Sunday, June 3, 2012

Running of the Bulls 8k Recap

Goal #1:  8k PR (sub-28:09)
Goal #2:  $500 race earnings

3 mile warmup
Goal #2 Achieved
8k race in 28:32 with splits of 5:52, 5:24, 5:44, 6:00, 5:29
2+ miles cool down for 10 miles total

I can't complain too much because I walked away from this race with an extra $500 in my pocket.  However, I went into this race feeling like I was fit and wanting to PR.  Little did I know that the competition this year would be pathetic compared to last year.  Laura Paulsen, who beat me by almost a full minute at the NC 4 Mile Champs in March, proved to be my closest competition, finish in 28:54.  Last year, the top five women were all under 28:45.  The weather was even much better this year than last year!  You can see the evolution of my splits below, but what I'd like to highlight is the fact that my splits slid considerably during miles 4 and 5 as compared to last year.  I can tell you exactly what happened...After I discovered that the win was handily in the bag, I decided to slow it down and just cruise in.  I hate doing this.  I really wish I had committed to sticking on John Hinton's butt the entire race (who finished in 28:05).  Instead, I knew I was going to win $500, so I didn't push as hard.

2012 | 2011 | 2010
5:52  | 5:49   | 5:48
5:24  | 5:23   | 5:37
5:44  | 5:51   | 5:59
6:00  | 5:49   | 6:01
5:29  | 5:14   | 5:34

The race went out comfortable and controlled, and I made sure that Laura was in sights.  After all, she had beaten me by so much just a couple months ago.  John Hinton situated himself behind us as well and Laura and I charged ahead.  Our first mile was slow and so I decided to pick it up and use the downhill to my advantage. I gapped Laura a little here, but John was still on my shoulder.  After we passed the two mile mark, there is a steep hill.  John passed me some on this portion, but he was still within sight.  By three miles, John had gained a sizable gap on me, but I had gained a sizable gap on Laura.  The dreaded fourth mile, which is pretty much all uphill, came and went.  Instead of charging up the hill with command, like I did last year in an attempt to shake Jackie Kirby and Meagan, I succumbed to the gravity pulling me back down the hill and slowed down quite too much.  As I rounded one of the turns to make the way back towards the Durham Bull stadium, I could tell by the cheers that Laura was far back.  Instead of pushing it in as hard as possible, I cruised in relaxed and didn't even try to kick in the finish.

After the race, I introduced myself to Laura and convinced her to come cool down with John and I.  Laura was a fifth year at Duke this past year and is moving to Minnesota for some sort of medical program.  It was great to get to know her better and I knew that if she had been training more over the past couple of weeks, she would have been an even match for me.  Regardless, I'm happy with the money that I'll hopefully be receiving in the mail soon, but dissatisfied with my reasoning to slow down.  A race is a race, and I toed that line to run the best that I could that day, and I didn't give it my all.  My motivation to give it everything I've got will definitely be there at the USA Half Champs in just two weeks!


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