Monday, June 8, 2009

Fitch Mountain Foot Race, Bear Republic & Russian River Brewing!

pre-race escargot and the race start the next morning

the homestretch
at the town square after the race
yeah...we're kinda happy here. It's been a few years since my last visit!
Ben's beer belly after 15 different brews...
Russian River Brewing Co "after"
This past weekend, our neighbors Ben & Jamie Biggs joined us on our adult getaway
to Healdsburg & Santa Rosa. By "adult", I mean no kids. Hannah stayed at home with Abby's parents & the Biggs kids stayed with their grandparents. So...we had an entire weekend where there was no schedule to follow save for the 8 a.m. start time for the race...and the 11:00 opening of Bear Republic Brewing Co. next door. We stayed at the Flamingo resort & spa in Santa Rosa, had some wonderful food the evening before the race (I had a huge pan of paetta). After a quick stop at Russian River Brewing, where I had a hard time abstaining from their awesome brews, we headed back to the hotel for a quick soak in the spa before calling it a night (after Sportscenter of course). I knew we'd be going back to the brewery the following night, and I figured with my hip and Achilles being as pissed as they've been, that I'd need all the help I could get to have a shot at winning the race. My hypothesis, really based on nothing at all, was that I'd run 1 second slower for each sip of stronger ale, and a half second slower for each sip of the weaker stuff...so based on my 5 sips, I'd be working with a 4 second handicap.
After another quick soak at 6:30 to loosen up, we hit the road. It was a quick 15 minute trip to downtown Healdsburg. The day was shaping up to be near perfect running weather. I little warm if anything, but no rain and no wind. I had a goal for this certified 3k of anywhere from 9 1/2-10 minutes, based on how the injuries felt that day, and what exactly the race director meant by "rolling hills". Rolling in Nevada City is kinda scary. Rolling in Sacramento, not so much. The winning times had also been all over the place the last few years. The fastest I could find was 9:21, which I figured would be out of reach. I'd run a 9 flat about 9 years ago, but haven't really been close to that since. Other years the winner came across in 9:42, 9:50's, 10+, and one year in over 11 minutes. Suffice to say I really didn't know what to expect. Even the accompanying 10k ranged from 33-37 minutes. We started at a good clip, and after the initial burst wore off and people found their pace, I was able to take the overall lead. It wasn't long til the 3k turned right and the 10k went straight. Right before this turn and right after were the hardest part of the 3k...a two block climb (really not a climb, but an uphill grade). The rest had about a half dozen turns, but was pretty flat, with a slight downhill in there somewhere, since the start and finish were near each other. No mile splits, but I'd guess about a 5:02-03 based on the finish time. I snuck a peek to see who was chasing around a couple turns, and while they weren't too far, they weren't close enough to make me too nervous, so my goal became to try and hold pace til the 9 minute mark, and then give whatever I had left. As I made the last turn and hit the home stretch, the clock was in the low 9's, so I tried to kick for a block to get under 9 1/2. I didn't know til after my 20 minute cool-down that they officially gave me a 9:29 (equivalent of a 10:09 2-miler). 2nd (Danny Aldridge-a 52 year old who ran sub 14 minute 5ks in his prime!) came in soon after in 9:52, with third coming in at 10:00 (Don...we would talk extensively about brewing & running before he had to leave to check on his IPA at home!) The 10k champ would come in a few seconds under 36 minutes, and won easily. Ben and I had an amazing breakfast pizza from a bakery across from the start, while Jamie & Abby had a pedicure scheduled. At 11...I mean beer o'clock, we were the first eager customers for lunch & brews (15 samplers & a couple glasses) at Bear Republic, which currently sits as my 7th favorite U.S. Brewery! After a day at the pool, and some pretty embarrassing tennis played by Abby, Ben, & myself, we headed back to Russian River for dinner, dessert, and another 14 samplers & 4 pints. Both of these places have several high quality brews and a few that'll blow your socks off! A nice hometown race, great food and great drink...now that's the way to spend a weekend.
A side note - after 2 road races and a couple climbs, I do believe the Nike Lunaracer is the best racing flat I've ever owned. That's saying a lot, since certain parts of my feet always hurt to the point where no shoe is comfy, but they fit like a glove, are light enough for 5k or shorter, and cushioned and comfy enought that I'd run a marathon in 'em if I was in shape to do so. Highly recommended, especially if you find 'em for less than the $100 retail. AND...
Score a point for Macmillan's...a training website. You can type in your time at one distance and get equivalent times for other popular distances. When I was healthier last year, times lined up fairly close for 5k-marathon, but today's comparison is just uncanny. 9:29 3k is the exact equivalent of a 16:32 5k...which I ran (to the second) in my last race!

6 comments:

SnowLeopard said...

Awesome win Chris! I'm so glad your injuries aren't holding back your times too much. :) I saw a therapist today, and it turns out that my achilles are way too tight, and I have to work on those too...

Congrats!

Peter Lubbers said...

OK, so I am expecting you to run leg two this weekend in sub-45!

slowrunner77 said...

yeah...only if i can run it backwards. THAT would be fun...
i'm taking today off before resuming training tomorrow.

HiAltDawg said...

Getting Spencer from Fallon's Animal Shelter makes up for missin' DBL Rocket. Good run, but the TLD needs to heal up and fast

wife said...

You were awesome as always:) I love you!

Robert Warner said...

Way to go Chris! Great win.
I tested your "sip per second" theory and, unfortunately, it works.