Monday, June 10, 2013

Real runner?

The Humane Society 5K race was great. I set a new PR of 24:05. I’ve run this course many times and it’s fairly flat except for two small hills at the very end. I thought I slowed down on the hills, but apparently I did not. I got caught behind some slower runners at the start, but I passed a lot of fast runners (all guys) toward the finish. A time of 23:something is in reach. Wow.

I managed to beat this 15-year-old at the finish line by one second!
Sunday I decided to do a very grueling 12 mile run. I live in the hills now and no matter where I run, there are hills. If I run west, I have some moderate hills. If I run east, I have some monstrous hills. Well, I ran east. And it was hard. I did pretty good for the first six miles. That’s because there was more downhill than uphill. The return trip was the opposite, of course. More uphill than downhill. One of those hills went on for 2.75 miles and qualified as a hillclimb of 3 on MapMyRun. By mile nine, I was exhausted. Halfway up this one hill, I decided to walk and drink the last of my sports drink. I walked for about 30 seconds to give my legs a break, then started running again. My pace on the steep hills was terrible - 12s and 13s. I probably could have walked it faster. At mile 11 it was all downhill and I found some energy to get back to a reasonable 8:30. What a run. My total time was 1:58:55 with an average pace of 9:54.

My reason for running this hilly course was to see if I have any business running the infamous Vestal XX next Saturday. I have waffled back and forth on this race. It is a 20K race and is the toughest race in the area. The first half is mostly uphill and the second half is mostly downhill.

I graduated from Vestal high school and back then, this was a race for “real runners”. It still is. There are no walkers or casual 5K runners in this race. Am I a real runner?

After yesterday’s practice hill run, I compared my course to the Vestal XX course. Guess what? My course was much harder. The Vestal XX doesn’t have a single hillclimb rating and the last half is much easier than the first half. My last half was almost twice as hard as my first half. The Vestal XX is a half mile longer than what I ran, but I should still be able to complete it in under two hours.

The preregistration deadline is June 12th. If I put my application in the mail today, I should be good to go.

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