Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heritage Festival

Today, despite being July 3rd, was the Heritage Festival 5 mile race. I'd been second in this race 5 years in a row to 5 different people. My biggest fear is usually to finish worse than second, as I've made such a fuss about being second so much. I have been taking my running even less serious than usual at this point in the year, so my fear were especially heightened. Tim also decided to run, despite the statistical improbability of him beating me a 2nd time.

I felt tight on the line and was concerned with the number of singlets that were around me. There were lots of kids who had a lot to prove I think; a 4:20 sophomore from Colonial Forge, the VA Runner racing team, Joey Murray (Stafford grad), and John Piggott (admittedly not a kid). I didn't think it would be easy.

Jeff Poindexter, doing his best Bolata Asmeron impersonation, took most of the pace after the first half mile. A group of what felt like 10 of us went through the first mile in 5:11, probably 20 seconds behind Tim. Everyone around me seemed to be breathing a lot harder than I was. I was near the front of this group, trying to stay behind Poindexter; but he fell off as we went under the Rt. 1 bridge. I consciously tried not to separate yet, because of the first mile, but they were falling off. The 2nd mile was 5:16 and 3rd was 5:19. When I went through the 3rd mile and they said 15:45, I thought I might be able to run under 27 after all. Just two 5:30 miles. But I was noticeably thirsty, and the group with me was gone.

During the 4th mile I got a bad cramp and slowed a lot to 5:29. I'd asked Gene Martin and my cousin Ashley how far I had, but got conflicting answers. So turning onto Little Page I looked back and saw that Joey was really close! Probably no more than 20 feet! So I started to work harder and made sure that going down Charlotte I was giving it everything I could. I gapped him on that mile and finished in 26:36 after a 5:19. He ran 26:51 (Tim of course finished in 24:41, far ahead.)

I am really happy. Of course I was happy to get 2nd again (as opposed to worse than 2nd), and I was especially happy with my time and effort. I doubt I would have gone out as fast as I did without all the guys wearing singlets on the line setting it up fast, but I essentially did what I'd hoped to do at the SPCA race, but then did 2 more miles. It's the fastest I've run in July by 20 seconds, and my 4th fastest road time. I ran slightly faster at John Robbins in 2008 a week before a 2:32 at Shamrock when I was consciously taking it easy the whole race (and had an awesome beard!)

Tim and I cooled down on the course and I was fading the last mile or two so I had to pick up the pace just to get there. We went real slow though and missed the awards ceremony. I think it's the only race that does the overall awards first. I didn't stretch and got in the car immediately to drive to the beach.

That was at 9:33. I arrived at the beach at 5:45. I stopped for 30 minutes in Newport News to have lunch with David. I got to North Carolina at 2:00. It's probably the worst traffic I've ever experienced, definitely as an adult.

Garmin Connect - Warmup - Cool Down

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Race Photos