Friday, August 26, 2011

Beat the Heat 10K Race Report

Scenic Upcountry Maui
Last Saturday was one of my favorite races, the "Beat the Heat" 10K.  The route takes you from Rice Park to Grandma's Coffee and back through one of Maui's most scenic areas.

The race gets it's name from it's start time at 4:30 p.m. and the location, which is at approx. 3,000 ft elevation, along a shady, hilly, meandering road. Temp at race time was about 75 degrees (and a chilly 67 when I left at 6:30!

I had anticipated running a sub-1 hour 10K this year, but several things conspired against me:
  1. I woke up that morning with a sore right hip.  Felt like IT band issues, but my knee was not bothering me.  It was reminiscent of the time 10 years ago when I suffered from tendonitis in my hip while long-distance running.
  2. As much as I love this race, I completely forget about the altitude, which makes a bit of a difference for me.
  3. I also forget about the awkward running angle on this course - the road camber is very pronounced, so my right hip was not happy and neither was my left foot.
I decided before I even got there that if my foot or hip began to seriously hurt I would bag the race and walk back to the start.  Thankfully, both cooperated.

This time I thought I'd get creative and set my Garmin to beep if I was running slower than 10 min miles (my goal).  I did pretty well going out, with a couple of slow-downs on the climbs, but really started to drag on the return (so much for a negative split!).  Since I found myself shouting, "All right already!" to my Garmin as it beeped for what seemed like the millionth time on the return, I pressed stop, took a break and turned off the notification for the remaining 2+ miles of the run.  I think I will set it to beep if I run too fast next time, since the report I downloaded said my fastest pace was 7:30 (somewhere near the start!)...too much excitement and way too fast.  No wonder I burned out at the end.  I definitely need to work on pacing, especially if I have a 1/2 ironman in mind for next year.

A couple of "wear testing" side notes:
  • This was the first race that I "dressed up" for.  I tested my new Athleta runzip skort, which I love.  Very cool and comfortable - nothing like feeling pretty for a race (a first time for me, since I usually wear what's comfortable).  I often tell myself that "exercise is not a fashion show," so this was fun!
  • I wore my new Nathan Elite 1+ water carrier. I LOVE IT!  The only drawback is that the zipper pouch is not large enough to carry my iPhone (or any phone, really).  But I can sew and I'm going to make a waterproof pocket that I can add on - more on that later.
  • I also wore my CEP compression calf sleeves.  They were perfect - comfortable and supportive, like I've come to expect.  I really want to try out their cushioned socks one of these days.
Although I wasn't completely pleased about my time, I was happy with the race overall.  Really looking forward to the next few road races!

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