Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Miracle Miles 15k Race Report

Anonymous said...
“well, how did it go? How is the knee? Are you back on your marathon schedule?”

I’m thrilled at your interest.

Is it possible to be simultaneously happy and dissatisfied with a race performance? That about sums up my feelings about this race.

I had high expectations looking ahead to the Miracle Miles 15k, right up until the point my knee started to flare up a few weeks ago. I debated not racing at all but days before the race I felt I had made enough progress with my ITBS that I decided to go for it. Whether or not that was a poor decision is yet to be determined.

I finished in 1:30:14, that’s about a 9:42 pace. I placed 656 out of 1715 and 68 out of 118 in my division.

I know that is much slower than I am capable of and my time relative to the field is much slower than I have been doing in recent races. In that respect, I was disappointed in my performance.

On the other hand, my knee flared up significantly during the run. Dealing with the pain, which included stopping twice, and still managing a 9:42 pace made me pretty happy.

The first three miles went fairly well. It was about 75 degrees at the race start and was lightly drizzling. I planned in advance not to push myself too hard this race so I lined up just ahead of the 9 minute mile pace signs. On my training runs over the past week I had been able to run at about that pace and manage my knee. I figured if the race went well I would be able to pick up my pace for the last few miles.

Mile one went well and I reached the first mile marker at 9:27, a little slower than I would have liked but it was pretty crowded. I finished the second mile in 9:24 and by then an ache had settled into my knee. It wasn’t bad, but I knew it was only going to get worse. I resolved to just maintain that pace and finished the next mile in 9:31.

By the time I hit the midpoint, that ache turned to pain. I stopped twice in the middle third of the race to try to stretch my ITB in the hopes that it would relieve some of the pain. It did, but only temporarily. My splits for that portion of the race were 9:35, 10:16, 10:01.

I don’t know if it was endorphins or thanks to my never ending struggle to find the right stride to stop the pain, but miles 7 and 8 were virtually pain free and I was able to pick my pace back up, 10:35 (which included my last attempt to stretch just after the 6th mile water stop) and 9:25.

I continued accelerating through the ninth mile and I reached the last mile marker in 9:08, my fastest split all morning, and I wasn’t even breathing hard. Unfortunately, the road surface also changed from asphalt to brick at that point. I noticed a lot of runners moved to the sidewalk to avoid the miserable surface. I elected to stay put and avoid the crowd. I maintained my pace, but the pain returned with a vengeance. I was able to keep that pace through the finish and crossed the finish line at 1:30:14.

My knee was pretty sore for the rest of the weekend, but it’s been getting better with each day. I’ve been icing it and using my foam roller every day. The pain has diminished to about the point it was in the days leading up to the race, but I have yet to test it again except for a slow, easy 3 miler on Monday. I’m hoping to run my first “real” long run in the three weeks on Sunday, 17 miles. If I can make it through that, then all is well.

The race lived up to my expectations in just about every other respect. Logistically it was one of the most organized events I have run. There was one too many water stations. The last one was less than a mile from the finish and I had no interest in slowing to drink at that point. Some of the volunteers were a little overzealous, crowding the course from both sides.

This race benefits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Arnold Palmer Hospital so there was a lot of local corporate support, including to my great pleasure, some of the best local restaurants in town. The post race feast was incredible. In addition to the traditional bananas, orange slices, water and powerade there were such treats as mushroom stuffed ravioli with a lobster cream sauce and prime rib sliders. Not to mention sweets like ice cream, smoothies and popsicles.  I ate to my heart's content.

WVR had 36 runners in this race making it the best attended event since I joined the club. It felt great to be a part of that.

Would I do it again? Definitely!

1 comment:

  1. Nice race! Sounds like a fun one too. You're post race feast was one of a kind, mushroom stuffed ravioli with a lobster cream sauce. Sounds excellent!