Monday, November 23, 2009

11/15: Big D 30K

The Big D races - a 5K and a 30K with a common start and finish - were about to start and I was wondering where the hell all the people were. And how many times I might wander off course if I couldn’t see the person in front of me - there was very little chance of actually getting lost since the course was essentially two laps of White Rock Lake, one counterclockwise and one clockwise, but there were a lot of places where you could take one path or another, and I’d like to take the correct one. Especially if the correct one was the shorter one.

The race was put on by Thruston Racing, who used to be a major player in the Dallas racing scene but have cut back on their schedule in recent years. I’ve run maybe twenty Thruston races over the years but around the time race day registraion for their 5Ks rose to $30, I decided it wasn’t a good value. Which isn’t totally fair on my part - $30 for a no-frills, well-run 5K is overpriced but $50 for a 30K, which is what I paid by registering the day before, is reasonable. For fifty bucks I got an organized event with an accurate course and prompt results, a t-shirt, and postrace refreshments that included soft drinks and beer. In cans, but still. So thirty bucks for a 5K when I most likely have other, less expensive options? I think not. But $50 for a 30K when the number of events longer than a half marathon but shorter than a full is limited, and where what events there are all tend to be priced in the same neighborhood? I can live with that.

I hadn’t run a Thruston race since 2005, and I have never run this one before, but they haven’t changed much although they might have gotten smaller. Or maybe it’s just this one - looking at the results since 2006, this year’s number of finishers (186, 5K and 30K combined) didn’t seem out of line with the previous years’ totals. At any rate, I never had to worry about going off-course - there was always somebody in sight in front of me.

I wound up running my worst race of the fall, partially because I wasn’t trained for the distance and partially because the weather, most notably the humidity, was uncooperative. I planned on running eight-minute miles for as long as I could; I wound up running one eight-minute mile (mile seven, probably because it has some downhill) total. I averaged 8:10s through seven and knew I was basically done. I wound up doing the first 15K in 1:19 and the second in 1:57, with a good amount of walking mixed in after mile eleven. Which doesn’t mean the race was a total waste; I plan on noting the three positives from this experience and then moving on: it’s good to be humbled every once in a while, I did get in about fourteen miles of actual, if not continuous, running, and I spent 3:16 on my feet, which is a good experience for long runs going forward.

Of course, that presumes that I actually do more long runs going forward. I tend to get lazy(-ier) around the holidays.

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