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 Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report
OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:35 am 

In case you can't tell from the name of the race, this is a 40 and over only event! I wanted to run this race today in order to see if I'd improved at all in terms of VDOT level since my 5-miler back on 3/11. After the beautiful, sunny, 60 and 70 degree days we'd had thoughout the work week, this morning dawned gray and drizzly after a night of intermittent downpours. Still 50 degrees, though, which isn't common in upstate NY this time of year!

Warmed up with 1.3 miles of slow running and a couple of strides, took off my sweats, and made it to the starting line with just a few minutes to wait. Given the "elite" nature of the participants, and the unpleasant weather, there were probably only a couple of hundred people running this morning. I would have expected that an event like this would have attracted a mostly-speedy set of very fit older runners, and although there were certainly some quick folks in the bunch, there were a lot of runners who appeared to be part of some sort of "get back into shape" program. I lined up by judging the amount of clothing and the sorts of shoes people were wearing! Anyone wearing sweats I definitely put in front of me. Anyone wearing racing flats I put ahead of me. Anyone wearing decent trainers, shorts, but a long sleeve shirt under a singlet I had to guesstimate about!

The start was a moderately steep uphill for about .1 mile, followed by rolling hills throughout the out and back course. I carefully took it easy during that initial uphill, since I know I don't have the strength at the moment to charge up hills. Once we got to the top I started picking up the pace a bit, but tried to be careful not to get too carried away in that first mile. Hit the one mile mark in 7:04. I wasnt' really sure how I felt about that. Part of me was pleased that I'd been capable of running it that fast, while another part was telling me I'd blown it by going to fast. I was still feeling pretty comfortable, though, but seemed to be breathing harder than most of the folks around me.

My positioning at the start seemed to have been pretty good, because I only passed 8 or 10 people and only 8 or 10 passed me during the whole race. I didn't know what the course layout was before the race except that it finished where it started, so I just ran along wondering what was going to happen next. I started seeing the lead runners coming back at me on the other side of the road, and a minute or three later I reached a turn around point myself. I was pleasantly surprised to see a pretty large, maybe 15 or 20 second gap between me and the next runner behind me, with lots of runners still heading for the turn around point. I love races with hairpin turns for that very reason...you get to see that there really are people still behind you, and that you're not actually the very slowest in the race! I hit the 2 mile mark in 7:33. I hadn't sneaked a look at my watch in that 2nd mile, so didn't know how I was doing. I was a bit dissapointed to have slowed down so much, but realized that there was no way I could have maintained anything close to my first mile pace for the whole race.

By this time I was huffing and puffing pretty hard, and had to keep reminding myself that there was only a mile left to go and that I just needed to tough it out and not let myself slow. If I wasn't already at a 1:1 breathing rythym, then it was pretty darn close. My legs were feeling pretty much OK, too. It was clearly my aerobic capacity that was limiting my performance in this race. I pushed and pushed myself up a long but gradual uphill portion back to the 3 mile mark, and couldn't tell whether I was maintaining pace or had slowed to a >8:00 pace...I just seemed to have no perspective or feel for how fast I was going. I hit the 3 mile mark at 7:33 again and realized I could still turn in a pretty acceptable performance given my current fitness, and sprinted down the final .1 mile downhill that had been our starting up hill in 0:36 to finish in 22:48.

I didn't have any really concrete goals going into this other than to beat my last race in terms of VDOT performance. My 5-miler from three weeks ago was a 41.5ish performance, and I'd been hoping to break 23:00 today, or even hit 22:41 for a VDOT 43. I beat the first goal, came within 7 seconds of the second one, and think I could have made 22:41 on a slightly flatter course, so I'm pretty happy with my performance. And, depending upon what day I weigh myself and how well I behaved with respect to eating over the prior couple of days, I've lost 10 pounds and an inch off my waistline since New Years...which gains me access to many additional pairs of pants for work that I'd been unable to squeeze into since this time last year! Whoo hoo!

The race schedule's a little light around here this time of year, so that's probably it for me until another 5k at the end of April. Hmm, can I make it to VDOT 44 by then?...


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:23 pm 

Awesome race! I love the name... little blue pill. I would have guessed the same as you, that an over-40 race would attract the speedier segments of the running community.

OldManRunner wrote:
I lined up by judging the amount of clothing and the sorts of shoes people were wearing! Anyone wearing sweats I definitely put in front of me. Anyone wearing racing flats I put ahead of me. Anyone wearing decent trainers, shorts, but a long sleeve shirt under a singlet I had to guesstimate about!

I love it. What about the people in floppy hats and sweatshirts? Or jeans? None of those to see this morning?

It sounds like a really well-run race. Maybe a touch fast in the first mile, but you held on well and had juice for the finish. I love out-and-back courses for the same reason you mentioned, checking out the competition ahead and behind.

22:48-- very nice! That's a big VDOT improvement in a span of just three weeks! You must be psyched. Congrats on the weight loss as well. That probably helped add a little extra speed to your race too. Do you have any idea where you finished overall?

Good luck preparing for the next 5K and another speed bump... I look forward to the next report!


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:12 pm 

Oops! I meant that I lined up in FRONT of anyone wearing sweats! Boy were some people overdressed today! No jeans or floppy hats, though.

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:38 pm 

Way to go, on both the race and knocking off those 10 pounds!

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Hot Flashes / Little Blue Pill 5k Race Report Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:49 pm 

Good job OldManRunner! That's a great time for this early in the season. Sounds like you've been training well this winter. Do you still have more weight to lose? Nothing like improving your race performance just by losing a few pounds. Keep up the good work!

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