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Gate River Run - Run15k

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Jacksonville, Florida
United States
Jacksonville Track Club
55F / 13C
Total Time = 1h 23m 42s
Overall Rank = 2703/12150
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 47/603
Pre-race routine:

Wakeup call at 5AM. Very early for an 8:30 race, but knowing the crowd, plus the 5K starting at 7:40, I wanted to get there early. Bob didnt agree, but he rocks so he went along. Didn't feel my best when I got up, slight sore throat and a little sore behind the eyes. I thought my knee injury would've been the deciding factor of racing or not today, but Im not sure if I'm coming down with something or just a dry throat.

So I did a little stretching just to get the muscles moving. Knew it was going to be cool and VERY windy today, so after I put supports on BOTH knees I put on the long tights and long-sleeved shirt. Made the inevitable coffee to get my caffeine fix pre-race.
Event warmup:

Did more stretching, potty stops etc. at race site. Didn't do much running warmup. Since I haven't been running with my left knee acting up, I wasn't even sure I could complete 15K, much less add a long warmup to it. I also wanted to make sure my knee would hold out for this.
  • 1h 23m 42s
  • 9.48 miles
  • 08m 50s  min/mile

It was SOOOOO windy!!! Going through downtown it was intermittently windy between buildings, but when we made the turn onto the Main Street Bridge it was just a huge SMACK of wind in the face! Everyone was leaning WAAAYY forward just to keep moving forward. Then an occasional gust from the side would come and I could see everyone ahead of me running sideways in unison!

Then we went onto the road and ran along the river a little ways. The water was so choppy and the wind sent spray all over the road (and the runners!!)

By this time it's ~2.5-3 miles into the race. I was thinking how proud of myself I was because just a week ago I tried running for the first time in weeks, went just 1/2 mile and my knee started bothering me. I was also wondering how long I could keep this up with such little conditioning. But, I just kept thinking about 4 minutes at a time, take a drink, and wait until the next 4 minutes. I never thought about how much further I'd have to go.

At least, not until we started uphill at the entrance ramp of the highway at ~mile 8, where we were approaching the Hart Bridge. It's a very high, ~1 mile long bridge, which I wouldn't mind if it weren't so windy. The wind was mostly blowing left-to-right, pushing everyone sideways, but then it would blast from other directions as well. THAT was the scariest part for me...when I would look down at the grate that made up the bridge, PRAYING that I keep my footing. I don't WANT to know what it would feel like to fall on those things!

Well, I only walked a little bit near the top of the bridge (maybe 20 meters or so). Coming down the bridge was plenty hard too, because of the wind. One amazing moment during that portion was that a fireman wearing FULL GEAR (hat, firefighting pants and air tank on his back PASSED me! He was amazing! We were at mile 9 by this point and he was passing SOOO many people!

Finally I got to the entrance to the stadium and I knew I only had about 1/10 of a mile to go. FINALLY! I got to the opening to the field and saw the finish clock. Just under 1:24 and not that far to go. If I bust a gut and sprint, I can go under 1:24. So I started onto the field to sprint, and a HUGE gust of wind blew into my face! UGH! I'll NEVER get there! But I saw that firefighter ahead of me, finishing. If he can do it, so can I! So I just lowered my head and did my best.

So my watch/chip time still kept me under 1:24. Not bad, considering.
What would you do differently?:

Have healthy knees, train, etc.
Post race
Warm down:

Stretching, walking, ice pack on the knee, eating, drinking, etc.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Left knee really bad and had to rely more on the right one, which has been chronic for some time now.

Event comments:

I'm very proud of how I did in this race. My time was, by far, nowhere near what it would have been had I been healthy for it, but I still averaged sub-9's for the race, so Im happy. My knee is very unhappy right now, but I'm working on that next.

As far as the windy conditions go, OMG! Someone told me that during a hurricane they close the bridges to traffic at 45 mph. Well, the winds today were reported at 25-35, with gusts to 40 mph!

Last updated: 2008-01-23 12:00 AM
01:23:42 | 9.48 miles | 08m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 47/603
Overall: 603/12150
Performance: Good
Above is my watch/chip time. Even though I was up front with the seeded runners, it was over 20 seconds before I hit the start mat so my official time is 1:24:07. Oh, yeah. According to my Garmin (and the Garmin of the guy who ran next to me), it was over a tenth of a mile long, so EVERY little bit counts!
Course: Starting at Jacksonville stadium, through downtown, across the Main Street Bridge into the town of San Marco, through the streets, along the river and up the roads to the highway and onto the infamous Hart Bridge. After the exit ramp back into the stadium to finish on the field. WOOHOO!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-03-09 9:22 AM

, Alabama
Subject: Gate River Run

2008-03-09 9:52 AM
in reply to: #1261275

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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: Gate River Run
Good run, crazy conditions! 
2008-03-09 11:03 AM
in reply to: #1261305

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Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Gate River Run
WOW. It must have been tough with all that wind.
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