Monday, April 12, 2010

An Off-Week and Martha's Run RR

Easter was great last Sunday. After a great Saturday night service at Cornerstone in Murrysville (we joked that we were celebrating Easter with the Aussies!!), we were down in Greensburg for Easter lunch. Lots of good eats and good conversation with family.

And so began my "off" week as my week off finished. I just felt a little off-center all week....a little odd perhaps.

Beginning with staying up to complete procrastinated grading until 11pm Sunday night, I was back to the grind on Monday at school. I didn't quite finish it all Sunday night, so I wrapped it up Monday night with another 11pm grading night. (Note: usually in bed around 9:30-10pm).

Wednesday started the PSSA testing period, which also meant that I was temporarily kicked out of my normal classroom for a few periods a day (just luck of the draw with where my classroom was located). We also administered a Pitt Calculus test Wednesday and were grading it throughout the day. We also had a department meeting after school which meant I missed part of track practice. More off-kilter.

Wednesday on the way home, I got a call from Carnegie Learning (math text and software company in Pittsburgh that I've worked with the past few summers). They had a pressing deadline and was wondering if I could spare a few hours to help out. So, Thursday night I was up again until after 11pm working on this.

Friday was the last day of the week (finally!), but it was just COLD after school and we had a pretty crappy jumping practice. Ugh!

Just an off-week.

Anyway, I was scheduled to run Martha's Run 10k on Saturday. Her story is a very compelling one. In short, she worked at the Cold Case unit in DC when a person came in and started shooting. She returned fire and shot the perpetrator, but she died in the process. The race is designed to remember her heroism and share her story. Also, it's a pretty hilly course.

Two other math teachers who I've been informally 'training' have been gearing up for this race since back in January. I was excited for them. One of them, PB, hadn't ever done a running race before. He was a softball and bowling guy, but had gotten a little lazy in the past few years. His family had a 'Biggest Loser' competition and I've been helping him get in shape and lost weight since January. The other one, JW, has run a few 5k's and 10k's but is still pretty new to running.

For me, after riding last Thursday and Saturday then running 14 miles last Sunday (not to mention some weird color bruising on my quads I assume from my bike wreck Thursday), my legs felt like lead on our Tuesday run. Thursday wasn't much better and the lack of sleep throughout the week didn't help.

So, all that being said, I really didn't know if I'd be able to hit a goal of 6:00 pace for the 10k. It was really hilly (did I mention that?) and I just wasn't sure how the week's toll would affect me.

Regardless, I figured I'd just go out and do my best and see what happened.

I knew based on past years I should be up near the top 10 if I did my 6:00 pace. So, out I go and settle in to 5th place by about a half mile in the race. The top 3 people were gone by the first mile, the fourth place guy was just ahead of me, and I crossed mile 1 at 6:09. Settled in and just followed the number 4 runner.

Mile 2 was a finish of an uphill, then flat and downhill and I split a 5:36.

Mile 3 was a finish of the down, back a BIG up, and then back down for a 6:17. 5k (marked!!) was 18:30-40-ish and I was just hoping I could duplicate that for the 2nd half. Still with the 4th place guy 15 or so seconds ahead of me. Just keeping him in my sights.
Mile 4 was more up and down (did I mention this was a hilly course?) for a 6:08.

Between 4 and 5, the course doubles back on itself and it works out that I see my two fellow teachers. Not realizing that the top 3 were WAY ahead of us, they thought I was in 2nd. Ha!

Just wanted to get to mile 5 because there was A LOT of uphills. 6:30. Ouch.

Then, from 5 to the finish it was flat-down-flat. I figured this was my chance to catch 4th place. I felt like I was gaining a little ground, flailing my arms as I go down the hill, but just couldn't close the gap. Somewhat similar to my last 5k on the South Side. Mile 5 to 6 (they had a mile 6 marker!!) was 5:39 (told you it was downhill) and the 0.2 was 1:09.

So, finishing time was 37:27 (6:02 pace), 5th overall, and 1st in my age group. I'll take it all things considered coming in this past week. My cousin K was the 3rd female (she's training for the Pittsburgh Marathon and did well). Her dad, JT finished solid and right behind him were JW and PB right around 56 minutes. Coming in, the goal was to shoot for 9:00-9:30 pace and keep it under and hour and they hit just over 9:00 pace. Great for them!

So, off to bed and hope to do a little better with my sleeping this week.
...Oh yeah! Pirates started this week. That'll have to be another blog....


Steve said...

Ha Ha Ha!!! couldn't fit the Pirates on this entry??

Congrats on the run. You are very talented!!!

maija said...

Great job at the 10k! 6:02's on a hilly course is quite impressive!