Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bugjuice, Bad Movies and a 5K

Date: 12/31/2011
Route:  Belle Isle New Years Eve 5K
Distance: 3.1 miles
Pace: 9:28/mile
Total Time: 29:22
Temp: In the low 40's

I was carpooling to this race with three "gentlemen," who all loosely belong to a Facebook running group I am a member of. In true JD style, they are all faster then me. So getting to the race involved driving to Canton, then Dearborn, then Detroit. Always interesting conversation with a crew like this. Some running chatter mixed in with movie trivia (seriously, movies I had never heard of, these guys are practically ancient) ;). It is always nice to have company at a race, even if it is someone to identify your body afterwards.

The atmosphere was festive, quite a good crowd there. We were dismayed that with so many people running, there were only 4 porta johns. I firmly believe that race directors use some sort of arcane math formula to get the number of porta johns to have on race day.

Here is an example for this race:
(X + Y + Z / 200,000) x .0001 = P

Entrants = X
Expected Spectators = Y
Workers and Volunteers = Z
# of porta johns to have on hand = P

I think they use this formula and then add 1 just to "be safe". Craziness

I had almost no expectations going into this race. The weather was toasty for December, great running weather. I have a goal of running a sub 9 minute mile pace for a 5k this year, but I figure that will come later once I am in hard core training mode for all the half's I am going to run this year. My last 5K, was the Jamesers 5k, which I magically won my age division at a blistering 9:18/mile pace. I was hoping to get under 9:30/mile, but would have been fine with anything under 10.

I also was going to use my new Garmin Forerunner 405, that had arrived 29 hours before race start time. So part of my goal in the race was to check out the results and see if they were helpful. Full review of the 405, including performance at this race soon.

So we take off and I am pressing the pace a little, picking it up in the last quarter mile of the first mile. I crossed the first mile at 8:53, right about where I wanted to be. This was also nice because we had a chance to pass by the Scott Fountain, which is pretty impressive. Unfortunately the scenery went downhill quickly. Mostly in mile 2, we got to see some of the old abandoned structures on the island. It is very sad, because it is clear that Belle Isle was once very beautiful. Don't get me wrong, it is not like there was trash everywhere, and drug dealers hanging out, it was just...shabby. You could tell that maintenance was not getting done. Everything looked like it could use a coat of paint.

At the 2 mile mark we were right by the conservatory, which did look very nice. I felt myself slowing down, there was just not much in the tank to push the pace that third mile. I was very happy with my pace up to that point. As we ran by the Dossin Great Lakes Museum (wow could this place use a new building), I was in that situation where some people were starting to pass me, and I hate that. In the Detroit Half, it was great starting slow and then passing people for 10 miles, great motivation. So I tried to pick up the pace but no avail, the body was unwilling.

I cruised across the finish line, and checked the Garmin, which said I had ran 3.18 miles, so it gave me a pace of 9:14 a mile, but taking that time for 3.1 miles it gave me 9:28 a mile. I guess I have no reason to be mad, but it frustrated me that I could not pick up the speed in that third mile. So that is my goal going forward in 5k's, to push myself in the 3rd mile. I know I said I would give a full Garmin review later, but if you want to check out the page for this race, click here (I do LOVE the map feature)

So end result was right about where I had expected to be. I think getting in the 8's is going to be harder then I thought. After the race, there was the requisite bananas and  bagels, but there was also something called Bugjuice Naturals, which is a mixture of fruit juice, vegetable juice and milk....and man is it tasty. If some marketing guy from that company wants to send me a case, I will sing their praises for a while :). Apparently it is something new because it is not even available on their website yet. Back to the training grind, the next race is a half in March!

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