Sunday, October 1, 2017

Novant Health 15k Race Recap

Temperaturewise, this morning was a great morning for running. On the other hand, windwise, conditions were less than idea.



At least we were not racing in temperatures like last Saturday morning. They were miserable to say the least.



However, before I dive into my race recap, I wanted to share a funny story about myself leading up to it.



Some time back in August, I signed up for this 15k. At the time, I noted that the race date was in October. Then, I pushed the thought on the back burner.



Earlier, this week, I popped open my inbox to find an email from Run For Your Life giving the detail race break down. I thought – how strange. They sent this out a full week before the race. They are really on top of this race stuff. Worked picked up, and I pushed thought into the background. However, in the back of my mind I could shake this feeling that something wasn't right. Strange, they would send this out a full week before the race. I didn't recall the date of the race from my registration, but I assumed it was the first full week in October.



Finally, I went back to the email from my registration and read through it. To my surprise, yes, the race was in October but the race date was the 1st. I flipped over to my calendar, and suddenly, the date dawned on me. The race was this Sunday i.e. today. How could I have screwed up the date.



Any way, I pulled up my training plan and shifted around my workouts to make things work with racing this weekend.



Tada, this morning I am standing at the 15k starting line. With any luck, my legs will not let me down.



We get a quick 5 second count down, and we are off. Laurie and Billy quickly move out to the front. They will soon be out of sight at least to the small group where I am running.



Four of us form in to a nice little pack. Two guys, who I had never met, wanted to be out front. I had not problem with letting them. The wind was nasty. If I didn't need to lead the pack so be it. The forth member of our little group was young lady from the UNCC 49ers XC team. This was her first 15k race. I remember her because she beat me at the StreetLight 5k back in July.



So the miles rolled back by. We would run a bit slower on the up hills, and then run a bit faster on the downhills. Somewhere between miles 4 and 5 she dropped back. I stayed with the two guys until between miles 6 and 7. We went in to this little side neighborhood. Actually, the run in was not that bad. The run out was another story. The hill was about 200 of super steepness. They opened a gap on me that I never make up.



Once we up on top, the wind was hitting us hard in the face. The harder I attempted to run the harder that the wind seemed to be pushing back on me. Miles 7 to 8.5 seemed to take a life time to complete.



I saw the sign saying 15k to the left and 5k straight ahead to the finish. I so wanted to go straight ahead to the finish.



Nope, I had to follow the 15k course. At least, I had the 5th place guy probably 30 to 40 yards ahead of me. He was my carrot. I keep chasing as if I could still catch him. Even thou, in the back of my mind, I knew my changes were slim.



I pass by mile 9 in just under 56 minutes. My brain is already calculating my finish time. I am urging my legs forward in hopes that I can do a bit better than my calculations.



I brought my Hoka/Charlotte Running Store jersey home in 58:03 which put me the first male master. Actually, one of the guys that I had been running was a master as well, but he finished in the top 5. They bumped him up and by bumping him up, they also bumped me up i.e. 1st place Master.



Having not raced in the roads in nearly 3 months, my goal today was sub 60 minutes. My hope sprang from the fact that I had been running bunches of tough trails. May be some of it would translate over.



Looks like a bit of it.



Kudos, to my 3 running buddies that helped me through the early portion of this race. The pace was perfect. My only wish is that I could have stayed close a little longer. May be next year.

Big shout out to Billy for taking home the win for guys, and Laurie K. for the latest. Both were in a league by themselves today.

Now comes "rest" for the rest of the day today, and then I need to get back to training. My marathon is a little over 5 weeks away.



The Cool Down Runner










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