Wednesday, July 6, 2011

ARR Summer Series 4 Miler Race Report!

Running off-distance races is always fun because you always have an automatic PR. 8K race? PR!! 10 mile? PR!! 1 mile beer run? PR!! But, while it is an automatic PR, whenever I run a race, I always have a goal. This weekend, to celebrate the 4th of July holiday, I got a picture of “Uncle Sam” pointing to my junk tattooed on my belly I ran a 4 mile race. . . . and I crushed my goal.

Time: 24:58
Pace: 6:14
Place: 28 out of 871
AG Place: 7 out of 35 (Male 25-29)
Average Heart Rate: 201 bpm (Max was 217!!)

The race this weekend was the third race in a series of summer races that my wife and I signed up for. Normally I’ll jog them with her, but because this one was a strange distance, I wanted to actually race it to have an accurate idea of how well I could do. Honestly, I’ve been so focused on long distance training that I’ve let my speed training relax a bit. I’m probably close to my current 5K pr speed, but I’d have to focus on that distance for a month or so to get back into 100% race form.

Loads of runners milling about in the heat

The race itself provided some really good competition to run against. The summer series brings out a lot of the local college track clubs and normal fasties that want to relive their cross country days gone by and blast by the middle aged guys/gals. As such, combined with the cheap price, you can expect not only shorty shorts galore, but also around 900 runners at nearly every pace.

My goal going in was to run a sub 26:00. I figured that I could hold 6:30s for a few miles during tempo running so doing so during a 4 mile race shouldn’t have been a stretch.

Mile 1: I’ll bet this is what it feels like to be a sardine
Because there were SO many racers and the race was essentially on a bike path, the start of the race was crowded – really crowded. It felt like a combination of salmon trying to swim upstream and that sperm scene in the movie Look Who’s Talking. The race directors did all they could by getting people to line up based on their pace, but inevitably there are the 7 year old kids who insist on lining up at the start, blasting through the first half mile, and then slowing down to a more normal pace. Mile 1 pace: 6:13.

Mile 2: Whoa, it is humid. Really really humid
By mile 2, the crowd had thinned out and I had elbowed my way past all of the 7 year olds. I settled into my 5K pace + 10 seconds or so which I estimated was around 6:15. It was around mile 2 that I realized that the humidity was in full force and I was going to be a hot mess by the time the race ended. I don’t carry any water for races less than 10k (water takes around 30-45 min to “soak in”), so all I could do was continue on. Mile 2 pace: 6:13

Mile 3: It puts the lotion on its skin, unless it wants the hose again (and other random incoherent thoughts)
Just after the half of any race is always the tough part for me. Miles 18-23 of a marathon, mile 4 of a 10k, and I guess mile 3 of a 4 mile race. It is at this point where I realize that not only am I not done, but essentially, I have to repeat what misery I just put my body through a second time (sort of like watching the movie Transformers 2). In retrospect, I don’t really remember much of this mile. I do remember that I was getting annoyed by the little rolling hills, the heat, and how lawmakers won’t get off their asses and raise the debt ceiling. Mile 3: 6:20

Mile 4: Oh god, this race is SOOO much longer than a 5K
I made sure to hit my lap button at the 5K mark. I’m not sure how I remembered, but I crossed the mark in 19:26. Not too shabby, good enough for my second fastest “official” 5K and my third fastest unofficial (virtual race) time ever. After I crossed the 5K mark, it seemed like an eternity until I got to the finish. Those extra 1.5K essentially killed me. Mile 4 pace: 6:11

Once I finished, I staggered around incoherently for a while. Literally. I 100% believe that if you can whoop and holler about a successful race immediately after then you didn’t run hard enough during the race. I leave everything out there – including all celebrations.  In my head, I was crazy excited for beating my stretch of stretch goals.  However, from the outside I looked like a cross between a zombie and a dude that was kicked in the junk.

Once I regained some level of composure, I started to walk (slowly) backwards along the course to meet up with my wife who was pushing the jogging stroller. I saw Demi and Adrienne, each of which looked like they were killing the race. I met up with my wife and took this picture:
Essentially, I look like death

My wife was run/walking through the heat and humidity (85 degrees / 40% by that point) towards her longest run post baby!  She was able to cross the line with a smile on her face and a completely soaked, shirtless husband at her side.

Doing what American's do on the 4th of July:
Wearing headbands? Grilling burgers / hot dogs at 7:30am in the morning

After the race was over and my wife and I fed our son, I staggered back to the car and got all packed up.  Since I am a little OCD, I decided that I should strip down to my compression underwear to not get my car all sweaty and gross.  Of course, as soon as I got in and got to the corner, I realized I needed gas BAD.  So, of course I pulled into the local gas station and got gas. . . . in my underwear. . . .without a shirt on.  Why?  Because that is how I roll (when I am low on oxygen).


XLMIC said...

I love going to the gas station in my hot, sweaty underwear... without a shirt on.

You KILLED that stretch goal! Awesome! I had no idea... here you are all talking about Brooks shoes and you had just done THAT! wow....

I almost said something unkind about our friend in the headband. But because he's so patriotic I had to pass :P

Barefoot Neil Z said...

heh. so you are 'That' guy... at the gas station.

Tricia said...

Seriously wow. You're a beast! (I guess that applies,no clue-just always wanted to say that to someone)

And- Go Tiff!

pthomas said...

You killed the race and I'm sure the air quality wasn't great with the impending sand storm. I'm jealous. I wish I could run as fast as you. Tell your wife congratulations on her longest distance post baby! Awesome job by both of you!

fancy nancy said...

Way to rock it even in the extreme heat!!! That was super fast....besides the fact that you raced with a lot of fast people too if you only placed 7th! Wow way to go!! Kudos to your wife for her longest post baby race!

Jamoosh said...

Hey now, don't be too hard on yourself. You look like death "warmed over!"

Nice, uh, PR.

Brian said...

Nice pace! (I'd take 24:58 most of the time in a 5k!)

I love the weird distances, too, because I don't really have as much of a strategy for them so it seems a little more new and fun.

Tri-James said...

You have to run in the compression shorts then pumping the gas just feels normal.

Kate said...

Great job on the race and congratulations to your wife (and son :D) as well. Love the fact that you were filling up at the gas station in your underwear, but I guess compression shorts are basically bike shorts minus the diaper, so it's not that bad when you look at it that way.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

Awesome job on the race!

I ran a 4 miler on the 4th, too, and experienced the same groan-inducing moment at mile 3. Stupid mile 3.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Super fast man! Well done!

40% humidity? We'd be walking around talking about how dry out it is...haha!

Pumping gas in the compressions shorts just made you look like a triathlete - not a big deal (-:

The Sean said...

You need to bring extra clothes for AFTER the run... I bet all the ex-XC guys and gals did:) ...and a BIG towel to avoid arrests or large gathering of gawkers for the "moment" of transformation!

Congrats on a great performance!

Razz said...

classy all the way to the end. nice run for the whole family!

MotherRunner said...

Nice! Nothing like a little semi-nude gas pump on a nice summer morning. Congrats on a great race!

Tara said...

Holy crap that's fast. Congrats on the race!

At least your son's pic looks good! lol He is such a little cutie.

AND congrats to your wife on her run post baby!

Morgan said...

Yowza's speedy! Well done!

BIG CONGRATS to the wifey!!! Woo hoo!!!

Runners Fuel said...

If the people at the gas stattion don't want to see what you're wearing (or not), they shouldn't look.

Nelly said...

Awesome job! Sounds like the race went perfect. I don't know what time they start races in Arizona during the summer with the heat, they must start them at like 5 or 6 AM!

Pam said...

Man. That's FAST.

This post would have been MUCH more entertaining if it had included a picture of you pumping gas in your skivvies.

WannabeRunner said...

Your poor wife. Haha. :)

And congrats on killing your goal!! Speedy McSpeederson!

Joanna said...

What is considered "humid" in Phoenix is hilarious to me (I lived there one summer). I'll grant you that 85 is getting warm, but 40% is like dead of the winter humidity here!

Jess said...

I'm sorry but I have to laugh that 40% humidity is "humid"! Here in FL, that's called winter. Today, it's 89% humidity here.

Congrats on such a speedy race, even in that "humidity"! :)

kilax said...

Why don't we get a pic of you at the gas station?

Awesome job speedypants. I mean speedypantsless.

Al's CL Reviews said...

The gas station in underwear made me laugh.
I'll give you the heat. But I don't think 40% humidity qualifies as humid.

Phoebe said...

Now, I'm not your mother, though you're such a sprout I practically COULD be... but I think you may want to rethink your hydration for shorter distances. I'm sure Science says it takes x number of minutes for the liquid to absorb, but I have to say from my experience, water or gatorade or whatever can bring serious relief really quickly. Maybe it's only psychological, but I swear during long training runs or races when I'm starting to feel a cramp come on in my gut, I take a drink or 2 and in just 2 or 3 minutes: GONZO! Plus, it's soooo nice to take a swig when you are dry and thirsty. Don't discount that. Of course I know it never gets too warm where you live, but if you ever travel to warmer climes. (Nyuck nyuck).

I certainly wouldn't argue with your success (you're way faster than me!) but you might consider give a hydration belt a go on your shorter runs and races. Maybe it would make mile 3 less like hell and more like HELL-O, PR!?

Your wife is a real mother runner. Nice work getting back out there. Next race, YOU ought to take the jog stroller, though, and let her fly! If you (or she) don't already follow, may I humbly suggest that she would LOV-HU-HU-HUVE it?

Chris K said...

That is seriously impressive Adam. That speed in those conditions. I ran a 10k on the same day and I wilted. Looks like you had your Man Suit zipped on pretty tight. Well done. 6:14. Wa wa wee wa.

Adrienne said...

That time is awesome Adam, especially in this death heat.

I can't believe you want them to raise the debt ceiling? Really? BTW they do whatever they want anyway there isn't really a ceiling.

I would have loved to see you at the gas station...hilarious.

Congrats to your wife too!

Jeff said...

217!?! How many lines did you do?

gene @boutdrz said...

40%. luxury.
right now we're sitting pretty at 58%. tomorrow will be 91%. (100% means it is raining. i dunno why the weather people don't get that....)

Running Moose said...

Congrats on the PR! Dude, that was hysterical...I must admit that I did picture you in your underwear pumping gas and threw up a little. I had a similar experience after a bike race in the late 90's. I had crashed at about 32-33 and slid pretty far. Needless to say, my shorts were ripped up BADLY (uh, we don't wear underwear under bike shorts...). This was about 2-3 miles into the race (the only race that, before the start, I thought "I'm going to win"). I did finish and even caught and passed a couple guys at the end (I think it was about 18 miles). Well, I needed to go to the grocery store to get some gauze for the large amount of road rash...with my left side majorly stuff!

Colorado Herbie said...

What headphones are you wearing in that picture speedy?

runningonwords said...

Wow, way to go! You really destroyed your time goal!