Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 TLC Groundhog Run Race Recap - 1/29/12

What's more fun than running in a cave?

To clarify, the cave is a system of tunnels and areas dug out for office space and storage. It's been around for a long time and Sunday was the 30th Groundhog Run that meanders through the caves.

I've run the sucker for the past 7 years... amazing. It only seems like last year I wondered over and ran some odd race in the caves when it was like 20 degrees outside.

Ever year I have run, it was the 10k. They have a 5k and a 10k, which the 10k is just the 5k course ran twice (that's 2 loops for you counting at home). Sure, it may get a little boring seeing the same caves for 2 laps, but it's 68 degrees, flat, no wind and no precipitation. Score. It's a great setup for a PR, which I alluded to in the preview post HERE.

Some highlights over last year are a MUCH IMPROVED system to park and get to the cave entrance.  Used to you had to park at a casino across a decent sized highway and cross over.  So, you needed to wear cold weather clothing to get to the race where you will be just fine wearing shorts and a t-shirt to run.  Anything more than that for the run, and you will be overheated in a hurry.

This year, they parked racers at the casino and provided buses to get us to the cave.  It was seamless.  Plenty of buses so the only wait was loading people.  There was at no point, that I saw, where people were standing around waiting for a bus.  Even afterwards, they had buses constantly lined up waiting for people.  They only issue were line jumpers not waiting their turn to get on a bus and headed over to buses further down the line.

I arrived at 7:50am (5k started at 9am) and that was just in time before the real traffic hit.  I'm not sure how it went for everyone after that, but it seemed to be somewhat smooth.

I do wish, probably like all 3500 racers, they provided more than 20ish port-a-potties.  The lines were horrendous.  If you waited too long to get in, you were looking at a 25 minute wait to relieve yourself.

My plan worked out well to run the 5k for my wife who was MIA as a warm up.  I even had time to hit a port-a-potty on the course.  The only issue was the guy with no patience PRYING the door open on me before I was done.  Dude... patience.  If the slot is red and you have to pry the door open, someone is in there.

I ran the 5k around 26 minutes.  Not too fast, not too slow.

It worked great as I felt awesome in the 10k with my Faas 400's.

My plan was to take it around 8 min/mile for mile 1 and try to slam 7 min/mile for the rest.

Here's my splits.  I didn't have my foot pod set up and being in caves, no GPS for distance but luckily they had mile makers.  ;)

Oops.  I guess 7 min/mile for 1-5 and 7:30 for the last mile will work.  That's good enough for a new PR by 2 minutes!  SCORE!

Hopefully the new running PR's are a good indicator of this year.  I've been improving the run year after year, but last year it seemed it was at the expense of the bike.  I'm trying to get more time on the bike without losing momentum on the run (no pun intended).

I also like what Bob Mitera says on his blog.  It's about showing up and doing the work.  If you skip workouts and keep changing your plans or goals, you won't improve.

My official time was 43:56 (46:02 last year), good for 94 out of 1171.  Not too shabby.  My age group was 15 out of 86.  It's a warm fuzzy feeling to know I can keep improving year after year.

Check out the top 3 10k times HERE.

Top 3 5k times HERE.

Up next... maybe Trolley Run, maybe God's Country Off Road duathlon... time will tell!
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