Can you believe it, I actually made it to a race this morning!!!
I have not been to a race since January and thankfully none of the old race anxiety issues raised their ugly head this morning. I went there for a couple of reasons, but primarily to:
- Go and have fun – I know running your arse off in a race is not most people’s idea of fun – but I know that I am more than a little weird
- Relax a little bit and do something besides work around the house or over in NH
With those two things in mind (after a good night’s sleep), I headed to Bangor run in the inaugural Run, Walk or Roll for the Ronald McDonald House. I felt good, although before race time there were 4 trips to the bathroom to sit and ponder the issues of world peace and other b.s.
For an inaugural race I like how they did things, but like anything there were a few hiccups – there always are and I am sure those will get ironed out for next time.
So what were my goals for today’s race:
- Get to the starting line with a smile
- Finish without breaking anything
- Anything under 8:00 minute mile pace would be wonderful
That is what I sail last night before the race.
How did the race go?
Two days before the race, the course had to be changed to accommodate the waterfront concert that would take place in the afternoon per the request of Bangor P.D. and the changes didn’t do us runners any favors according to the RD. If anyone knows what Bangor, ME is like or most waterfronts is that as you leave that area it is usually uphill. Bangor is no exception.
Most of the time hills are not a big issue, after all where I live the hills are a part of each run. So the first part of the race was a series of “bumps” that are shorter or not as steep as I usually run. Unfortunately, my conditioning just isn’t ready for running faster up bumps at this point.
Gotta lose that 15+ pounds and that will make a huge difference going up those hills.
Those bumps over that first mile took some of the starch out of my sails. I hadn’t planned on going harder than 80 to 90% during the race and the bumps pushed that a little harder a couple of times. Just to get up the damn things and not have half the field pass me.
Once I got to the downhill section (just after the half-way point) – I’ll be honest I just wanted to get it over with and didn’t focus on picking up the pace. Which looking back with 20/20 hindsight was a big mistake and cost me probably about a minute.
Most definitely I am not in any kind of race shape. Running faster just wasn’t in the cards today, the last mile I just coasted along and didn’t try to do anything dumb at that point.
Overall, I “raced” smart, well let’s be honest, I went as fast as I was going to go today and totally surprised myself when I looked at my watch after finishing 24:05, with an official time of 24:06. I have a feeling that the course was a tad short, but even so I finished sub 8:00.
So I accomplished all of my pre-race goals!!!
I finished 6 of 30 or so and took the 50-59 age group. It was a nice way to end my time in the 50’s age group.
I don’t see me running another race before I turn 60.
The other reason that I went up to Bangor was that I sold my Garmin FR35, it just didn’t work for me and what I want a GPS watch for. I am not into the activity tracking, having the bluetooth connectivity to my phone for emails, notifications, etc. I just want/need a watch that tracks my running stuff and doesn’t look/feel like I am wearing a Dick Tracy watch on my wrist. So I will be looking for one that isn’t quite as large as my Garmin 310XT, but does a little more/better than the FR10 that I keep in the truck, i.e. connects to the Garmin Footpod for running on treadmill in yuchhy weather and doesn’t take all day to get GPS signal.
After the race
I was still feeling pretty good and I didn’t want to run down on the waterfront again. I really like running at City Forest, so I headed over there and did a lap around it.
I even wore my Hoka Infinite’s. Yes, they are snug on the right foot, but I can run in them and although I do notice the PF and Achilles a little more, but not too bad as long as I don’t do a steady diet of them. I thought it would be a good idea to change-up things from the WR20’s after running in them most of July – it was.
The run around the outer path was pretty uneventful, just a nice easy run, where I stayed focused on running and stayed around a 9:00 minute pace. City Forest’s 4.0 mile main loop is a groomed trail, so there aren’t too many surprises in store, but if you get to wool gathering too much you can quickly be eating some dirt, especially on the backside.
Just enough there that you have to keep focused. I think that is what I do like about it, it is an easy course, pretty flat for Maine and I have to stay in the moment.
After I got done there, I was ready to go home. Nothing really hurt that shouldn’t, I had run a sub-8:00 minute pace for a close to 5K race, sold a GPS watch that I didn’t like and then went for an easy trail run in the woods.
Overall a pretty damn great day of summer running.