2007 River Run: It was ugly
Greetings from the hurt cellar. Actually, I am no longer in the hurt cellar, but I spent 70 minutes there yesterday. Seventy freakin' minutes. Two minutes and 54 seconds longer than last year. It was bad. It was ugly. It was no fun.
The morning was uneventful. Mike and Lori picked up Pete and me around 7:15. Once at the race Pete and I headed over to the Team Gate hospitality area, got ready, checked our bags and used the potty. It was around 8:15 at that point and I wanted to get to the start area before they dropped the rope to let everyone move up. Slight problem at this point. . . I didn't do any kind of warm-up. Not sure if that matters. Met up with Erin and Josh in the starting area. The gun sounded and off we go.
Erin and I passed the first mile marker with a 7:12 split. Pretty good. The goal was 7:10, right on target. However, I didn't feel good, but attributed that to the lack of warm-up. The second split was 7:13. Still felt like there was no need to panic, but I still didn't feel comfortable. Maybe it was just the exertion from the Main Street Bridge. Unfortunately, Mile 3 wasn't any better, clocking in at 7:19. At this point, we were back in the neighborhoods of San Marco and I was hoping the shade would help speedup the pace. Last year it was warm and humid, but we had cloud cover to prevent the sun from beating down on us. No cloud cover this year, and even the tree cover of San Marco could help. The split for mile 4 was 7:30. This race was going downhill in a big way. Somewhere in the fifth mile, I started to feel a little better. Maybe it was a short-lived adrenaline rush. Then Bill Rodgers passed me before we turned off of Belote onto Atlantic. He didn't pass me last year until the downslope of the Hart Bridge. Icontemplated taking a gel at mile 5, but held off until mile 6. It didn't help much. The slowdown continued through the neighborhoods of St. Nicholas. Erin and I stayed together until mile 7. Not sure if she picked up the pace or maintained her pace and I slowed down even more. Running up the bridge was as tough as always. The weird thing is usually the wind is really blowing on top of the bridge. This year, it seemed very still. A stiff breeze would have been welcomed to help cool things off. Running down thebridge allowed me to clock my fastest split since mile 3. The last three tenths took 12 seconds longer this year. Doesn't seem like much, but from a pace perspective that amounts to 40 seconds over a mile. Sheesh! I was crawling to the finish.
Trying to look back and analyze the difference between 2006 and 2007 is difficult. It was hot, but I took water at every station. Unbelievably, my hip really didn't bother me. It just seemed like I didn't have it in the tank. Looking back at the training log, I'm only 29 miles behind last year. Not sure if I did more long runs last year, but endurance shouldn't be a factor based on the additional cycling mileage I've logged this year. The chart to the left shows the aggregate loss of time during the course ofthe race. A little over a minute for the first 5k, a little under a minute for the second 5k, and then another minute for the last 5k. Maybe I just chalk it up to a bad race day.
Hats off to Erin (Liger!) for smoking me in the last 2 miles. However, I think we can both agree that our performances were well below our expectations. Jay missed his goal of 60 minutes by 77 seconds. Mike McLamb was two minutes off of his goal and Pete was several minutes off of his goal. James was actually 9 seconds below his goal, but he's a sick puppy and actually likes the weather we had yesterday. Josh was about 4 minutes behind his expectations and John Womack was 81 secondsslower than his goal.
Meb won his 6th River Run title, but couldn't catch Deena Kastor for the equalizer bonus. The elite women started 5 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack and she finished 80 seconds ahead of Meb. She missed breaking her American record by 4 seconds.
As for me, it is now time to back off running for a couple of weeks to see if I can get the hip to heal. I will ramp up the cycling volume and ease back into the running after a couple of weeks. I might even go see a doctor or a therapist.
UPDATE: Google Earth file