Sunday, March 09, 2008

My Road Racing Debut

Not only have I been running at fun runs organized byPacers Running Store but I decided a few weeks ago to enter The St Patrick's Day 8K race in DC. Yup, I run road races now. I really like running for many reasons: it keeps me in some resemblance of shape, it keeps me from getting fat, I've met some great people, it gets me outside and about, and I needed a new hobby since skiing here is so so (well, okay gas prices keep me inside the Beltway area more than anything).

Today was my road racing debut, I figured I'd start with a fairly flat, easy course since those of you who know me can attest: I am no speed demon or endurance freak. Runs are often exercises in survival for me, but that's cool. I run more and they won't be, provided my back holds up. I had lots of pre-race jitters, which I guess is natural for a first race. Standing outside when it was quite cold and windy made me say, oh crap I'll be lucky to finish this five mile jaunt in under an hour! Especially if I have to run into the wind!

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. The wind was only in my face at the very end. Yeah! I was actually passing people! Yeah, that doesn't happen at Fun Run! (Truth be told many Fun Runners are training for marathons, I'm just trying to lose some pounds - smileyface) Once I started, I realized two wicking shirts underneath my green, urged to wear by group leader, fleece may have been one too many to wear while running, but I wasn't too hot overall. I wasn't even really tired until the very end, and didn't limp to the finish line.

Final Time: 47 minutes 39 seconds, a 9:36 mile clip. I'm quite encouraged by it, all my friends that told me I would be fine were right. If the Champion Chip that all racers tie to shoelaces doesn't start recording time until I cross a mat with sensors underneath, my time was probably 20-30 seconds better since I was at the back of the starting line. Add that it was cold and nasty windy but I did okay, and I'm going to run some more races. I'm already signed up for Ukrop's 10K in Richmond next month and am thinking of adding two more 10Ks in May, one in Winchester, VA and another in Arlington. I can't wait to do some more running!


dadman said...

I applaud you for getting out there an muscling through it, Jeff.



Bill-DC said...

Me too. I got exhausted reading about it all :)

maryjanejeff said...

You'll really get tired of this, as will I:

Call me nuts, but in early May, 3-4 to be exact, I'm considering doing back to back 10Ks, Saturday morning in Winchester, Sunday in Ashburn. But I have time to think about that.

Another funny thing I saw yesterday was a group of runners all wearing replicas of vintage Celtics jerseys with all the old C's. Havlichek, McHale, Parish, Heinson, Cousy, D.J., you name em. Fitting seeing as the race started and ended 5 blocks from Red's Statue, which we passed twice on the course.

Mid-major talk: at the half, Elon is hanging in there against Davidson.

maryjanejeff said...

Tired from reading this, that is. :)

Bill-DC said...

No, no not the post. Just visualizing the run with wind and cold and 47 minutes of it exhausted me :)

maryjanejeff said...

Yeah, without a doubt the cold and winds were a factor. Although I was lucky to only have to run into the wind for a short period of time, the conditions likely added a minute or two to my time.

maryjanejeff said...

Well, tonight I ran a much faster pace than I normally do. Now I have the confidence that I can run more than a bit faster than I have been. I finished ~ 230 out of 375 in my age group, I want to improve to where I consistently finish in the middle of my group.

The bad, rolled my ankle quite badly on Commonwealth Avenue, outside of ankle hurts quite a bit. Thank heavens I have plans Wed and Fri for Caps games so I can rest a bit and not over-do it.

maryjanejeff said...

I may have actually finished in 45:13 9:06 pace instead of 47:39 9:36. I didn't realize it took almost 2:30 to get to the official start line with the mat and sensors.

Today I ran a 5K in 25:22, an 8:03 pace. You could probably knock 5-10 seconds off that since I started near the back of a crowd of ~ 400. After spin class that followed, I didn't want to move.