Monday, February 28, 2011

Roses en la Playa Race Report

When one writes a race report, oh that it would not sound so self absorbed.  I'm hoping in this case, I not only report on my race, but on the race. 

This weekend (Sunday, February 27th to be precise) was the running of the 5K Roses en la Playa, under sunny skies (thank you thank you thank you), and in almost perfect temperatures.  I think it may have possibly made it to 50 degrees by the start, but I'm not sure.  One thing's for sure, it was colder after the race.  The crazy wind kicked up (I think it came directly from Alaska maybe).  Now, according to my knowledge and experience, the most perfect, ideal, precise temperature to run in is 55 degrees.  Any variation in either direction will cause the body to have to work harder to some extent to compensate.  So this was just a bit colder than ideal.

They came from near and far (some as far as New York) in layer upon layer of clothing, to run in the cold sunshine, hoping the wind would stay at bay.  I myself can boast 4 layers on bottom (that includes underwear), and three layer on top, plus arm warmers and gloves.  I like to be WARM before my race.  The New York people were running around in tanks and shorts.  I don't get them ... they don't get us.  At least I stripped down to my racing duds for the race (kept the arm warmers and gloves on though) - but I can say I never broke a sweat.

This 5K course has the potential to be very fast.  It is primarily out and back, but the start line is mercifully placed at the top of a hill, and the finish line is at the bottom of that same hill.  I know that's confusing, but for those who are not familiar with this "Night Moves" course, it goes like this:  From the start, runners proceed up an ongoing (it keeps going and going and going) hill, and into a headwind for almost 1 1/2 miles to the hairpin turn-around.  Then they (we) get to go back down the hill with the wind at our backs.  We pass by the start line and descend a final extra downhill to a fast finish in the chute.  As I said, it has fast potential, but headwind can suck the life right out of an ambitious runner, and there's no way to get that lost time back, even downhill with the wind.

So the course wasn't as fast as it could have been had there been no wind.  (I'm just saying that because I didn't run as fast as I wanted to).  No really, the wind really did factor in.  Anyway ... it was a fun day and a well run and well organized event, with a multitude of great people participating.  I met a few new running friends and I couldn't be happier.

The breakdown for my particular performance:  First, my goal, ugh!!! was to break 18 minutes.  I didn't, and it leaves me wondering if I could have if the day had brought more desirable conditions.  Here is how it played out.  The first mile, with the benefit of fresh legs, was 6:04, which is of course way off-pace but this was the one mile that was entirely uphill and into the wind.  The second mile was 1/2 and 1/2 (that's 1/2 uphill/downhill and 1/2 against/with the wind), and included the hairpin turn, and was therefore slightly faster at 5:56.  This of course is the mile that killed my time because I needed to make up more time than I did.  I was at a 6:00 min pace, but needed to be closer to a 5:50 pace at this point.  So I had too much time to make up in the final mile but thankfully it was entirely downhill with the wind.  The final mile was 5:36, and when you add the final .1 miles to that, you get the final time of 18:16 (per my watch).  It was the best I could do that day and that's all I ever really ask of myself.

Full race results here:

I would like to particularly thank Kent for trying to pull me along with him during that final stretch.  He was having more fun than I was I think.

Such a fun day, fun race, fun people, fun yummies afterwards.  Onward to CB 5000.

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