Monday, February 15, 2016

2016 Dirty Love 10k Trail Race

This was the third time I did the Dirty Love 10k. Each year, the conditions have been different. This year, it was pretty damn cold (1:16). Two years ago, it was snowing the entire time (1:32). Three years ago, it was warmer and the trail was in decent condition (1:20).

Course: 6.2 miles, trail, 542 feet of elevation gain
→ A lot of elevation for Ohio!

Weather: 10-12 degrees, sunny, no wind
→ Lack of wind was KEY.

Conditions: ~4 inches of snow on the trail, mostly packed, with some icy areas, nothing too treacherous

Gear: Brooks PureFlow 2 with screws, Injinji socks, CEP compression sleeves, Nike tights with windproof panel, thin Brooks tank, Craft half-zip, Nike Flash jacket, Mizuno Breath Thermo gloves with Sugoi windmitts, Nike hat, Buff
→ I was slightly overdressed. A lighter half-zip or a lighter jacket would have been perfect. Craft half-zip is THE.SHIT.

Time: 1:16:23 (old course PR: 1:20:14), 12:19 pace
→ According to my Garmin, I ran 6.1 so my pace was 12:32.

Heart rate: 172 average, 189 max
→ I didn't look at my HR at all during the run. According to the data, I hit my max several times.

I've been doing heart rate training and really trying to stick with it for four of six weekly runs. That means I've been running really slowly most of the time with the aim of keeping my HR under 150. That gets a little tricky with the dog running (and group running), and I feel like I'm cheating some because I know the reason my HR ends up in range is because dogs stop and sniff and poop a lot.

Let's back up to Saturday. I got up early, ran 3.6 miles slowly on the treadmill, headed out to breakfast (one big pancake & bacon!) and then went to Aaron's dad's house to watch the Olympic Trials. Later we went out to dinner at Old Prague where I had weiner schnitzel and dumplings for dinner. I had two beers throughout the day and a Nuun before bed. I went to bed around 11.

Race morning: The alarm went off at 6:45 and I got up around 7 am. I ate some cereal with almond milk (corn and wheat Chex mix) and drank a caffeinated Nuun. We got on the road around 8, so we got to North Chagrin Reservation around 9. We had a half-hour to get our bibs, warm up and use the bathroom before the race start at 9:30. After our warmup -- the run to/from the shelter to get our bibs -- I settled on wearing the PureFlow 2s with screws. Good decision. About 20 minutes before the race start, I ate a lemonade Roctane.

The race itself: The way it starts -- run across a field into the woods, cross a bridge and head uphill -- really puts you in position for a while. I stayed toward the back, and although it was frustrating, it was probably a good decision. It didn't leave me gassed for the rest of the race. But it did leave me with an incredibly slow first mile.

It starts to spread out, but I still had trouble jockeying for position. I'm not very aggressive and tend to let others set the pace. By halfway, I was over that and ready to move on. I spent the first few miles with two other women ahead of me, seemingly running stronger than I. By the fifth mile or so, I passed them -- for good. I was solo for a decent amount of time, but whenever I came upon someone, I was able to pass. Perhaps this means I took it too easy, but it felt good to feel so strong and to pass so many people. I don't think I was passed in the last two miles at all, although in the last mile, I could hear someone on my tail. When I passed two other people, that made it difficult for that person to get to me; he/she never did.

Mile 1: 15:59
Mile 2: 12:42
Mile 3: 12:05
Mile 4: 11:43
Mile 5: 11:51
Mile 6: 11:14
Nubbin: 8:06 pace

So clearly I wasn't speedy! But it was still better than before. Afterward, I had hot chocolate and two cookies, and then Aaron and I hit Five Guys on the way home. Great morning. Great way to start Valentine's Day!

I am just amazed at how good I felt throughout the race. I think the heart rate training is working! I haven't been following a program, just kind of making up my own, but I think running four days at 150 or less and then doing workouts or races for the other two runs is working. This is encouraging me to stick with it even when I have to run (so much!) slower than my friends.

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