Monday, April 30, 2012

On running a race

Yesterday, I participated in the James Joyce Ramble, a lovely 10K out in Dedham, MA which has actors in period dress reading Joyce along the course.  This 10K didn't really fit in with my prep for tri season, so my coach and I decided to use it as a training run.  The plan was to do a nice Zone 2 (easy) run and to not get too caught up in the competition.

We had a gorgeous day for it:  plenty of sunshine with a cool breeze.  And I got to run with my friends A and R and new friend D, who all set new PRs, so definitely worth it.  Still, there are benefits and drawbacks to running a race, but not racing it.

Benefits:

  1. That is the best I've felt at the 4 mile mark of a 10K run, ever.  The thought that went through my head was "ooh, 2 more miles" instead of "ugh, 2 more miles."
  2. I got to really enjoy the spectacle of the race.  The Joyce readers were fabulous.  There were a set of elderly twin women, in matching pink shawls reading in unison and a guy with a thick Irish brogue.  It was hard to really hear what they were saying, but it was still cool.  Then there were the three guys running with mullets sticking out the bottom of their headbands and American flags sticking out the top of them, singing "I'll ramble for you" to the tune of Culture Club's 'I'll tumble 4 ya.'
  3. No pre-race nerves.
  4. Water stops
Drawbacks:


  1. The urge to pick people off is strong.  I started at the back of the pack, with the intention of running through and picking up my friend for the latter half of the race (which didn't work cause it was too small of a race).  So I got to pick people off for a few miles, but then I caught up to my pack, and it was tough to just hang and not go too hard.
  2. $40 for a training run is a bit steep (though the free beer afterwards did help with that).
  3. It's been a long time since I've run a 10K on its own (like 4 years).  As I was nearing the finish line, I realized that my training run was getting very close to my PR, and that if I could just pick it up a bit there at the end, I would beat it.  But I was already at the top end of my heart rate zone, so in the end I was 9 seconds slower than my PR from 2008.


2 comments:

RunningShorts April 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM  

Oh yeah, I never do races as training runs. I don't think I'm capable :) I heard that race is fabulous though and I've always wanted to do it!!

Jamie April 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM  

HA! I love "i'll ramble for you."

Great mid-race entertainment.

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