a bit more than I wanted, but I was going full speed. I ran as much as I could and maxed out my heart rate in the last half mile. I learned a lot about digging deeper at Timberman, and it paid off today.

I finished in 1:26:09, which is not only faster than last year, it's faster than last year by 6 minutes, as last years real time was 1:32. I'm glad I mis-remembered, as I pushed myself harder to beat a faster time. Even more importantly, I set a PR for the 10k! I'm so stoked that this is how I started off the athletic part of my year. I can't wait to see what I can do next, because it's gonna be awesome.