Thursday, March 17, 2011

Corporate Cup Recap

Thanks for all the support. Things are getting a bit better a work or at least I am getting more sleep at night! I guess there are highs and lows to everything and you just gotta roll!

Yeah, I know I run funny.
My mom tells me all
 the time (and this is the
better picture).
So this past weekend I ran in Charlotte's Corporate Cup, the race I previewed with Giants 1&2 and Vespa the other week. This time it was not raining but the morning started off surprisingly cold. To be perfectly honest, I did  not want to run in this road race. When it comes down to it I do not want to run in any road race, pretty much like no runner wants to swim in a swim meet. The only run I want to run in is the Charlottesville 10 miler (next week) because my brother and sister-in-law will be running in it too and  it was my birthday present AND the world's cutest niece will be there. I can be pretty much bribed to do anything if it means I get to spend time with my niece. Anyway, the night before the run I went to the Bobcats vs Portland Trailblazers game. The game was pretty lackluster until the 4th quarter. Up until then the only highlight was seeing Gerald Wallace again. Man, the Bobcats never should have traded him . . . Not only is he a great player but he is a team player and a great leader. At the start of the 4th quarter Stephen Jackson hit three 3 pointers to give the Bobcats almost a 10 point lead and that charge really set the tone for the final 12 minutes. The Bobcats ended up winning the game by 5 points. In a post game interview Stephen Jackson told reporters "I just knew that what the team has been missing in the fourth quarter is someone to go to in the fourth. DJ (Augustin) was telling me before the game, 'Be ready to finish and take us home at the end of the game'."

The fourth quarter is where games are won or lost right? I decided to use this as my motivation for my race in the morning. Finish strong. I my plan going in was to break the 1/2 marathon into 4 descending 5Ks and then giving anything I had to whatever was left of the course (0.7 miles to be precise). That was my plan and when I got up that morning I was dead set on making it happen . . . until I was at the start line. I randomly met up with Giants 1&2 about 10 mins to the start and as we were standing there I started to doubt my strategy of descending the 5Ks. The first 5K would be relatively flat and then each 5K after that contained a hill with varying degrees of difficulty which would make any effort to descend quite difficult. I decided to just see what happens and roll with it because being rigid when you are racing is not likely to lead to good things.

my number should just say "wide load"
Geez, is it me or just the picture?
The hardest part of any race is the first quarter. I swam the 200 free as my main event all through high school and I had to learn to swim that very first 50 slow and I am talking it had to feel like warm-up slow. The first 50 is always your fastest and it is always deceptively fast so if you work it too hard, even without knowing it, you will blow the entire race. I tried to remember that during the first part of the run. It had to feel like a warm up . . . and it did, so much so I was very tempted to nab one of the pancakes Denise was handing out (thanks for cheering for me by the way!!). Still, I think my first mile was my fastest but I was able to relax from there into a good pace and breathing rhythm. I took a conservative approach to the inclines and tried to enact my descend on the flats. Giant 1 and I had a great rhythm going so when we hit the inclines at Roswell I knew we just had to work through them to recover on Queens before building up to the uphill finish. I have to go on a tangent here and say how proud I am of Giants 1&2. Both PR'd, Giant 1 by 8 minutes!!! He had a great race and I am enjoying so much his process of improvement. He is going to have a great year this year! Unfortunately somewhere in the last three miles I lost Giant 1. I thought he was right behind me because I kept hearing a garmin beeping and booping but apparently it was someone else because when I turned onto Morehead Giant 1 was nowhere around. As I ran up Morehead my calves started to cramp - you know those cramps where you feel like your legs are going to just buckle under you . . .?  Man, I was bummed. Other than the cramps, I felt great and strong. Stronger at the finish than in the beginning. Bummer.  I did not bring any salt tablets with me as it was so cold I did not think I needed them. My last mile was not exactly what I envisioned but I didn't let the ol calvies get the best of me either. Congrats to everyone who ran and cheered. Special congrats to teammates Giants 1&2 and Dan the Man. Great racing!

Sunday was a late day 50 mile spin through Tank Town with the Master. What a gorgeous ride! I was worried my legs would "tank" but they felt great, even when the Master lead us off-road to avoid a slow moving train. One of the warmer spring afternoons, it was one of those moments when I was out on my bike, no agenda, no exepectations, just loving and living the moment.

Aquageek quote of the day: "I always swim better when you are at practice. I had every intention of being a major slacker this morning . . ." 
Aquageek is just happy because he kicked my butt . .  .again.