Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pikes Peek Race Report, Etc

I'm not sure how much there is to say about Pikes Peek besides how fast it was. The wind was blowing in the direction we were running as well as the course already being fast. Despite having a few uphills, most of the course is downhill, and produces lightning fast times. Joe and I(who live literally next to the finish of the race) drove the opposite direction on the pike to the Sahdy Grove Metro where the race started. We were both looking for PRs today, for him 30:30 and for me somewhere in the low 31's. The wind was powerful...but then we noticed that it was going to be a tailwind in the direction we were going to run. Times will be fast today. I met friend and teamate Dave Miller and his fiance Erika for a warm-up before heading to the start line. I felt really good on the warm up and knew I was ready to race. The race start was delayed 10 minutes for some unknown reasons, and many fast and super fast runners showed up. I also saw Rebecca, who was shooting for a PR.

The start was superfast and I sprinted and found myself(only for a moment) the lead white guy on the tail of all the 28 min Africans. Haha, this may happen one day, but lets be realistic for now, Chris.

After the first few 100 meters, the race got more realistic and I settled into a rhythm with several other white guys ahead of me/with me. I saw Joe pass me and he nudged me a "lets go." He was haulin'. His first mile would be a 4:38. Too fast for me. Dave Berdan, Elite American 2:14 Marathoner Jeffrey Eggleston was up there. I was definitely one of the top white guys however. It's great seeing these improvements. As I get faster, I am closer to the front, and I begin to realize how much hard work and consistent training pay off.

But I also run even, and that's where I wanted to stay, I did NOT want to go out faster than 5:00.

First mile: 5:00.

Mike Wardian just ahead. Dirk De Heer and Dave Burnham passed me...but I focused on keeping them in sight. Even Wardian was still in my sight.

There was no 2nd mile(and I really get annoyed when races do this because I have NO IDEA where I'm at until 3.

Then Dickson Mercer(2:29 marathoner and like me, has also run 1:10 in the half marathon) tucked in right behind me and I acknowledged him and gave him encouragement. He's a great guy and a great runner(really knows the marathon well)

3 Mile was on target: 15:05. Perfect. 5K was 15:36. My PR in the 5K is 15:26. This is obviously soft now.

I caught several runners before mile 3, including a few Africans who tried to hang on with my pace. I hammered. Damn it feels good to be fit. I dropped them. I also lost sight of Dickson but had a feeling he wasn't far behind. I knew he was running a good race. I could feel the other runners I left behind straining. I looked ahead...

Dave Burnham and Dirk De Heer of Georgetown Running Co. were in my sight. I focused on catching Dave and closing the gap.

Mile 4: 20:08. 5:02 pace. Still perfect pacing.

As I approached mile 5 I definitely noticed I was closing on Dave Burnham.

I PRed at Mile 5: 25:18.

Before Mile 6 I saw Jerry Outlaw going nuts and cheering. It helped. I tried to keep closing on Dave Burnham but I was going to run out of real estate to catch him.

At Mile 6 I saw Jake Klim(aka the Red Fox) cheering and I sprinted the last .2 to close and finish in a whooping time of 31:26 (5:03 per mile average), good for 23rd place. 23rd place! Geez! This race was competitive! What's also amazing-the race didn't even feel that hard. It's not like I could have run faster, but longer. I feel like one day this could be my half marathon race pace(1:06). Key phrase "one day" though-that's not tomorrow.

Although not totally happy, Joe ran a PR of 30:40 and is in great shape. The day after the race he and I went for an awesome 12 miler on the C and O Canal and were hitting 6:20s like it was a walk. I looked over to him in the middle of the run and said, "We are in awesome shape." He nodded.

I am now planning out my final attack for my Spring Racing Season: the 5000m. It's time to get on the track. The race is on May 14 at Swarthmore College and collegians/club runners compete. The winning time is very fast usually(last year it was sub 14:00 minutes), and there will be plenty of runners for me to compete with. I have made a full circle from January-May 2011. January was the start of 2011 with the indoor 5000m in 15:26. Now I am finishing it up with an outdoor 5000m. What can I run/what's the goal? I'm going to do some speed workouts targeting the 5000m for the next weeks leading up to the race, so those will tell me, but I don't see why I cannot run under 15:00 minutes. I would say with some more development on my speed even as fast as 14:45 is surely a possibility.

The Marathon is also on my mind for the fall...I am long overdue for a PR.

1 comment:

  1. Upon inspecting the National Weather Service log for that morning, it became apparent that the wind was coming directly from the west, not the north. The Race has primarily a North to South trajectory. In summation, the wind was more to the side than behind.