Friday, July 22, 2011

So move your feet from hot pavement and into the grass

Holy July. I know most of the US is dealing with a horrible heat wave. I do not miss that. Not at all. July is also causing me to be on a total sports bender. First, the Women's World Cup. Now the Tour de France. With the time difference, I've been getting up pretty early to watch live. It's really hard to not see what happened (thanks interwebs) if I wait to watch a replay. Oh yea, and throw in some World Series of Poker (no really, I watched for hours) and by the end of the month I'm going to have a huge sports hangover.

In my own little sports world, I'm continuing with my Thursday night races. As I've stated, these are low key hand timed races so I usually don't know the actual results until several days after. Last week, the fast girls took the week off. It was also what I think is the harder direction, which I like less. I was 5th over all and first in my AG with a time of 34:10 (4.5 miles).
This week, I think I may have been 5th or 6th and I'm not sure if super fast 40 something was there, so AG unclear. 33:35.
I did, however, run what I thought was a smart race. This direction starts with a slight downhill. I know I've gone out too fast in the past. Sure enough I looked at my Garmin (which I generally don't race with but since these are really tempoish runs with no mile markers, I use it) and it said 6:44 pace. I don't run that fast so I slowed myself down. I took note of the women around me, a few high schoolers were off the front and 1 or 2 I thought would blow up (1 did). I was very close to a women who's bested me before so I know she's generally a bit faster, I decided not to stay with her. Just before mile 2, my friend Anna caught me. We we were both close to the other woman (who Anna has named flowy shorts). For a while we were all in a little pack. I decided to keep the pace steady and not react if shorts was going to go. We ran side by side for at least a mile. Then, she tucked in behind me. And I mean RIGHT behind me. I couldn't see her at all but I knew she was there. I was like, ok, I'll pace you for now. It's very difficult to try and be subtle about peaking back when someone is running behind you like this. With a mile to go I noticed she was drifting off a bit. I peaked back to see where her and Anna were. A little day light between all of us but I didn't want to take any chances. I didn't want either of them sneaking up on me. I keep the pace steady and decided at a half mile, which is a gradual incline, I'd go.
No more looking back if they were going to catch me, not much I could do about it at this point. I figured I had enough of a gap on them. I did have a funny moment when I was closing in on the guy in front of me with about 100m to go. He turned back, saw me, and of course not wanting to be chicked at the end, took off.
I crossed the line very satisfied in my tactics. Not a PR, but a smartly run race.
As far as over all standings for the series, I'm holding on to first in my AG. Though I missed 1 race and know I will miss 1 more. THere's a woman who's run all of them so she is just lurking behind me in points.

Since moving, I've obviously had to learn new running routes. I haven't really found any right out the door that I'm totally in love with. Where I live in SF is very hilly and there's lots of concrete. My body is not loving this. I'm developing a bit of a shin ache. It's not pain, it doesn't hurt when I run, it aches a bit after. I would like to not have this please. I'm icing and stretching (not as much as I should) where a dorky compression sleeve, and will throw a new pair of shoes into the rotation. I'm going to look at softer surfaces to run on and less hills, both a challenge as the trails near my house are hills. I hate crap like this.

This weekend is Ironman Lake Placid. Ya know, the Ironman I signed up for. I have moments of wishing I was there but the reality is, I'm glad I'm not. It's going to be hotter than satan's gstring and who wants that? Plus, I also would have had to, oh, get in shape. And fly across the country. And do the Ironman. So best of luck to my friends who are racing. If it's really hot, please be careful. That Lake Placid weather is crazy. All my other friends running and racing in the pits of hell, please do be careful. Hydrate, slow down, run on the dreadmill or take a few days off.


Girl In Motion said...

Great job, woman! Very cool that you're keeping your lead so far. Sucks about the shins though, knead those mother's with cross-friction (side to side). Really sorry that you don't have a swell run right out the door, that's a super pain in the butt. May something appear out of nowhere that works better than what you've got so far.

L.A. Runner said...

AWWWWEEESOMMMME RR! It amazes me how many people look behind them in a race. In college, I remember my coach SCREAMING at us, "Do NOT look back there! Run YOUR race!" Haha, I do, however, use the turns as a chance to glance to the right or left and catch a peek.

Take care of that shin! It seems like you are doing the smart things, though. :)