Sunday, April 27, 2014

Trolley Run

I had a lot of goals for this season, and between the late winter and my apathy, I didn't really train very well.  I had some runs, not many rides, and not really feeling confident coming into the Trolley Run today.  Fortunately the Trolley Run is a net downhill 4 miler through some of the prettier parts of the city, and I knew there would be a lot of people there cheering and running, so I knew I would do alright.

The race starts near Waldo Pizza ( and finishes on Ward Parkway on the Plaza.  I wasn't super amped up until I got there and then I had the pre-race jitters once I was milling about all the racers.  I miss those.  There is something about those jitters that I like.  It is its own unique kind of tension, and the questions flood the mind.  Did I train hard enough?  Did I remember everything?  Don't start out too fast...just your own race...  The list goes on and on.

As I stood in the staging area/stockade, I had a lot of regret about not being more consistent.  I will say this about being athletic.  It's hard.  It's hard to sit on your arse for 8+ hours a day, get home to get the kids working on homework/fed/sent to activities, get the kitchen cleaned up, play with the kids, try and have some sort of decent quality conversation with your spouse, then go hit the trainer or run, get back, shower, hit the hay, and do it all again.  The important part is to do it all again.  It's one thing to do it for a couple of days, but to keep at for weeks/months/years is tough.  Being athletic isn't a 3x a week for 30 minutes kind of thing.  That barely keeps you out of the doctor's office.

Back to the race, we got the usual "pep" talk and thanks from Sabates Eye Center (the title sponsor), and then the red (fast) heat went off...shuffle (good runners) heat went off, shuffle heat (my heat) went off.  I'd love to be at a running race where you actually got to run from the gun.  Most races, like this one, start with "go", and then you stand around while the front takes off, and about 30-60 secs later you finally get up to the start line and your timing chip activates.

I started off feeling ok, passing a lot of people and getting passed by a few too.  I just tried to settle into some sort of steady pace, and not get stuck behind anyone going too slow.  That took a little effort the first half mile or so as everyone got sorted into their order.  Once that was on, it seemed that the mile 1 marker took awhile to get too.  I thought I felt ok, but knew I'd be walking soon enough.  I know during my training, that I tend to run fairly fast (9:00 min miles), then stop and suck wind for a few hundred feet until my heart rate comes down.  Interval training, I guess, but it'd be nice to have some consistent runs.

Anyway, I kept plugging along.  By this time, my left calf was getting tight, even though I did my best to loosen them up this morning.  I'm wondering how much longer I was going to run.  I wasn't feeling like I was dying, so I kept my head down and knew I have some time to recover, but race time was right now.  Mile 2 came up, and I felt a little happy knowing that this is probably the furthest I have ran non-stop in over a year or two.  It was getting pretty warm at this point (67* at race start), and there wasn't much wind as Brookside Blvd. has a lot of nice trees and homes to block the wind.  Every now and again you'd get a puff of wind and that was nice, but those were far and few between.  I walked through the water station, guzzled half a glass of water as my mouth was super dry, and then picked it up again.

Mile 3 came and went, and about where a 5k would end (3.2 miles) I feel like I'm slowing down and getting hungry.  I saw people walking, and really wanted to join them, but again I reminded myself that there's a big difference between running the whole thing and having to walk once, so I kept on.  That was tough.  Once I got close the final turn on Ward Parkway I tried to remember where the finish line was, and how nice it will be to stop.

I made the turn, and enjoyed a nice downhill with a hump over the Central St. intersection, then cranked up the heat for the last 100 m or so.  Finished!  I saw Penny, AB and K right at the finish line and I gave them a big wave and smile.  Somehow K didn't see me, but he gave me a big hug when we finally met up.  I started guzzling water and Propel and Door-to-Door Organics bananas, and then a chocolate milk.  Of course the boys had their share of donut holes/chocolate milk/bananas as well.

It was a good race, I'm glad I did it, and it makes me want to shave 10 minutes off my race time for next year.  I think I'll pencil that in for now, but will start looking for the next race!

my 26th Annual Trolley Run - 4 Mile results

I'm looking through Strava, and I had some weird splits.  Maybe I should have just kept running!

mile 1: 11:18
mile 2: 10:12
mile 3: 9:55
mile 4: 9:32