Showing posts with label track race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label track race. Show all posts

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Race report: DC Road Runners mile, July 24, 2013

I raced the mile today at the DC Road Runners Track Meet, finishing in 5:39.  Surprisingly fun, in that weird mile race way (I also enjoy stabbing myself with a pen recreationally).

I went back and forth on whether to race this or not.  Why not?  Well....

a) I hate evening races;
b) for a variety of reasons, I've cut my running significantly back the past few weeks, including cutting back the mileage, missing my team's last few hill rep sessions, and holding off on my gym plyometrics - I'm not exactly speedy right now;
c) we have a tempo workout scheduled for Friday morning, and I wasn't sure that Wednesday night to Friday morning was enough time for me to recover;
d) one of the reasons I've been cutting back is to work through some issues with tight calves and feet - I wasn't sure racing a mile was a good idea, given the last few weeks.

But, my coach really wanted us to do this race (plus, my ART guy told me this morning I was totally fine to race, so I didn't have that excuse), so I pulled on my big girl panties.  Who knows, maybe I was in better shape than I thought.  I also pride myself on being someone who's not afraid to race when I'm out of shape.  Things are never perfect - go with what you have and learn how to deal.

And if nothing else, this would be a chance to practice a different race strategy.  In my last few track miles, I've ended up leading a pack, and then getting outkicked by others. I thought this time I'd try to play that same game, and see how it worked for me.  Run patient, hold back until way close to the end, and then GO.  I decided that I really didn't care about the overall time or placing - I just wanted to see if I could run a spectacular last 200m.

So we started, and I tried to tuck in behind a pack. Of course, we went out a bit fast, but then a group settled down slightly, and I tucked in behind them.  And just let others set the pace.  I was comfortable.  Perhaps too comfortable, but this was what I wanted to play with this week.  I was going to sit and sit, and then finally kick, and see how that worked.

800 m to go, and I was still settled.  Usually I get impatient soon after that, and start extending my stride with about 600m to go.  This time, I waited, and waited, and waited.  400m to go, I sat behind someone, and waited some more.  Finally, a bit after the 200m to go point, feeling good, I tried to kick.  Thought positive speedy thoughts, relaxed forward, pumped my arms, fired my glutes.  I "envision[ed my] legs pushing off the ground and exploding with each stride."  And I believed....  And...

Nothing really happened.  Hah!

I just cruised to the finish.  Not horribly - I held a good solid pace.  But the explosive kick I had been saving up to deliver was a limp sparkler fizzling in the sand.

So maybe my tendency to pick up the pace a lot earlier and do a sustained push is the right strategy for me.  Or maybe my lack of kick is because I haven't done fast running or much in the way of drills, strides, etc) the last few weeks.  Who knows.  Either way, I'm happy to have tried something different.  You never know until you try.  And it's not like I had a horrible race, especially given my slight lack of fitness.

Splits were: 85, 85, 83, 86.  Again, I don't take these manually, but just set my garmin to autolap from the start point.  The Garmin GPS isn't perfect, so these are just approximations, but still.  What's interesting here is that, if the splits are more or less correct, then the last lap that I saved up and tried to kick on was my slowest, while the lap I really felt like I was holding back on was my fastest.

Which matches a common theme - when I try too hard, I run slower.  90% effort for me is much faster than 100%. Good to know.  Something to experiment with more in my next race.

Other notes:
  • Beautiful weather.  And my team did really well!
  • Horrible insomnia the night after the race.  Yup - night races are not for me.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Race report: PVTC Track Mile, June 30, 2013

I ran the mile today at the PVTC meet, finishing in 5:39.  Yup, another mile. 

This one was frankly disappointing.  Got there, warmed up like my usual, and then waited for the mile to start.  Just like every other time, there was the bit of debate about which heat to jump in.  They announced the final split as 5:25, and based on that, I decided to go with the second heat, which had the added benefit of several teammates (all three named Jessica, amusingly) that would start the race around the same pace as myself.

So the gun went off, and I tucked into the pack of Jessicas and hung out there for a while (as I recall, around 2 laps).  Then it seemed like the pack was starting to fade a bit, and so I swung wide and started what felt like a steady push towards the finish.  Except in retrospect, looking at the splits from my Garmin, it looks like I just hit steady 84s and 85s for the whole race.  Like a workout.

I had every opportunity to pick it up.  I had people to chase, and one of the Jessicas went with me and then accelerated hard in the last lap.  I had all the will in the world to go with her, and pumped my arms and lifted my knees, but I just didn't have that extra gear. 

Again, frustrating.  I raced like this once before, in my first mile this summer, but I just attributed to not having raced many miles and slacking on drills.  I've been pretty good about doing my drills, adding box jumps, etc, but still couldn't find that gear.

Annoying.  Maybe that's just the mile, and why people have such a love/hate relationship with it.  Who knows.  But bad races are frustrating, even when you remind yourself that you're NOT trying to run fast right now, but just to work on different things in your racing.  The goal is to race well in the late fall - October and beyond.  But it'd be nice to be a bit more consistent right now.  Especially since I've been trying to work on explosiveness and power.

At least I didn't go out too fast again, so corrected that.  And now I'm a bit angry, and that does good things for my running generally.  So we'll see what the next race brings.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Race Report: PVTC Track mile, June 9, 2013

I ran the mile today at the PVTC meet, finishing in 5:35.  Yup, another mile.  And faster than the last time I ran this meet, though slower than my road mile.

And yes, you'll be seeing a lot of these - the DC area has a whole slew of mile track races, and I intend to run nearly all of them?  Why?  Because I like racing, and I like working towards a goal.  And though my ultimate focus is on the longer stuff, this shorter stuff is good for my form and my speed.

So, headed down to the track, again.  Jogged the warm-up with first my friend PJ and then my friend Claire, and then lined up in the field with the other milers, while the race officials decided how to split the race.  They divide it into heats, with the exact dividing time hinging on everyone's projected time.  Usually they split the fastest heat at 5:30, which meant that I fell right on the dividing line between the two (and could fairly pick either).  In the past, I've tried both heats, and run much faster in the faster heat.  Today, however, they divided the heat at 5:20.  I debated for a bit, and then put myself in anyway.  5:2x was possible for me on a good day, and I didn't want to be the fastest one in the slower heat.  I wanted to be towed, rather than the tower.

So we lined up, and the gun went off.  Mindful of the fact that most likely everybody in this group was a bit faster than I (and that I like to negative split anyway), I resolved to let myself fall to the rear of the pack for the first 400m at least.  My hope was that people would start to fade, and I could pick them off.

By 200m, I was in the rear, and happily, in lane 1.  There was an older guy about 2 seconds in front of me - my hope was that I could use him to tow me.  So I essentially just focused on him for the next few minutes, trying to close the gap, and ignoring the somewhat satisfying burning that hit about 800m or so into the race.  Unfortunately, I couldn't quite seem to catch up, and his lead built on me by another second or so with each lap.

By the last lap, he was far enough ahead that I had lost contact.  I did spot someone else ahead, what looked like a teenage boy who was struggling.  I worked to hunt him down, while keeping my form as relaxed as possible, and my knees lifting.  With about 150m to go, on the last turn, I passed him to the outside.  This woke him up, and he surged,  I surged back, and kept my lead for a split second, and then he took off (I'm guessing from the spandex and the way he took off that he does some sprinting).   I pumped my arms for all they were worth, while keeping the rest of my body relaxed and moving fast, but I just didn't have the gear he did.  Argh.  I came rolling in through the finish in 5:35.  Not the 5:2x I'd like, but not bad.  I'm getting there.

I once again set my Garmin to autolap at around the start point, which in practice means somewhere between the start and finish (since it's a mile on the track, there's a bit of difference).  Splits, each for something slightly over 400m, were 82/83/85/84.  Not the negative split I would have liked, but no big fall off.

I was thinking that I might have gone out too fast, but my coach nixed that.  And I see his point.  If' I'm going to run 5:2x, then each lap needs to be 82 or faster.  So I need to work more on that second half.  I did a credible job today - I just need to do more work over the summer to make it better.

It'd also be nice to be able to surge.  3-4 years ago, it seemed like I had more of an ability to find that higher gear when I needed it (though I wasn't racing anything shorter than 5K).  But then again, I also ran a lot of my workouts in a way that included surges - for example, one of my favorites was a tempo run at half marathon pace but with 10 seconds at mile pace every half mile (did this one on the treadmill).  Now, my workouts are much more metronome like and even.

Of course, I'm also running significantly faster overall.  And I wouldn't trade that for an ability to surge.  So I'll just work on making my mile races a faster metronome.  :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Race report: PVTC Track Mile, May 19, 2013

I ran the mile at the PVTC track meet this morning, finishing in 5:44.  It's fair bit off of my PR, but that's fine - I'm still early in the process of trying to redevelop my speed.  Today was realistically not going to be a PR attempt, but rather just getting used to racing such a short distance again.

The PVTC races used to be held at a track in Falls Church, Virginia; but moved this year to a track in Alexandria (Edison HS).    When I arrived at the race, the first thing I did (after registering) was to check out the track.  It was interesting - something as standardized as a track can still come in many different shapes.  In this case, the Edison HS track is elongated and narrow - the turns are somewhat tight, and the straightaways quite long - well over 100m.  Interesting.

So, jogged around the track, did drills and strides, chatted with friends, and then gathered with others in the infield before the race start to be divided into heats.  There was some discussion about how to divide the heats, with the end conclusion being that the first heat would be 5:30 or faster, the second heat 5:30-6, and then the balance of runners in the third heat.  Last year, I would have gone with the 5:30 or faster heat, but this year I was pretty sure that 5:30-6:00 was where I belonged.  Plus, there were three other girls (My teammate Jessica, blogging friend Vanessa, and "Liz" - whom I knew from this race two years back) who would be in that heat, so I knew that I'd have other people in my approximate range.

At the start
(Picture by my friend Janet - and yes, that's a large heat)
Of course, the 5:30-6:00 heat was a big one - approximately 20 runners.  At the start line, I placed myself on the outside - figuring I'd start a bit slow and stay wide to avoid what would be a large group of kids (and 40 year old kids at heart) who would start very fast and then fade badly between 300-600m.

Another Janet picture - me rabbiting in the middle of the race.
And that was pretty much what happened.  The first 400 m (and definitely the first 200) we just a free for all - I ran wide to the outside and just tried to stay out of trouble.  But then the crowds dwindled a bit, and I was able to start picking my way though (though not without a bit of dodging).

I had commented before the race's start that I'd probably end up rabbiting Jessica, Vanessa, and Liz for a bit, and that was what happened for the next lap or two - I could hear Jessica breathing behind me, and could also sense, in that weird runner's way, that I had a few more behind me.  I kept my rhythm and focused on sustaining a hard (but not straining) effort, dropping it down a bit more with each lap.

One of the things I've been told is that I need to work on having more knee lift and explosiveness in these shorter races.  When I try to run fast, I often just increase my turnover, while leaning back and shuffling.  Not conducive to true speed.  So, for the last 400m, I tried not only to up the effort, but also to lift my knees more, pump my arms hard, and use a long powerful stride - using the same form tenets I am hopefully developing doing drills.
Home stretch - my knees are up a bit, right?

I did end up closing fairly strong, in terms of how I finished next to other competitors.    But I felt like I had a lot more speed that I couldn't quite access.  I would have LOVED LOVED LOVED to run that last lap faster and hurt more.  But I had the equivalent of a full fuel tank but a narrow fuel line. When I finished, I wasn't breathing that hard and could have run another mile with about 5 minutes rest.  But I didn't have a higher gear during the race.  But my sense is that I just need to do more of these, and that experience combined with many drills, strides, and interval workouts focused on speed, will help me cut a great deal of time from my mile this summer.

Splits ended up being 88, 87, 85, 84.   No, I didn't take manual splits.  Instead, I set my Garmin to autolap from the start.  The Garmin isn't that accurate, and seemed to take the split at some point after I passed the start point.  So what I have is four splits of a bit over 400m each.  But still good enough to give me some basic info.

Other notes:
  • Weather was pretty sticky - temp 63, dew point 62, and light rain at times (but not during race).  Great thing about these mile races is that humidity is generally not a factor, though.
  • The track was definitely wet.  I own a pair of spikes but have never raced in them - part of me wonders if I shouldn't wear them next time we've got wet conditions - at times I felt that I was slipping a bit on the track.  On the other hand, this is not my focus distance, and the last thing I want to do is to get myself injured.  And spikes do increase the injury risk.
  • Weird HR conundrum continues.  Here's the geeky overanalysis:  Basically, I can NOT get my HR up in a mile race.  For this race, my HR maxed at 173.  By contrast, my HR average for the Broad Street 10 Miler was 172, and my max HR for that race was 183.  My maximum HR in my marathon was higher than what I see in mile races.  It's always been this way, it's weird, and I think explains why these mile races don't hurt that much - I just don't seem to accelerate fast enough to push my HR up in such a short period of time.  It's not that I don't want to hurt (if it was, I wouldn't be hitting those higher heart rates during longer races).  I just don't have the mechanics down to the point where I'm able to achieve that level of exertion over such a short period of time.  Again, homework.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Race report: PVTC Track Mile, August 12, 2012

I ran the mile today at the PVTC All-comers meet, finishing in 5:30 by my watch (*my fingers are oh so crossed that I hit my watch late…it’s be fun to have broken 5:30).  Either way, it’s a mile PR, so yay.

Edit: official time of 5:30.7

This meet usually breaks into 2-3 heats.  In the past, I’ve seeded myself in the second heat (the announced cut-off being 5:20), and ended up running solo for most of the race.  This time, I decided to jump in the faster heat, under the theory that at the worst, I’d be running by myself BEHIND people, rather than by myself in the lead.  The former is more conducive to a fast time.

As it turned out, a teammate of mine was also in the race, and would be doing the fast heat.  She and I usually end up doing workouts at similar paces, though she specializes in the mile, while I focus on 10 miles and beyond.  I figured that she’d be a bit ahead of me, so I could use her as a mental towing point.  And then even more fortunately, my coach decided to jump into the race, with a plan to hit the first quarter at a time that would work pretty well for me.  So that was my game plan – stick with my coach for the first quarter, and then take it from there.

And, it worked pretty well.  My splits ended up being:
First 409m – 1:25
Next 400 – 1:22
Next 400 – 1:22
Final 400 – 1:20
So, pretty well paced, with the last lap the fastest. 

My one wish is that I could have picked it up more the last lap.  I had plenty in the tank to do so, and all the will in the world.  I had someone right ahead of me to chase down, and chase I did, but couldn’t catch him (UGH).  I think I just don’t have this “sprinting” thing down – instead I just do my distance running thing but turn over my legs faster.  This works pretty well for my kick in longer races, but kicking in a mile is a whole different ball game.

At some point, I’d like to learn how to actually “get up on my toes” and do all the other sprinter things – I think that will help a lot.  I did try pumping my arms more down the home stretch, and that seemed to help some.  Afterwards, a teammate who can run a very fast mile explained that he actually slows down his cadence and just tries to push off harder with each step – I tried this later today, and it actually seemed to work well.  So I may try that in my next mile. 

But that’s for the future.  This was probably my last mile for the year, as the weather’s starting to cool, and I’m getting excited about longer races.  Though I believe I have a much faster mile in me (especially if I ever decided to focus on the distance), this was a satisfying way to end my summer.  And I think all this mile racing has been really helpful for me in terms of speed development and making my stride more efficient, which will pay off in my goal races this fall.

Other notes:
  • Warmed up with 2 miles very easy, then  1 mile easy, then some drills+strides.
  • Weather was fantastic – temp 73, DP 60.   I felt pretty sluggish at first, but that was totally attributable to pollen (which is now starting to rise).  As is always the case with my allergies, as soon as I actually started running hard, I felt good.
  • I was really good about running hard but relaxed here, and running faster withOUT tensing up.  Gold star here.
  • If my coach permits, I may tack on some 200m repeats from time to time, this faster stuff does good stuff for my form.
  • I was a bit tempted to hang around and hop in to run the 400m or 800m in this race, but decided to go for a longer run with some teammates instead - marathon training officially started this week.  Next summer I think I'll make more of a point to run some of the really short stuff, just for the heck of it (plus perfecting my kick).
  • If I can run a 5:30 mile, and feel that I could have slowed and gone a bit longer, then maybe a 5K at sub-6:00 pace ain't that far away.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race report: DC Road Runners Track Championships mile, July 25, 2012

I ran the mile at the DC Road Runners "Track Championships" last night (despite the name, this was an all-comers meet), finishing in a time of 5:39 by my watch - I don't show on the results, but there's an unidentified woman at 5:40, so perhaps that was me.

I was excited to do this race for a few reasons.  One, I've historically not been a night runner, so it gave me a chance to rehearse eating and resting for an evening race (which I've had trouble with in the past).  Second of all, after setting a PR of 5:31 for the mile in early May, I've been consistently running 5:39-5:40 on the track - something I attributed to always being by myself on track races (too slow for the fast heat, too fast for the slow heat).  This race would feature a lot of women faster than myself, which would hopefully drag me to better times.

So showed up, warmed up, and ran.  And my splits were 1:19 for the first 409 meters, 2:41 for 809, 4:02 for 1209 meters, and then 5:39-5:40 (1:37-1:38 for the last lap, after three laps at about 1:20 each).  That pretty much tells the story.

Rather than start out a bit under the pace and continuously build, I started out hard, trying to keep a few of my faster teammates in striking distance.  This pulled me to a super fast first lap (good) but by the end of that lap everything was starting to burn.  Not how I like to race.  But, maybe this was how you ran a PR mile.  Only one way to find out.   So I kept on.

By 800m I could NOT comprehend another two laps.  But that was what I had in front of me.  So I continued, focusing on trying to keep my form as good and relaxed as possible.  Don't think about how far you have yet to go, just think about form - stay relaxed, good posture, quick turnover.  And it worked for a bit.  I came around for the last lap, still holding a good pace, and then my quads locked up and I dragged myself home shuffling with a combination of willpower and arm strength.  Which is not the optimal way to race.

Oh well.  While I'm disappointed at how the race turned out, I also can't regret giving it a shot.  And that's exactly what these races are for - trying out different things while also learning how to run at speed.  And the fact that I held 5:20 pace for 1200m tells me that I have a much faster mile in me than what I'm currently running, something that my coach emphasized to me afterwards (and I agree with him).

So, I just need to give it another shot, with the intent of running similarly, but with a slightly slower start and a stronger finish (which go together).

Other notes:
  • I believe I got my eating down well for this -- light but normal breakfast and lunch, and then a "second breakfast" about 3 hours before race time.  Worked well - I was energized but no stomach issues.
  • There was some major allergens in the air at the track -- everyone ended up with sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing.  Weird.
  • New asthma drugs continue to work awesome.  Though I was breathing very hard at the end, it was in no way the struggle that my breathing has been previously.  Yay

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Race report: PVTC Track Mile, July 7, 2012

I ran a track mile today at the PVTC Track meet, finishing in 5:39.  So, exactly 1 second faster than I ran this race 2 weeks ago, and still a bit off of my PR. 

But I'm fine with it.  I ran a good race (and actually won my heat, which always feels nice).  And one of my biggest objectives for this race was to practice staying relaxed and fluid but powerful all the way to the finish, just like Matt Centrowitz.  And I did that.  Heck, I even did it for 2 minutes longer than Centrowitz does it.  So there.

Warmed up with 2.5 miles easy jog, plus some drills and strides, and a hard 300m.   The race was split into two heats, with 5:20 being the cut-off, and so I opted for the slower heat.

As these races always do, everyone started out at a sprint.  I settled into the middle of the pack, and then pulled to the front as people began to run out of gas.  I ran in lockstep with my teammate Tim for the first 600m or so before I started to pull ahead.  Unlike last week, there were still a few kids ahead of me, so I was able to hone in on them as focal points.  But by the last 600m or so, I was alone again, and soloed the rest of the race.

As I noted, my big goal for this race was just make sure I ran strong and relaxed,  but powerful, all the way.  This is exactly what US superstars like Morgan Uceny, Bernard Lagat, and Matt Centrowitz seem to do, and they're good models to emulate.  In contrast, when I try to run too fast, I seem to tense up and work against myself, with the result being that I actually slow down.  I didn't do that here, but instead stayed fluid all the way to the finish, and so I'm happy.

That being said, I still don't seem to be able to find that extra fast gear for the last lap.  I felt like I could have backed off of the pace just slightly and run another lap, but I couldn't get my legs to move any faster.  I tried to push off more powerfully with each step while keeping the same rhythm, and that added a bit of pace, but wasn't a true kick.

It's not that I'm not willing and even eager to dig deeper.  I just don't know how to do it without tensing up and working against myself.  In short, I don't know how to sprint.  Which makes sense, since I'm not a sprinter.  So, that's maybe something to play with in future races.  Just playing with different stuff, like pumping my arms more, etc, in the last 200m to see if that works.  I'm also thinking that, if my coach approves, I'll hop into the faster heat next time, and just see if that makes a difference in my time.

In any event, the main point of doing these races is to get experience with running substantially faster than my normal race pace, and also to practice racing strategies.  And I'm definitely accomplishing both of those.  And since I'm a long distance runner, the fact that I felt like I couldn't pick it up, but could have run longer at a slightly slower pace, ain't a bad thing. 

Other notes:

  • Used a puff of the inhaler about 45 minutes before, and another about 20 minutes before
  • It's funny how I'm much happier with this race than I was with the one two weeks ago, even though the time was essentially the same.  Probably both because I won my heat and because I ran a very good 5K earlier this week, so a slow mile doesn't rock my confidence. 
  • Temp of 89 and DP of 76 for the race.  But (again) nice thing about races that last less than 6 minutes is that heat and humidity are not factors.
  • As I wrote above, it'll be interesting to see if seeding myself in the faster heat makes a difference in my time next time. I may actually also do a mid-week evening track meet in about 2 weeks - that meet looks like it will have a lot of people running about 5:30-ish.  Maybe that will make the difference.
  • Really debated hopping into either the 800m or the 400m race (slowest 400m sprinter was 1:27, so at least I wouldn't have been last).  But, I'm planning on meeting my team for a long run tomorrow, and so I didn't need to be out in the sun and heat any more today (this will apparently be the hottest day in DC EVER).  Maybe another time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Race report: PVTC track mile, June 24, 2012

I ran a track mile today at the PVTC Track meet, finishing in 5:40.  The time's a bit disappointing, as I previously ran a road mile significantly faster -- the road mile was NOT net downhill and had some hills, so I was expecting a faster time here.  But, didn't happen.

No clear reason why, either.  The weather was perfect for a track race, and I was better rested and felt fresher for this race than I did for the road mile.  In the end, I think it was just an off day. We all have them.  And better for it to happen during a summer race at a distance that's not my focus.

Warmed up with 3 miles easy jog, plus some drills and strides - same as I do before all my workouts.  Only thing different between this race and my previous mile was that I didn't do a "first interval." (in track workouts, the first interval is always the hardest for me, while the second feels better, and the third even better - so sometimes I like to do a "first interval" before the race per Jack Daniels, to get the slow one out of the way).  But I really can't say that that made the difference.

I didn't do anything stupid in the race --I went out at a controlled but honest pace - I wasn't running slow, but I felt well in control.  Then, I just flowed forward a bit more each lap.

For the first lap, I was running in a group, and even got boxed in for 100m or so.  I just waited patiently, as I figured the pack would fall apart very soon.  And it did.  In fact, after the first lap, everyone fell apart and I was on my own, holding my own pace.  I guess it would have bothered others to be running solo - I actually didn't mind that much, as I don't mind leading or running on my own.  So I just flowed and focused on running my own race, which was easier without distractions from others.

My plan was simply to run hard but relaxed, flowing forward a bit more, and then really starting to push at the last 200m.  Stuck to plan, but when I tried to really sprint for home, I just didn't have an extra gear.  I heard people cheering the kids that were sneaking up to me, but all I could do was hang on as the kids passed me in the home stretch.  It wasn't a matter of not wanting it enough - if I could have stuck my hand in an open flame to keep those kids from passing me, I would have.  But that wasn't an option for me.

Oh well. 

Obligatory overanalytical bit:  I wore my HR monitor for this race, as I do for all my races.  And, HR peaked at 179, which is the middle of my tempo heart range.  Same thing happened during my last mile race.  I cannot figure out for the life of me why my HR doesn't go higher in these short races - 5.5 minutes is certainly long enough for it to rise.  I see the same thing in workouts - for some reason my HR always goes much higher in tempos than in interval workouts, and my HR never gets high at all during the first repeat (even though that's the toughest one).  Weird.  And it's not like I'm not tired at the end of these races -- there's no doubt in my mind that I gave what I had to give in the race, HR notwithstanding.

I'm not going to worry about it too much - in the end, I care about my race times, not my race heart rates.  But it is a bit odd.

Other notes:
  • Used a puff of the inhaler an hour before, and another about 20 minutes before
  • Wow, my lungs really hurt after this one.  I may not be able to get my HR up in these shorter races, but the lungs make up for it by getting scalded.
  • Despite my disappointment at today, these races are still a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to the next.
  • Trying to figure out if I'm getting sick or something.  My throat is scratchy, but there's two logical explanations for this - a) it took me a while to catch my breath after the race, and that may have irritated my throat; b) someone else mentioned that a sore throat was going around, and that may have been enough to trigger my latent hypochondria.  So, I'll just toss back some Zinc, rest, and let it pass.  I don't think it was a factor in the race, though.  I just didn't run fast.