Race report: Der Höchster Kreisstadtlauf 2012
OK so it’s been ages since I wrote an actual race report, so long that I’ve pretty much forgotten how…also, for me this race, just like the last few (that I failed to write race reports for) was a bit of a disappointment.
TL;DR version: I ran, finished 2 minutes slower than I usually run 10K’s when they come at the end of an Olympic distance tri. On the good side, the wife, whom I have started coaching, not only beat me, but she also PR’d by about 1 minute 40 seconds and this in a race with virtually no taper and no intent to “race” it. So I’m doing something right, at least.
Excuses version: Was at the doctor 2 weeks ago for unrelated issues and during the course of the blood work, it was discovered that apparently I have iron deficiency anemia. Significant enough that the doc had me in this week for an intravenous iron injection. Which was on Wednesday, the day before the race. So, it’s either the anemia that’s making me feel like utter crap every time my HR goes above the low 160’s (every time I put in effort, my heart rate went up, then I felt incredibly nauseous and had to back off) or it’s the iron injection itself. Whatever, not my best day at the races. Which was sad because the weather was perfect, the course was gorgeous and net downhill, and it ended in my hometown, 2 blocks from my apartment. We only found out about the race about 2 weeks ago, signed up because of the convenience (Hometown race! YAY!) and the cheap entry and intended to do it as a training run (I was intending it to be a good tempo effort, which for me is about 9 minute miles. It was only after looking at the profile and seeing the weather (much too cold in the early morning, but by the 10 AM start time, perfectly cool and sunny) did I realize it was PR weather on a PR course. Of course, the whole anemia thing has pretty much trashed at least the first half of my season (at least 8 weeks from now before improvement, apparently significant numbers of my red blood cells have become tiny and wimpy and need some time to be replaced) so hopefully, the weather will be good next year as well.
So, started the race about 1/4 of the way back – about 1500 people were running, so this was a reasonable place to start and left us a perfect amount of running room right from the mat where we did not impact anyone by being too slow, nor did we have to slow down for anyone in our way. Perfect. After the first big hill, the whole race was on nice closed roads and (relatively wide) paved trails and all flat or downhill until the big 0.2 mile cobblestone hill it ended with. It was during the first hill that my HR alarm started ringing off the hook (which may not have been entirely an error) and I discovered that any pushing of the pace made me feel sick enough that I thought I’d better slow down so as not to vomit on another runner or anything. Maybe I’m a wimp for not wanting to puke in a 10K, but I did enough puking during high school track to last a lifetime, thank you. First mile including the hill and the start was 9:13, not so bad, overall, considering.
After the second mile, 8:46 and all downhill, I realized that the wife (who is a lying liar who lies) didn’t want to hang out with me and have a nice run, but was feeling really good and wanted to race. So I took a minute to convince her that leaving me wasn’t an act of spousal neglect on her part and she took off. Or I slowed down. Either way, it was a nice day, the crowds cheering and the crowds running were all happy, especially the group of fathers with their little wagon full of beer, and yes, they beat me, too. (Aside: yesterday was Father’s day here in Germany and that usually means that all the fathers take their kids’ wagons, load them up with beer and sausage and spend the day behaving as only men filled with beer and sausages can. These guys did it in a 10K race, which was honestly pretty impressive and only slightly reminiscent of Bay to Breakers)
Mile 3 was 9:08 for me, stopped briefly at the water stop to try to get the feeling of about to puke out of my system. It worked for a while. Mile 4 (8:47) felt pretty good and had the added interest of containing the only run through a train station I’ve ever done as part of an organized race and from there we went into the chemical plant which is usually closed to visitors, so that was interesting. They were playing some really nice techno/ambient music in one of the labs. There was a nice photographer that I waved at and managed to get myself photographed (and posted on the local newspaper’s website (ok, I was only 1 of about 200 photos they posted, but still!)
Mile 5 was 9:26 and that was where I really had to take it slow to not puke. Worst I’ve felt during a run since the last marathon and that was a totally different kind of awful. This was mostly frustrating, rather than horrible.
The last mile we were back on streets and not only streets, but hometown streets. It’s fun to run races along roads that I regularly run along! I picked it up slightly and oddly was passing a lot of folks (maybe not that odd since they all had passed me in the last 10 minutes or so), but I was getting more and more excited for the wife because I knew that I was on pace to beat her PR by about 45 seconds or so and she was ahead of me somewhere.
The last 0.23 mile (hey, I ran decent tangents or something to be that close) took me about 2:10 to finish. Did I mention that it was up a steep hill? With hairpin turns? On cobblestones? I knew exactly what to expect and did start my sprint at exactly the right time and even though my pace seems ridiculously slow, I was still passing folks the whole way up that little hill. So, I guess that running is still ok, but racing probably isn’t going to happen for a few more weeks, which may be a problem as a have a Tristar 111 tri in a month (1K swim, 100K bike, 10K run).
My mad coaching skilz version: The wife finished in 55 something, smashing her previous 10K time by almost 2 minutes. She didn’t even look that winded at the end of it, either. Apparently, she likes downhill races. I am taking at least 1/2 the credit as I’ve been doing all the coaching for her lately and because staying with me for the first 2 miles forced her to not go out too fast like she
usually occasionally does. She also ran with another woman who was running with her coach and apparently it’s much better for her to hear advice from people during a race who aren’t me 🙂
Comeback kid version: Check back next year!