A little out-of-band post to recap yesterday’s race, again originally posted on The Starting Line forum at the Runner’s World website:
While I’ve run longer before, 4 miles was a new race distance to me, so I got to go in knowing that I was going to have a PR, though my target in my head was sub-50:00. Temps were in the low 40s and the threatened precipitation did not materialize. I met up with my teammates and we chatted, warmed up, and took a lap around the block to warm up.
As we were getting ready to warm up, Lori [a friend from the forum] arrived and gave me the first of many energy boosts. She was also out there cheering me on at about the 1/10th mile mark, as we passed back through the start a little over a mile later, again at mile 3, and finally at the finish. It was great hearing her cheer me on, and it definitely gave me a lift.
I went out with the pack, and when RunKeeper chimed in with my pace at the half-mile mark, I realized that I was way ahead of pace and slowed it back down a little so I wouldn’t burn out. A couple of my Monster Runners teammates were run/walking, and I passed them after we passed by the start/finish area at about mile 1.25 when they started their walk. Then they passed me when they started running again, then I passed them, and so on. We must’ve passed each other 8 times or so during the race. Each time, we’d encourage each other. I passed them for the last time around the 3 mile mark or so, and I beat them by about a minute.
Since I was concerned about being too far ahead of pace and possibly burning out, I walked through the water stop just before mile 2. That was the only walking that I did all race. That may be one of the things that I’m proudest about. After about mile 2.2, we started heading back upriver. As we were going along that street, a guy pulled out of a parking lot and headed past us. He shouted out to my run/walk teammates (who were walking at the time) “Get it in gear, girls!” I pulled up next to them and said “Said the guy driving a car.” I think that broke their reaction to the heckler and picked up their spirits a bit.
As we made the turn at mile 3.25, we hit the uphill. It wasn’t a horrible hill, but at that stage of the race it was a bit difficult. I actually leaned into it and made good time up the hill. I was able to encourage a few other people going up that hill. In the meantime, despite the effort, I had gas left in the tank. At each mile marker, I was in the 12:00 range, so I knew that I had a great shot at breaking the 50:00 barrier. As we rounded the last corner with about .4 left, I started building speed. By the finish line, I had actually accelerated to a 7:28 pace! I finished in 48:57 chip time, so I got a nice shiny new PR. I will definitely take that number!
Other race thoughts posted later:
As I passed the start/finish line at around the 1.25 mile mark, I remember thinking “Good. Now I won’t be passed by any elites!”
As I got to around .2 miles left or so, the next song shuffled up from my playlist was a slower beat and not as energizing as I wanted. I quickly pulled the phone out and advanced to the next song, which was more what I was looking for. Then I kicked it in gear and motored for home.
People stopping before the last turn to take pictures in front of the Albany Pipe & Nipple building. At the pub afterward, some female teammates who did suggested that they needed one of the guys in the picture so that they would have had nipple AND pipe in the photo.
It was a really great race, and the organizers did a great job putting it on. I’m looking forward to running it again next year.