It was planned ahead, Em ran the 5k, Grandma was watching the kids - so everything was a go from the get go.
You may recall...
... my lofty goals.
- I was thinking cracking sub-40 was within my grasp, or at least get a sub 7 minute/mile pace.
- Stay injury free.
- Don't barf.
Could it be I achieved #1 and #2, but found a trash can for #3? That might have been a possibility, but a poor gal that had to be carried out on an ambulance gurney beat me to #3.
Could it be I accomplished #1 and #3, but limped off due to #2? While #2 in the port-a-potties can be debilitating, the older gentleman that need another ambulance gurney for a fall beat me to #2.
So that leaves us with getting a hold of #2 and #3. That's right, no sub 40 or PR for me.
All was going well into mile 1 and 2...
Sub 6:30 without a dramatic amount of effort, and then I hit mile 3. My pace was suffering and when I passed the timer at the first loop and confirmed what my Garmin was already telling me, I was at 21:30 and there's no way I was going to hit sub 40. I was in no condition to negative split.
When mile 4 hit, I was on the ropes. It was all I could muster to keep 7 min/mile and mile 5 slipped by and mile 6 was holding on for the finish line.
Sadly my Garmin 910XT hit the finish line before the finish line came. My suspicion is that my footpod adjustment factor wasn't perfect, darn false sense of security. I would have had a PR if they had made the course to my Garmin calibration factor. The nerve.
I did manage to peg my heart rate above 170 beats per minute the entire race. How's that feel? It sucks. As I mentioned my legs were jello at mile 4 and my lungs were burning pretty good. I'm not sure if I will ever be a "fast" runner, but until I'm busting out sub 20 5k's, I think I'll take it more easy on 10k courses.
And the results are in.
21 of 102 in men 35-39.
92 of 1119 runners overall.
In the grand scheme of things, that's not too shabby. I probably shouldn't complain about not beating a past PR or reaching a very lofty goal, but I'm just too competitive with myself.
Maybe when I get my pro card and can live off of sponsor dollars and winnings... ya right.
Some highlights and lowlights.
If you reached my blog through a google search for the Groundhog Run, I'll share my take on the event from a participant point of view.
The race is all in a cave. No, you won't be cave diving with headlamps. It's an actual office park underground. The roads are large enough for two lanes of tractor trailers. They have ventilation for fumes, it's no elevation changes and it's climate controlled. Not too shabby of a place to run in January.
They have run this race for 30+ years. They have a system that seems to work as they sell out most years. That being said, they tried out a wave system this year which seem to work out well to ease up congestion. The only issue was the wait time between the 5k and 10k. They allowed for 2 hours, it in reality, 30 to 45 minutes probably would have worked. It was a new deal to get more runners through, so you can't really complain.
Port-a-potty lines seemed to have moved quick. Minus the people that don't notice there is a line and step right in and the next open stall, it went ok. It really baffles me. Either people are ignorant, stupid or arrogant. Help me out line jumpers, which is it?
Parking is down to a science. They have runners park across a major street in a casino parking lot and bus the runners over. The whole process takes maybe 10 minutes from parking to entrance drop off. Plus, with the staggered wave times, the buses were waiting for people rather than people waiting for buses.
There was enough food for everyone! In years past, the 10k runners were out of luck. In the past few years, organizers have gotten hip to that problem and provided ample post-race accomodations.
Packet pickup was as smooth as a pickle. Hosted at a new Gary Gribbles location off of State Line, it was central for the KC running crowd and ample space for runners to get in and get out.
Overall this a well ran running machine. They sell out and they are finding ways to expand. Just about everyone uses this race for a gauge of their fitness after the holidays to see where they are at and what they need to work on.
If your biggest fear for running the race is being in a damp dark cave, don't fear, it's not a problem!