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ROCstar Families 5k - Run5k

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St.Louis, Missouri
United States
Run for Ovarian Cancer
70F / 21C
Total Time = 18m 36s
Overall Rank = 1/119
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 1/6
Pre-race routine:

I wasn't very hungry, so all I had for breakfast was half of a bagel with peanutbutter. The 9AM start made the morning much more relaxed than a typical race.
Event warmup:

I brought my bike with me and probably looked like a huge dork as a result, but my theory was that since my knee hurts much less off the bike than it does for a stand-alone run... why not ride the bike for a warmup? I did a pretty easy 20min on the bike in the small chainring at a 90+ cadence. Since I can only run about 20 minutes before my knee aches, I think this was a good idea.
I had about 15 minutes to stretch and get ready to race after I put my bike back up on the car.
  • 18m 36s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m  min/mile

Not knowing what to expect from myself or the group, I planned to sit back about 10-12 deep in the pack at the beginning of the race. After just a couple hundred yards, 3 guys broke away after bolting away from the starting line. Uh oh. They were already getting away, and the race had barely even started. I decided to adopt a 'keep them in sight' strategy so that they were still in striking distance at the end of the race just to give myself a chance.
The first short, steep hill hit people hard and I was 10sec back of 2nd place, and probably 30sec back of the leader. Over the course of the first mile, I steadily passed the 2nd place guy and took over that position. This part of the course is relatively flat and the trail meanders back and forth through the trees. I was feeling pretty good, but was unsure about how I could back near the leader. He would disappear for a bit around a turn, and then pop out the other side. At least I could tell I was maintaining the gap.
We emerged from the trees into a big pasture and I saw the leader turn and look back to assess his lead. Oh IT'S ON now!! I made sure that the next time he looked back, I'd be closer. I was moving well down the trail and had closed the gap to about 15 seconds with a little over a mile to go. Since I had no pressure or expectations for myself at this race, I was willing to go for broke. I figure that if I caught the guy, and then blew up, at least I could say I tried. There's nothing wrong with top-5 no matter what! I was smart enough to leave an extra gear for the hills we were about to tackle down the homestretch. Baseball-sized rocks and washed out ravines from hard rains made these hills a bitch. That's where I caught him and decided I was willing to work harder than him for the last 5-6 minutes.
I checked my posture and cadence and ran by him on a downhill section. He countered with a strong move up the next hill. I stayed right on his heals. I tried to make some small-talk going up the next hill. "This one is nasty. They didn't tell me we'd have to go up this!" No response from my foe. Oh well. I got the feeling he wasn't having as much as a I was. His big lead completely evaporated, and I still had another gear that he didn't know about.
We got out of the hilly section began to run into the "Fun Run" walkers coming at us 4-abreast all over the trail. I made my move here and dropped the former race leader. I think I broke his spirit. I bobbed and weaved and dodged the traffic on the trail and really emptied the tank. The trail finally spit me out at the smooth road back to the finish. I was all alone and finished strong.
All in all, I'm thrilled. I overcame some doubts, responded to the race as it unfolded, stayed mentally tough, and surprised myself in the end. Even though 20minute of work doesn't compare to Ironman, I still have to rate this as one of my best races ever.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I jogged for a few minutes, but my knee was a little achy, so I didn't push my luck. I got stretched out, grabbed a beer and some snacks. Yes, a BEER. The sign of a good race is whether or not they have a live band and beer. THIS was a good race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

This race is a keeper. A great challenge through a beautiful park. Good shirts, food, post-race activities, good cause. Nothing to dislike at all!

Last updated: 2008-09-29 12:00 AM
00:18:36 | 03.1 miles | 06m  min/mile
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 1/119
Performance: Good
No HRM data.
Course: A "lollipop" shape through the hilly trails of Queeny Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-09-29 11:17 AM

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St. Louis
Subject: ROCstar Families 5k

2008-09-29 9:18 PM
in reply to: #1703256

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Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: ROCstar Families 5k

Awesome race report Brandon!! It felt like I was right there with you (behind by a couple minutes of course ) Way to go man! It sounds like you had a blast chasing him down and then starting a conversation! That was great! Competitors love that, NOT!!!

Congrats on the win and I hope the knee feels okay.

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