Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Frostbite Series Race Numero Uno -12k

Given my lack of motivation this off season, it seemed wise to sign up for some races. Despite the half-marathon in the race series, the St. Louis Track Clubs Frostbite Series sounded like a great idea. So, I signed up for it.

The series has a short course and a long course with the distances broken down below.

Yesterday was the first race in the series. Even though the race was at 9, I still woke up at 6:30 thanks to the pup. I got there at around 7:50 and picked up my number. Then I stood around and talked in the cold until about 8:40. After that, I changed and warmed up. Temperature wise, at around 50, it was warm for a December morning however, the wind made it feel cold.

It's pretty clear at big races when the start happens. There is a huge PA system or a cannon and everyone generally shuts up. The funny thing about small race starts is, unless you're at the front, you never know when the race is starting until you see people in front of you start to move. Which is exactly what happened. Then we were off.

The course is two loops and is mostly rolling hills. My goal was to keep my heart rate in the low 150s once it got up there and try to keep it from getting over 160 for too long on the uphills. I wanted to negative split the race but when I noticed my pace after the first loop I wondered if this was going to be possible. I felt decent until the start of the hill on the second loop, then the wind picked up. My pace dropped and my heart rate soared trying to fight the wind up the hill. At the top of the hill I thought I was done for with about 2 miles left. Then right before the downhill I decided to try and pick up the pace a bit. To my surprise I was able to knock about 30 sec/mile off my pace for the last 1.5 miles.

I finished in 1:08:51...not too bad. I was happy it was under 1:10 and I set a PR for a 12k. The PR was easy since I've never ran a 12k before.

Ever since one of the coaches in the tri club put on a running clinic several months ago, I took his advice and tried to change my running form. It looks like the results finally showed up in this race. My previous 10k PR was on a very flat course with similar weather conditions as Saturday. When I hit the 10k point in this race I was about a minute ahead of my 10k PR with 2k left. Even though I was faster than 10k PR pace, I still managed to pick up the pace by around 30 sec/mile with 1.5 miles to go.

I imagine I would have smashed my 10k PR if I were on the same course even though I haven't been doing any track work or interval runs since September.

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