Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Carrboro's Four on the Fourth Race Report

Le Tour de Carrboro is a series of races throughout the year starting with the Four on the Fourth. It is a four mile race through the streets of Carrboro. I thought maybe it would be a good idea for me because the distance is somewhat challenging for me right now and it would be a good chance to have at least one recent race experience before the half in October. My goals going into the race were simple enough: finish the race in 40 minutes and run the whole thing.

We arrived at the race and I did some last minute prep and said goodbye to the family. There were about 700 racers. I situated myself towards the back of the pack and had a light warm up. As I heard the gun go off I was situating my ipod into my fuel belt and was ready to go by the time people around me began to move. Brent and the kids were at the starting line to wish me luck. Off we went. I had driven the course the day before so I knew the course was fairly flat with some minor hills. The first half mile was just people jostling into position. After the first turn it was pretty much spread out. I was running around 9min miles and feeling pretty good. I was trying to pick people to pace with and ended up passing most of them. Miles 1 and 2 were pretty unremarkable - some nice flat running through residential streets. There was a water stop at mile 2. I grabbed a cup and poured it on my head because it was getting pretty hot. Right after the water I found a group of women running at about a 9 min pace and stuck with them for a while. Mile 2 was relatively flat and not too bad at all. Around mile 3 the group of women I was following started to fall apart. Most of them stopped to walk so I was forced to pass them and go on my own. But it wasn't long before I was also tempted to take a break. I walked for about 20 seconds before I reminded myself of my goal to run the whole thing. I was up and running again when immediately one the bottles fell out of my belt. Luckily there was no one right behind me and I was able to snatch it up and keep going. I was getting pretty tired at this point but the last turn was right ahead of me. Once more I was tempted to stop and walk. 30 seconds later I resolved to finish this race strong. At this point we were turning into the school and headed to the track where we would have only two thirds of a lap to go. I turned it up on the track, saw an older man in front of me and resolved to finish before him. As I passed him it was straight to the finish line.

As I crossed I was relieved to be done - and happy to see Brent and Hannah right there (Morgan chose the bouncy house over me). The clock at the finish line said just over 43 min. I was anxious to see what my official time would be and if I beat 40 minutes. My watch read 4.3 miles and 42:54. When the official times were posted it read what the clock had said when I crossed the line 43:12. It appears that the official race time is actually the gun time. Come to think of it, there was no chip sensor at the starting line. Bummer. But I chose to look at it this way. My original goal was 4 miles in 40 minutes, or a 10:00 min/mile pace. I finished 4.3 miles in 42:54 which is a 9:58 pace. Right on target. As for the two walk breaks? Hey, I kept moving which is not always the case during my training runs where I have a nasty little habit of taking a full on break at the turn around point. Overall, I was happy with the way I ran this race. I had some clear goals in mind and I feel that I met them.

It was a good experience to have going into full on training for the half. I know that I definitely have to work on my endurance and strength training. And with that I need to work on nutrition and properly fueling my body.

After the race we stuck around so Morgan could run in the kids races. He did great and was psyched to get a ribbon! We both crossed the finish line today!

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