Yesterday, Jennie and I ran the Resolution Run, a 4 mile race in East Grand Rapids*. I’ve done this race the past couple of years, but this is the first year Jennie has joined me. It was a great way to close out 2010 and welcome 2011. We both had great races, but I’ll start off with the star of the day.
Jennie was apprehensive for this race. It would only be the second time she had done a 4 mile race, the first being the untimed Gobble Wobble**. Not only that, but the course was no longer the flat out and back course I had promised her. In my defense, the course had been an out and back for the past 3 years and they don’t have a fancy website so it was news to me too that the course had changed. The new course circumnavigated Reeds Lake – a course Jennie has never run, but is home field for me. Jennie at least took solace in the fact that we got to run down the Hall Street Hill rather than up it.
After I finished my race, I ran back to find Jennie. I found her before I thought I would. Despite having just run up the biggest hill of course, she had a huge smile on her face. She was looking great with less than a mile to go. I ran next to her and she immediately pointed out a tall skinny girl (TSG) in front of her and said, “I’m going to beat her!” They went back and forth a bit during the final mile but Jennie ended up pulling ahead for good in the final 100 yards. I ducked out in the final stretch but cheered her on. I could see the clock and it was approaching 40 minutes. She crossed the finish just as the clock ticked over 40:00. I figured that she probably a good 10-15 second chip-to-actual time though. She ended up with a 39:45 for a sub-10 minute pace! This was almost a minute faster than the Gobble Wobble a month ago!
Not only did Jennie have her best time, but she really gave it her all in the final stretch. She had a hell of a kick to surge ahead of the TSG and had her best kick yet.
I had a great race as well. I ran into a couple guys I knew at the starting line. One of them, PW, asked me my goal and said, “28 minutes, maybe a little under.” His goal was 24 minutes – 6:00 pace and ended up finishing in a smoking 24:30. I lined up near the front. I also saw one of the women I swim with daily. Her son, RJ, is a freshman at my alma mater and just finished up his first season of cross county. I told her I couldn’t let him beat me.
Surprisingly, the field all seemed to position themselves well based on their pace at this race. I didn’t see any obvious offenders toeing the line this time. Jennie and I even remarked after the race that we both finished just ahead of or just behind the people we started next to.
After the gun went off, I started off at a fast pace. My plan was to run my 5k pace and then hold on for dear life for the final mile. I hit the first mile feeling good. I didn’t know what my pace was, but I was hanging with PW, so I figured I was in good shape. I also passed by RJ shortly after the one mile. Now, I just had to keep him behind me. PW eventually pulled ahead but I was able to keep him in my sights for a while.
The second mile included going down Hall Street Hill. I must be horrible at descending hills because I had a dozen people go flying past me with long strides. Anyways, I got passed, but I passed a lot of them back once the course flattened back out.
Mile 3 was the hardest with its rolling hills, but the closer I got to the finish, the better I felt. I picked up the pace as much possible for the final mile. As I approached the finish line, I could see the clock at 25:35. I knew I had it in me to kick it in for a sub 26:00. I ended up with a 25:51 earning me 5th in my age group (technically 6th, but 1st overall was in my AG). So much 28:00 or a little under. I clocked a 27:37 last year, so this was a huge PR.
The awards ceremony was at Big Bob’s pizza, probably the smallest possible restaurant they could have chosen for the race. We stuck around to get my medal which was actually the same medal I got in 2008 when I placed – it even has a 2008 year on it. Haha. Oh well. It was worth it just to get a pint of Founder’s Dirty Bastard.
Bring on 2011!
|Overall Place:||57 / 745|
|Gender Place:||51 / 439|
|Age Group Place:||6/48 (5th b/c of 1st overall)|
|Run Pace:||6:26 min/mile|
*Useless Trivia: If you have seen American Pie, East Grand Rapids is the inspiration for East Great Falls in the movie. And the hotdog place the guys hangout on in the movie, Dog Years, is based on Yesterdog, the greatest hotdog joint ever.
**Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble (You’re welcome BDD)