Sunday, November 06, 2005

Vertical Man PR's the Veterun

Gloomy dawn here in the Great Suburban Outback, filled with wind, rain, bluster and blather. But I hauled myself out of bed and headed over to Westchester, IL for the annual Veteran's Day Veterun 10k race. The course is flat, fast and as fun as these things ever get.

But, Vertical Man, it's only a 10k you say? Yeah, well, last night Karyn and I discussed the race's importance for setting training benchmarks and teaching me about pace recognition. She challenged me to run the first two miles under control, the second two a little faster, and the last two with my eyes rolling back in my head - apparently a terribly descriptive metaphor for "digging deep."

Except for last week's track workout, I haven't had a "fast-feeling" run since the tri season ended. Most days I feel like I'm dragging a 50 lb weight along behind me. I told Karyn I'd like to run 7:00 min/miles but predicted more like 8:00. Karyn predicted something right in the middle.

So who was right? Neither of us. My time: 43:01, good for a pace of 6:56 min/mile, a 10K PR by 2 minutes and 10th place out of 36 in my advanced age group. The first two miles were dead on a 6:45 min/mile pace, the next two were paced at 6:55 min/mile. The final two were slightly over 7:00 min/mile. The last half-mile sucked.

I took Karyn's race strategy - with its descending paces - and turned it on its head. I set a PR but didn't learn a damn thing about pace recognition. Karyn assures me that when I do I'll be substantially faster than 43:01. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Oh, and here I can't help falling off the "Modern, Sensitive Man & All-Around Good Guy Wagon." (No harm no foul if I was never on that particular wagon to begin with.) See, I employ a race strategy (usually to reasonable success) of finding a female runner with a great ass and a natural pace slightly faster than I'm comfortable running. Then I follow her. I get paced and have something (two things, actually) to focus on besides my pain. Worked like a charm today, though she was half a block ahead as the race ended. That's probably why the last half-mile sucked.

I'm just glad I didn't slip on any wet leaves as the course wound through a forest preserve trail. That would've produced a bad outcome for Vertical Man, namely a horizontal finish. I was trying to keep up with, well, her. And I did.

I talked to Tri-Brother this afternoon. He's chillin' on a Panama City beach, feeling pretty good about his IMFL race yesterday and looking forward to a REALLY good bottle of wine at dinner tonight. He sends 'thanks' to friends, fans, bloggers, readers and commenters everywhere.

And now this has become a long report on a short race; I'm gonna go watch da Bears.


Comm's said...

I thought I was teh only knuckle dragger with that race strategy. I still remember my 'pacer' from rock n roll last time.

Keryn said...

I love that you actually admit it. Great news on the PR. :)

The Clyde said...

VM, us men are not suppose to talk about the greatest race strategy every devised, you must have missed that in the race manual.

Carry on ladies, nothing to see here.

trifit said...

I don't care about the strategy. All I have to say is, Damn! You're fast!

mipper said...

apparently that race strategy is common among men... i never knew. i'll look the other way for now, lest i let the indiscretiona tarnish my image of you guys. ;)

wtg on the PR. what an unreal time. and congrats (late) to Tri-brother. what a smokin' time. you guys are freaks (in a good way)!

tri-mama said...

Ok, so listen up ladies....if it jiggles too much don't wrap it in pink spandex..I guess that goes for you guys as well...I might never eat cottage cheese again. I have to stop, this will make for a good post...

Nice PR-I've got to work on my pacing too.

Wil said...

You are TOO funny! And holy @&#*$, have you gotten even faster???