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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Too Fast Start, So-so Finish: Run for Hungry Children, Wheaton Academy

400 warm-up
3x75m striders
3.1 mile race - Run for Hungry Children, Wheaton Academy- about 23:53.6 (official time)

42nd of 128 runners
10th of 18 in age group
34th of 73 males

42 - Anthony Trendl - M - 40-49 - 180 - 23:53.6

total: 3.5 miles

62 degrees
course: Wheaton Academy neighborhood, Prairie Path

Jim thought sub-23 might work. Maybe had I run smarter it could have worked. But me, a dumb-dumb, thought I was running smart-smart.

I was late, registration took longer, and so, my warm-up was short.

Mile one was too fast. Simple as that. 7:10? 7:13? Hard to tell. The mile marker guy was hard to hear. Either way, I was looking for a 7:26. I thought, though, I was controlled. The start was downhill, and I avoided the temptation to dash. Not so off, though, in the sense that I want to start hard enough to do well. I'm just not fit enough enough to sustain the speed. Not yet.

Mile two was trying to mitigate my losses. How can I adjust, catch my breath, and hold on? No two mile marker, so this left me out of the loop. It was here where we caught up with the walkers, and this slowed me crossing a narrow bridge.

Mile three was thinking about finishing. I'm not sure where my pace fell off, but, by looking at my finish time, must have. My last 2.1 miles averaged 7:56.

The finish was good. Bob Vishanoff, who finished in a sturdy 19:45, noted at the start where to start thinking kick-time. All said and done, compared those also running 23-24 minutes, I usually have a better kick. So it was today. When I saw the driveway with the yellow jeep, that meant a gradual pick-up. That meant maybe 600 meters to go. I ran past the Joan Benoit lookalike (she passed me a mile earlier), and held strong.

Good ol' Bob, already done, was there at the finish line. Seems a guy was quickly gaining on me. I had no idea. Never heard him. Heard Bob though, and he clued me in. Took the poor lad out. I'm curious by how much.

In all, that last 400 m or so, I passed 5-6 people.

It was a nice, neighborhoody kind of thing. Lots of people knew each other. People ran hard, but ultimately, it was a good time race, not a hardcore run-for-blood sort of event.

Met Mark, Bob's friend, a teacher of many subjects. This was his third run of the year. Not race. Run. He ran 24-something. He, with Bob, volunteer together in the Illinois Youth Home (that might not be quite accurate, but they help troubled kids).

I saw two young boys from Kenya afterwards. "I think we ran much of the race together," I said. One politely, confidently replied, "Yes, we passed you with a mile to go." Age keeps on coming; age keeps on going.

Lessons Learned
  • Be careful that first mile
  • Get to the race early
  • Sign-up before race day
  • Look at the race map ahead of time to know where bottlenecking will occur.

The Good News

  • My form was good, even when I was tired.
  • The races (three around Chicago) raised $78,000, all of which will help Africa.
  • Some of the issues can be easily resolved through better planning.
  • Some of the issues can be easily resolved by running a better course.
  • I ran a 23:13 on 7-25-07 (Viking Sunset race in Geneva), and this race is much earlier in the season.
  • Consistent training will address a major portion of my issues.

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