Monday, March 08, 2010

Race Report: AHHS Run/Walk with the Band

Race: Alamo Heights High School Run/Walk to the Beat 5K/10K
Distance: 5K
Goal Time: 38-40 minutes
Actual Time: 39:09 (12:38 min/mi)

This race was definitely a blast from the past.  I signed up for this run in particular so I could support a local high school band program.  This was apparently the twenty-something-th year they've had this event, which makes sense due to the higher per capita running stores around Alamo Heights than in the rest of the city.

I timed my arrival to be cutting it kind of close.  I was getting tired of arriving at events forty five minutes to an hour before the event.  I got to this one at about thirty minutes to start.  It was enough to pick up my packet, gear up, and make the parade over to the start line.

You heard right- PARADE!  The AHHS drumline (three snares, one quints, three bass drums, two cymbals), lead the pack through the neighborhood to the start line.  I decided to walk in step with them.  They weren't playing very tight and they had some tempo issues.  But since it's a few months out of marching season, I assume they were just out of practice.  I'm pretty certain my high school drumline wouldn't have done much better.  Walking over to drum cadence put me in a nostalgic mood.

I met up with a forum-friend on the Runner's World Beginner's forums.  Scotty is a cute man who wears a bright "I Beat Cancer Never Give Up" singlet at all the events he does.  His first comment to me was, "You're taller than you look in your picture."  I get that a lot.  I was fortunate to be added to his gallery of Great Legs after meeting up with him at the starting line.  See his race report here!

The start caught me by surprise.  The drumline suddenly burst out with a fast cadence that I liked for the first ten seconds I heard it.  After that, there were two small groups of band students playing along the course.  The first was a trumpet quartet that played a StarWars theme as I passed.  The next was a brass group that played Rocky which was appropriate for the big hill right after where they were camped out.

The course itself was fairly hilly, but more low rolling hills and an overall positive grade then a whole lot of steep inclines.  Apparently the 10K course was much worse, including the HILL from HELL.  I was glad that my poor planning and execution earlier in the week meant that running the 10K would be a very bad idea.

Again, I went out way to fast to start.  It's probably due to not having any mid-week runs as the reminder of what my pace should be.  That faster pace feels really awesome though.  It feels natural, like my body is taking over function from my brain.  "Don't worry about it.  I got this." My heart just can't keep up.  I need routine back in my training routine.  Maybe I'm on the verge of a training breakthrough.  Maybe 12 (or 10!) minute miles are only a couple months out of my grasp.

This weekend's race reinforced the desire to be more consistent and prescribed with my training.   If I can just wake up and knock out a 39 minute 5K, what can I do at something I train for?  Maybe I need a more tangible end goal. My next race is in two weeks, and it's another 5K, this time at Incarnate Word.  It's the first race in this year's Alamo Series.  Ooh! I feel challenged already!