Sunday, March 16, 2008

Baywatch, Alaska (or Top o' the Mornin' 5k)-March 2008

You’ll get the title before the end.
I ran in the Top o’ the Mornin’ Fun Run 5k at the Sparks Marina yesterday. Originally the forecast has called for a mostly sunny 29/57, but as the snow hit the valley floor on Saturday, you could pretty much count on another cold one.
For reasons unknown, both my friend Turi & I were both under the impression the race was Saturday. I’d done my easy 4 mile trail loop Friday morning, and was planning on picking up Turi at his house at 7ish the next morning. Luckily for us, my wife’s work brought her out to Sparks, and she went by the rec department to pick up my packet & number, to avoid having to do it race morning. I received an email from her later that day asking "Why did I think the race was Saturday?" "Why wouldn’t you think that?" being my response. Suffice to say we got it figured out. I ran another easy 4 miler (on the same trail which was now covered in fresh snow) on Saturday, eating it about a mile in a bloodying my already fragile right leg…wouldn’t want to run a race even mostly healthy, it may cause the universe to implode!
We showed up to register Turi about an hour before. We ran into Mike Scarborough (who’d be running) & Joerg (who’d be timing). It ended up being about 27 degrees when we got there, and about 30-32 while we raced. The map was a little confusing, and not to scale, so we did a 2 mile warm-up covering the parts of the course we were unsure about. The course went around the Marina (similar to the 2 mile Turley Trot course with a slight change due to construction) and did an additional 1.1 miles in the surrounding neighborhood. I half expected the course would be short, as the old two-mile course was about 1.94, and I turned out to be a regular Nostradamus. I started a little overzealously, and hit the mile mark (actually .90) in 4:35 (= to a 5:07 mile). My goal time was 16:30, which is just a hair under 5:20 per, so I backed off just a little. Around a turn I saw that Mike was in second & a ways back, so I tried to settle into the correct pace to run my goal time. Since the course was a little different than what I’ve run in the past, I didn’t take a 2 mile split (it may have been off anyway), but I still felt I was running close to goal pace. After our lap, we headed into a residential area, and a surprisingly noticeable 1-2% grade for a tenth of a mile or so. After a culd-a-sac turnaround, I was able to make up lost time by heading down that grade. As I hit the roughly quarter mile straightaway, I realized I had a shot at breaking 16:00 (and that my short course prediction would be proven right), so I picked it up to about 5 flat pace for the last 40-50 seconds, and came across the line in 15:54. The course was a very accurate 3.00 miles, just not a 5k…so taking that into account, I still ran 4 seconds under my goal time, with the equivalent of a 16:26. Mike came in next in 18:01, and Turi was 10th across the line in 20:18. Unknown to me until today, my age group was 21-30 instead of the usual 19-29, so Turi and I were in separate age groups. Unknown to both of us was that the gentleman that finished 3 seconds in front of Turi was the 31-40 AG winner! As far as the subject line of this email, as a young, blonde co-worker of Abby’s was finishing, someone from the Bill & Connie radio show (who were emceeing the event) announced "Baywatch Alaska!" as she was dressed more for skiing than a road race. Good stuff.
As to not break tradition (after a yoga class), Turi, Abby & I headed to Silver Peak Brewing Co. for lunch, as we had heard rumors of a limited release Bourbon barrel-aged Stout (and a Belgian wheat wine). I am happy to report that the stout was one of the best beers (of any style) that I’ve ever had, and Silver Peak’s best offering to date!
Overall, I am very encouraged that despite lingering heel & hip issues, that my last 4 races…a 30k, 8k, marathon, and 3 miler, were all about = to each other, which is a little unexpected given the wide range in distance (3-26.2 miles) and pace (5:18-6:11). Next up is the Daffodil 10k, Spring Run 10k, & Salmon Run 11k, before dropping back down in distance. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in a couple long runs, and hills, since I’ve only proven that I can run flat & rolling courses, and things will get hillier starting next month.
Happy running!!!

1 comment:

SnowLeopard said...

Dude, Chris. I SO WISH I COULD HAVE GONE WITH YOU GUYS! I’m super jealous, a run, Yoga, and lunch sounds fabulous… Keep it up Speedy!