Monday, May 28, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Mercedes-Benz Cotton Row Run 10K

Another cool T-shirt for the 32nd Cotton Row Run.
This was my fifth consecutive year of running the Cotton Row Run 10K and it was supposed to be my best, yet. For some reason, I had never really posted great times at the CCR over the past few years and since I'd been training and racing hard (everything from 2 to 200 miles) for the most part of 2012, I figured I'd set a new PR for the course. In short, that didn't happen...that didn't happen at all. Instead, I've had the worst race performance in 3 years. I didn't just miss a course PR, I missed my 10K PR by almost 5 minutes. I still don't know what happened exactly, but I probably never will.

It all started out like any other road race. I arrived at the starting area with my 13yo son Mace with about 30 minutes to spare. I had plenty of time to catch up with old friends, but I also noticed that I wasn't able to meet up with many of my fellow racers. The race's popularity and over 2000 runners just make it very difficult to find anyone. Instead, I hung out with my son near the Fleet Feet canopy until it was time to line up at the start. I had decided to start the race conservatively and to run with Mike (fellow training buddy and Dixie200 team mate) early on in hopes of cranking up the pace after climbing puke hill. However, instead of cranking it up, I slowed down even before reaching the hill.

Emerson Network Power sponsored my fellow coworkers and  me by paying our entry fees and  providing shirts...thanks guys;-) 
I am pretty sure it was both physical as well as mental as I remember thinking to myself "no reason to kill yourself today, it's so hot, just take it easy, start pushing after the hill". Well, I never had anything left to really push. There was no second or third gear to shift into. I felt flat and I ran flat and the result was a disappointing finish. Congratulations to my fellow finishers for sticking it out in some seriously hot temps. On a side note, half of the Dixie200 relay team finish the Cotton Row 10K as I later realized that Ed had finished just behind us in the chute. However, his start in the middle of the pack gave him a better chip time than both Mike and I had. allowing him to finish seconds ahead of both of us. Too bad results only consider the official gun time....just kidding Ed, well done!

I normally write a lot more but today's race can be summed up like this: I started slow and I got slower. The End. Now I have to try to put this one behind me and look ahead to refocus my training and work on getting faster again.

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