18 March 2012


No swag here, just a good ol´ no frills road race.
This Saturday morning race didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. The Rocket Run Ten Miler is a no frills road race in Mooresville, Alabama home of the oldest continuously operating US Post Office (see picture at the bottom). The course is a flat and fast course that leads runners through Mooresville before leading them out of town and onto county roads before leading them back for the finish. While my usual racing buddies (you know who you are;-) didn't register for this one, Dan Brooks and James Duncan (fellow training partners and Dixie200 relay team mates) did.

I got up early enough to give myself some time to warm up once I got to Mooresville. There were lots of familiar faces already getting loose for the race. This year, they had record numbers show up. Over 220 runners had registered. The race started at 8AM sharp. I had lined up in the second row and quickly settled in a 6:55 min per mile pace. My goal was to keep that pace through the entire race.

My race plan worked for the first 5 miles. During mile six, I slowly started to doubt my ability to keep this pace going for another 5 miles. I started thinking about the races i had run over the last 4 weeks and that maybe I wasn't quite as recovered as I had hoped. The unseasonably warm weather started to get to me, too. I also realized that my heart rate was quickly approaching the max zone, which was way too early. I tried to hang on and was somewhat able to until mile 7.

The next mile was a complete disaster. As I continued to question my will to continue at this pace, my watch signaled the 8 mile split and it wasn't pretty. I had slowed by more than 30 seconds on this mile. I immediately tried to pin up my pace, but I only managed 5 seconds. Ugh, this was ugly. It wasn't long before a runner closed in on my and finally passed me. I had already done the math in my head, I had passed three runners and now three runners had passed me. There wasn't going to be a fourth. I finally picked up my pace and continued to push to the finish. Mile 10 was rough. When I finally crossed the finish line, I was exhausted. I missed a new PR by 30 seconds and I was close to dry heaving.

I hung around the finish line to see James and Dan finish before checking the preliminary results. I had missed my goal to beat my race number (#22) but I was close, finishing 24th overall. Since the overall masters winner came from my age group, I moved up from second to first in my age group, which meant another sweet gift card from Fleet Feet.

I had really felt like I would handily beat my previous 10 mile PR, but it wasn't to be. I am clearly still in recovery mode and until I get back to my regular training regimen, better results might have to wait. I expect to be back to my full regimen within a couple of weeks, starting next week.

Oldest continuously operating U.S. Post Office in Alabama.

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