The day started out a bit iffy with winds gusting so strongly my car was shaking. But by race start the conditions were about as perfect as one could hope for - sunny, mostly calm, low to mid-40's. I did my warm-up in tights and long sleeves but changed into shorts and short sleeves for the race.
White caps on Soda Lake
A perfect bluebird sky day at Bear Creek Lake Park once the winds died down
I entered the race to get an idea of where my run fitness is at. I also wanted to see how my heart rate zones are shaking out so I ran with my heart rate monitor. I had a VO2 max test done back in approx. December of 2009 and back then my lactate threshold was 151 bpm. It should have gone down roughly 1 bpm for every year so should now be around 147. Max heart rate was 166 bpm so now should be around 162. In reality these are rough guidelines. Running by heart rate has its limitations and is not a perfect science. I run most intervals at boot camp in the 147-153 range and a mile time trial at around 153-154. My goal/expectation for the race was to keep my HR at 153-154, higher if I could go higher. And oddly enough it's exactly what I did. I did get it up to 155-157 towards the end of the race and I noticed that once I got to 155 and above I started the audible wheezing noise I do when I'm pushing at the end of a race. I didn't have a sprint left in me for the end and I could feel breakfast thinking about coming up so I know I raced hard.
Nonetheless it was perhaps the slowest stand alone 5K I've ever done. And I got my ass handed to me on a platter by a puggle in the first half mile of the race and an 8 year old at the end of the race. My final time was 31:43 mins. (10:14 min per mile) and I was expecting a sub 29/9:30 or so pace finish. Oddly enough I placed 11/38 in the 45-49 age group and 164/477 overall so placement-wise I didn't do that badly. And the winner of my age group had a time in the 25's which made me think the course was long but according to gmaps pedometer it's right at 3.1 miles. (Splits: 9:27, 10:59, 10:10, 1:07, there was a hill with elevation gain of around 90' in 3/4 mile at mile 2 and the downhill during mile 1).
I even wondered if running with the heart rate monitor had limited me. Someone would pass me and instead of trying to keep up I'd look at my heart rate monitor, see that I was on target and hold my pace which is logically a good race strategy. Except for the part about my finish time being so slow. But I wanted to do this race to see where I'm at and it was a good wake up call. I can see a lot more hill repeats and track workouts in my future. Once a week clearly is not enough. May try using my Kangoo boots at first to add in another day of intervals and take the strain off my knee.
Otherwise it was a fun morning. Had my picture taken with the Yeti, ate some awesome homemade chocolate chip banana bread at the finish and won a $185 pair of Rudy Project sunglasses in the raffle. Sort of. I won a form to mail in which allowed me to choose my glasses from some options but also required me to pay $30 shipping. Still $30 for high quality sunglasses is a deal, I've never had such a nice pair. But sucks they charge so much for something that is supposedly free. $30 for shipping my ass, smacks a little of a scam.
Me and Yeti sharing a moment
Ironically I had an appointment with another Yeti later in the day in the form of a Yeti bicycle. Or at least I thought I was going to have an appointment. The bike was supposed to be in the shop by noon last Wednesday but never arrived in time for me to test ride it then it snowed Thursday and yesterday was the first day the trails would have been dry enough to test it. So I showed up at the shop without calling first figuring that surely the bike had made it to the store by now. But somehow it hadn't and I was there for a good 15 minutes or so before it became apparent that they didn't have the bike. So the Yeti eluded me once again. Will be a couple of weeks until I get another chance since we got more snow today. Just a dusting, 2" or so but enough to keep the trails off limits until I leave for Sedona. Kind of excited about going to Sedona but kind of not excited about the traveling part. But more about that later.