Sunday, April 18, 2010

A tale of two races

Spring is that great time of year when everything feels fresh and full of promise and the last two weeks I finally toed at starting line to start the year. This winter I have worked really hard at improving my cycling but as a result I have done minimal work on my running. But of course, my first two races were running races; a 5K (Pottstown YMCA Spring Forward) and a hilly 5 miler (Valley Forge Revolutionary Run. Having not done anything resembling speed work in a loong time, these two were mainly just to see what kind of shape I was in.

Problem is I just am not very good a short races (or at least that is how I feel). The funny thing is I have actually medaled in 4 of my last 5 5Ks but I just can't seem to push myself hard enough and I always feel like I have way too much left over at the end. This was certainly the case last weekend. I had about 50 people pass me again in the first half mile, at that point I catch my rhythm and start working forward for the rest of the race, but this year I had several folks come up from behind my and overtaken me in the second half of the race, which just annoyed the heck out of me. So I felt like I ran a terrible race but I still ended up finishing 3rd in my age group by a comfortable margin and passed about 40 of those 50 people who blew past me at the start. Not a PR, but not bad. So the results were there but I didn't like race.

This weekend, I did a much larger race the Valley Forge Revolutionary Run, a very hilly 5 mile run thru the Valley Forge National Park. There were about 1200 runners on a very narrow road which slowed thing down for everyone and I felt like I ran a great race, even pacing throughout despite the hills. I stayed patient at the start, then smartly worked my way forward working both the uphills and downhills effectively. Felt like I parsed the effort just right and worked hard and was very satisfied with my race. The results, I was 15 seconds slower than last year, several spots lower overall and in my age group. So the result weren't great, but I was very satisfied.

I guess the same goes for Tris. I have never even come close to the medals in a tri, heck I'm lucky to get top half in an Ironman, but the satisfaction I feel doing those races is 100x better than any medal. So for me the effort is far more important that the final standings. It took two races n two weeks to drive that home yet again.

Have fun, enjoy the ride. And above all else remember, it is easy being green! Go Trakkers!!

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