Sunday, July 4, 2010

AWESOME BLOSSOM RUN - 5 & 2 mile Re-Cap

Jace and I stayed back and would go to the lake one day later so we could do the Awesome Blossom 4th of July Runs in Blooming Prairie.  I don't know how we heard of these races, but we started doing them in 2008 so this was are third year.  The plan was that Jace would race the 2 mile after I run in the 5 mile then then we'd head to the lake.  The car was packed, we had post-race clothes for changing into, and had post-race recovery smoothies on ice for the drive.  We were set. 

The 5 Mile race goes first and the 2 mile race doesn't start till the course is clear.  I like that.  Gives a chance for friends and family to watch each other if they want to race different distances.  Both courses are FLAT.  The 5 is a 2 loop race--the first loop is the 2 mile loop that the 2-mile race takes place on.  The second loop of the 5 is 3 miles.  Before I recap the 5 mile,  I need to tell you about the 2 mile race..... 

Jace ran AWESOME!  I was a little sluggish from running the 5 mile, but ran with Jace for this one.  The first mile has a long north to south stretch--which had a strong south to north wind.  Translation: headwind.  I tried to get Jace to run behind a couple others, but I don't think he likes the 'drafting thing' and he said he feels like he's going to trip (on the heels of the people he's drafting off of).  This windy stretch is along a farm on the edge of town.  Just before then end of mile one, the course goes east and out of the wind within town--residential area with pretty 'still air'.  At mile one he was at 7:35.  This is about 15 seconds short of last years pace at this point, but the wind was pretty strong during the majority of the first mile. Wind no longer an issue I ask Jace if he wanted to run faster and reminded him that I was running with him, he was not running with me.  I said "How do you feel?"  He says "I don't know?"  I said "If that's the case, then I think you can move faster."  He picks it up a bit.  We have 3 turns to go and he starts picking people off one by one.  We were a long stretch (the one opposite the headwind stretch) and he just lights up. We were at a 6 minute pace for about 3 blocks.  During this stretch of fire, we catch an older kid. He looks at Jace, who comes up to about his chest, and I could just tell he's thinking "This little guy ain't passing me!"  He tries to match Jace and stay with him.  That failed as he lasted about 10 more yards.  Jace completely ignored the attempt and just kept on going steady.  He broke him. He almost broke me.  My HR hit 164--that's zone 4 for me so we were moving.   2 corners left.  There is one person within sight.  A girl. 14-15?  (The leaders were way up and out of sight.) Jace keeps going, but his pace slowed as he burnt thru a good portion of what he had left.  We turn the last corner and there's only about a half a block left so Jace kicks it down and crosses the line right on the heels of the girl he was pursuing.  Of course, later, in perfect 9 year old style, he says "I wasn't really trying to catch her.  Well, sort of...  Not really."  Jace took 1st in his age group--not sure about the over all, but the broken kid won the 10-13 age group meaning Jace, age 9, was the fastest kid age 13 and under? 

As for the five mile, it was a little odd.  This is my third time in this race, but the turns still get me.  Back to the start.. The gun fires and we're off!  Within the first mile, three guys were gone.  I was in 4th position and about 100 yards back by the time I was hitting mile one.  The first mile took 5:45. Then some turns came, the gaps got bigger.  Between the turns, all the people walking around town (setting up for the towns 4th of July Celebration), traffic, etc, I couldn't even see the leaders anymore.  I looked at my watch and was just about at 2 miles, but nowhere near the start/finish--which is where the first loop finishes and loop two starts.  Since the leaders (3 of them) were so far ahead, I didn't see where they turned.  A few guys were behind me, so I thought "Great, I am off course and others are following me."  Mile 2 was 6:13.  The good thing was, was that I wanted to stay at a 6 min pace so on average I was there, but would have to speed up to get to that pace. By the time I hit the end of the first loop, which was supposed to be 2 miles, I was at almost 3 miles.  Others were coming into the course in front of me from a side street.  Yep, I missed the turn, but at some point the gap behind the others that followed me was so big that others stayed on course. I completely stopped, waited for the next guy, Dominic Trom, then we ran together and caught the few that ended up in front of us (due to our over running).  We were back in 4 & 5th. However, how could we fix this? Our positions were ok, but we will end up running almost 6 miles.  I didn't mind though and we figured that as long as we were back on course and in the same positions as we were before we detoured, we would just finish, end up running about 6 miles then ask the director to give us our times from the 5 mile point on the watch (my watch was automatically giving me splits at each mile).  Not a perfect solution, but a possibility.  When we got to about 4.8 miles, the director was at the corner yelling "Did you guys run to far?"  We yelled back "YES."  He then directed us to go left toward the finish instead of straight. He knew something went wrong and was correcting it.  I was right on Dominic's heels and he kicked it.  I had no desire to contest it.  He's at least 15 years younger and I gotta know my limits.  The chances of me 'pulling' something are more likely than beating him too.   My watch ended up saying 4.95 miles.  With a course with as many corners as this one has, and had we run it correctly, it could have said anywhere from 4.9 to 5.2.  GPS is not perfect.  My time was short of last year by 30 seconds.  I think it was the frustration of knowing I was off course, and oh ya, stopping to wait for Dominic didn't help.   I was 1st in age 30-39 and 5th overall.  Good day, no injuries (that I know of yet) and I can race again...

No comments: