Monday, January 16, 2012

January Thaw 4.5 Mile Race Recap (and a PR!)

Jen and I ran in the January Thaw 4.5-Miler last Saturday. I have to say I was a little nervous going into this race. It was a new distance in racing for me, but of course that means an automatic PR! I think it also had to do with racing against with Jen. Sounds a bit silly, because I love having others I know in the race, particularly someone who is faster and can make me push myself.

It was definitely cold with temps in the 20s, but the wind wasn't too strong. I dressed in my long sleeve C9 base layer shirt with my Brooks vest and with the exception of my frozen feet, I was very comfortable.
Jen and I staying warm before the start.
Jen and I did a quarter mile warm-up to test out the road conditions. There ended up being some pretty slick spots but in all traction was decent. The race director called for everyone to head to the start, did the announcements, and we were soon off.
Synchronize watches!
Fairly decent form...we'll come back to this topic.
I was hoping to run an eight-minute pace. Imagine my surprise when we hit mile one at 7:40! At that point we both felt like we were going slower, but I felt good. We had yet to get to the long, and I mean mile long, gradual hill. Speaking of this hill, Jen did a great job keeping up the pace, but I had to slow a bit. Somehow I missed the second mile marker, but averaging the third mile split they came out to a 7:55 each.

Here's Jen right before mile three:

And me:

And now I have to address my form. Oh.My.Goodness. Horrible. Jen's dad, as well as David Colby Young who shot these awesome photos, took video of the race. The above picture doesn't look terrible, but in a sequence or in video I am now aware I do some crazy shoulder twisting, arm thing. Particularly when I am tired and I'm more focused on sucking wind than my running form. Instead of keeping my arms to the side and go forward and back, I hold them tight to my chest and go side to side.

Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:
Jen approaches at 3:00, then there is a guy in orange, then me around 3:20.

This is what Jen's dad captured:

What the?
Have you ever seen this video? I cringe now that I know I belong in it. 

I'm borderline dandy...

Anywho, now that I've covered that...back to the race. Once mile three arrives there is a long downhill, a little more uphill and before I knew it, the finish line was near! And my finish time?

I was shooting for 37 minutes which was just under Jen's time from last year. Speaking of Jen's time, she PR'd the course by almost three and a half minutes! Yay Jen! You rock!

So the final results:
7:44 pace (which is only three seconds slower than my 5K PR pace on clear roads)
12th out of 31 overall
4th out of 13 females

I'm not sure how many of the 13 were in my age group, but it's definitely competitive in the 30's age bracket. I at least know that the top four of us are all 34-37 years of age.

We also got to meet up with another Maine blogger! 

Harold blogs over at A Veteran Runnah and you should go check out his story, it's a good one. This was his first race in many years. Congrats on your re-entry to the racing world, Harold!

So, overall it was a great day and now I have a new PR under my belt, my third PR in as many races. That streak will keep growing by default too, since my next two races are new distances to me (ten miles and a half marathon).

Photos and video courtesy of Maine Running Photos.

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