Sunday, October 23, 2011

Race Report: UCF Distance Dare 2011

It was a perfect morning for a race, and I added 2 new PRs to my collection at the U Can Finish Distance Dare (5 miler + 2 miler)! Not only did I PR, but I exceeded my expectations/goals for both races and had a blast!

Pre-race: I was around 60ยบ when I woke up, so I debated what to wear. I knew I would warm up quickly, so I still wore a running skirt and short sleeve shirt, but decided to wear leg compression sleeves as they would help keep my calf muscles warm and could only help my performance. It was quite cold when we got to UCF, so I put on my arm warmers and windbreaker jacket for the warm up. I ran an easy mile around the memory mall, and got warm enough to shed both the jacket and arm warmers before the start. I'm really glad I did or I would have overheated during the race. The temperature was perfect for both races and greatly contributed to my performance.

5 Miler: I lined up behind the 10+ pace sign as I was aiming for a 10:30 average pace and didn't want to go out too fast. I wore my dad's Garmin, and I have to say I don't really miss it. Having it in my hand is so easy to constantly check my pace, and I spent the entire race looking at it. I started faster than my planned 11:15 pace, but I was feeling good and not struggling, so kept it up as long as it felt comfortable. I took a gu roctane at the first water stop, just before mile 2, then gradually kicked it into high gear for the last 5K and pushed hard as you can see from my splits: 10:53 - 10:55 - 10:07 - 9:56 - 9:27. Seeing that my last 2 miles were sub-10 gave me hopes of a PR at the 2 mile race. I used 3/1 intervals the whole way.

I used the virtual partner feature to stay on pace, but it stopped the watch when it got to 5 miles, which was just short of the finish line. As is the norm, I ran more than 5 miles since I've yet to master the tangents, but I only have my time for the 5 miles. I was thrilled to finish 15s per mile faster than planned and yet I didn't feel destroyed. My official finish time was 52:06, which is 10s per mile slower, but still a PR by almost 3 minutes. I'll take it! 

5 Miler Results:
  • garmin: 51:19 @ 10:15 pace
  • chip time: 52:06 @ 10:25 pace
  • clock time: 53:10
  • overall: 958 / 1436 (67%)
  • ag: 56 / 116 (48%)
  • gender: 414 / 771 (54%)


2 Miler: I had about 20 minutes between the 2 races, so I hung around the finish line with Jason for a bit. It was just enough time to catch my breath and regain my legs, eat 2 shot blocks, and drink some water before walking over to the start of the 2 milers about 5 minutes before the start. I noticed there was a huge crowd and no starting mat, so I lined up pretty close to start - within the first 5 rows. My goal was sub-20, which I thought would be hard to do on tired legs and no walk breaks, but the weather was just amazing and the adrenaline was still pumping from the 5 miler. 

My plan was to go out hard and try to hang on for dear life. When the horn went off, I took off at a hard pace. I looked at my watch and to my surprise I was averaging 8:30 for at least the first 1/2 mile. I knew I couldn't maintain that the whole time and slowed a bit, but kept pushing to stay sub-9. I ran the whole 2 miles, minus a few seconds at the water stop, and had to talk myself into staying strong and not walking the entire last mile. I just kept telling myself to keep pushing because the faster I ran the sooner I could stop :) As you can see from my splits, my pace was pretty consistent: 8:56 - 8:55. 

My official time was 18:04 @ 9:01 pace, which is a PR by almost 3 minutes, but my pace by my watch was 8:55. Furthermore, I finished 6th out of 65 in my age group (top 9%). I'm in complete shock!  I've come a long way since I toed the line at my first race 3.5 years ago. It was the Winter Park 2 Miler, which I ran in 28:54; today I finished almost 11 minutes faster than that. It's amazing how easy it is to run fast in cooler weather, and how big of a difference a little speed work and consistent training makes on performance. I really need to find 5K to run soon because if I can pull this off for 2 miles without any walk breaks, I can easily run my coveted sub-30 5K.

2 Miler Results:
  • garmin: 17:51 @ 8:55 pace
  • clock/chip: 18:04 @ 9:01.7 (there was no starting mat)
  • overall: 195 / 807 (24%)
  • ag: 6 / 65 (9% - holy crap!)
  • gender: 68 / 490 (14% - wow!)

Below is a screen capture of my PR collection so far from my running history spreadsheet ( Legend: orange = PR in 2011; light green = sub-12; dark green = sub-11; blue = sub-10. My goal is to have all dates in orange (except the 12K because I didn't run one this year), and the pace column be green or blue by year's end :) I'm well on my way!

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