Sunday, August 31, 2008

I believe in rebirth, for I have seen the cemetery twice

So today was a tune up race. I switched my schedule around so I wasn't doing my long run the day before a race. I did that on Friday. I figured oh good,  a nice 4 mile cross country race. This should be good, I should nail this one. 
I was hoping for sub 8, maybe just around 8 minute pace.
I was wrong.
Loren and I headed up to Van Cortlandt park for the race. I love running up there, I love cross country. I do not love the 4 mile course that has us see Cemetery hill.
I much prefer the back hills, maybe because I am so much more familiar with them.
As we started, I kept telling myself to hold back and stay in control. Since this race starts on a flat straight away, people go bombin out like their pants are on fire, get into the wood, and fall apart. I kept it together. I ran my first mile just under 8. Then I got to the hills and, well, honestly, I dont know what happened. I didn't expect to run it all at that pace, I knew I'd loose a bit on the up hill but I'm a really good, fearless, downhill runner. I was hittin sub 7 coming out back to the flat. 
Again, I tried to stay in control on the flat part of the course. I knew something wasn't right when I HR stayed below 190. If I'm really pushing, I should see 190-194. I never got outa the 180s and I felt like I was really giving it a go.
2nd time up the hill, still wasn't feeling it. Granted, I have not done hill specific training this year though I have done a lot of hilly running. Once I got to the top, I tore down it again disappointed I was no where near my goal time. I just went all out out of the woods and back to the flat. My last mile i eeked out in 7:59.
When I crossed the finish line is 32:47, I was pissed. I had run a better 4 miler a few weeks ago after I ran 6 miles before. A woman from VCTC, who've I've had a friendly rivalry with for years, finished right ahead of me. She turned and said good race, not bad for this course on such a hot day. I was still so mad at myself I just sorta grumbled.
I found Loren, who ran sorta on a whim to see how she did.
She casually said 3rd. I said oh well it's a tough age group and she said no, overall.
So at least someone had a good race.
We had pizza and talked about why I didn't have a good race. I think it comes down to being dehydrated, it was hot (though not humid or it would have been so much worse) and since my HR wouldn't go up where I know it will go, being tired. Or maybe that's a hill of beans and I just had a bad day.
I'm over the big hump of my training. I can see the light to marathon day to the point of knowing all the long runs I have left. I know I'm tired so I'm just going to try and let this one go and have faith that come race day, I'll be ready for my 3:45.

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