Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indian Lake Loop 5-Miler

With a really good race about six weeks ago, I was feeling optimistic about the race. I had some really good recent workouts and was beating Miles in some of them, who is a 16:30ish type guy. I've also started doing my long runs with the Hendersonville Running Club, which I've enjoyed. It's a group of 100+ runners on all ability levels, so there is always someone to run with. People think they have to spend tons of money on a personal trainer or gym membership to become more fit but the Hendersonville Running Club is free and the roads are always open.

The weather was perfect for racing....about 40 degrees without any wind. When the race was about to start, I took my spot behind the starting line and tried to scope out the competition. The only person I saw was Charlie Jordan, who is a really good high school runner at Station Camp High School. I frequently coach my runners against him and he's Miles biggest rival, so I was looking forward to racing against him.

When the gun went off, Charlie shot out into the lead and I followed just behind. After a few hundred meters, I took the lead and noticed there was a guy right beside me. I tried to do some random surges to see how he responded and he hung just off my shoulder. We hit the mile in 5:10, which was way too fast for my ability.

When I know I'm not in great shape or am doubting my ability to beat someone, I like to sometimes throw on my best poker face and do sporadic pick-ups or surges to either appear stronger than I am or to mentally break the person. Unfortunately, I couldn't drop the guy and I noticed it was someone I've sporadically seen at Moss Wright Park and every time I see him, he's flying. We hit three miles at 16:40, which was fast in itself but with a 5:10 first mile, it meant I was fading fast.

I fell behind in the fourth mile and continued to fall back with every minute. I would hope I could stay close enough to make a last rally but I was just flat out running out of gas.

I hit the line in 27:41 to finish 2nd. While I would have like to win because it was a low-key local race and I got beat by an out of town guy, I'm pretty happy with the result because it shows I've consistently gained fitness over the last two months. The course also had a lot of gradual climbs, so it most likely isn't a PR type course. Since cross country season is over, I'll have more time to run some more and continue to increase my fitness. I've been running about 40 miles a week or so but I'd like to progress that to 70 or more a week and add in some tempo runs to help my gas tank. I'm going to do a 5k in a couple of weeks, so hopefully that will be another break-out run for me.

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