Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 Gate River Run

So after some slacking here is this weekend's race recap.

Warning: I have not loaded the pics yet, so this will be a word heavy post.

Just some background, the Gate River Run is the largest 15k in the country with approx. 20,000 runners, and is also the US 15k National Championship.

After 2 years of wanting to do this race and not, I was beyond excited to finally get my chance at our city's biggest race. I had also never done a 15k, so it was an automatic PR, but despite that fact I was plotting out so many different race scenarios in the days leading up to the race. I had an A goal and a B goal, because I honestly didn't really know what I was capable of.

I warmed-up with my group pretty lightly, and lined up in the seeded corrals with a teammate. He was going to start out at my goal pace and then get faster, but with a neon-yellow shirt on, I knew I wanted to keep a visual on him and that would be enough.

I made sure to let him go early in the first mile so I didn't go too fast and so I didn't slow him down. My race plan was to keep a moderate pace for the first 5k and then pick it up, I think I followed instructions pretty well, but I was able to pick it up in the 2nd mile, and once I felt it out, I knew I could hold it until I hit the monster bridge at the end.

Mile 1-  8:38
Mile 2-  8:29
Mile 3-  8:30
Mile 4-  8:33
Mile 5-  8:31
Mile 6-  8:36
Mile 7-  8:30
Mile 8-  8:51
Mile 9-  8:40
9-9.4-  2:48 (7:14 pace)

So I felt super consistent throughout the whole race, I think my paces pretty much dictate that. I kept it easy in mile 1, and hit my 8:30 goal until the bridge. Now this course did have some rolling hills, it was in no way flat, not even by New England standards, so I was really pleased with my pacing on such a tough course, all the time I put in doing Monday morning bridges really did pay off.

Now...The Green Monster...

We started up the on-ramp onto the bridge at mile 7.5, so it pretty much killed my right on track mile 8 split, but I had planned for that. Once Mile 8 beeped, I still had another half mile of up to go- that's right 1 whole mile straigh up hill. My effort never dropped, but my pace dipped into the high 9:00 range, like seriously 9:50-10:00 pace up that bridge, it was just so steep and never ending. As soon as it leveled off I looked to my right and saw my dreaded Monday morning bridge and wispered sweet nothings to it about how awful I had been and how I would never take its short 1/2 mile incline for granted again, ha!

Once at the top, I just took off, I knew I still had almost a mile to go, but it was literally all.down.hill. The downhill of the bridge goes straight onto the off ramp that goes downhill straight to the stadium, and the finish line. I knew I would be well under an 8:00 pace, and I was right. I took huge strides and became almost reckless trying to see how fast I could fly down that hill. I knew I was close to a sub-1:20 which would have been great, but I was aiming for anything in the 1:20:xx range.

The downhill and reckless sprinting took its toll, my quads were absolutely trashed, and I was almost certain I was about to throw up on a bystander, but I managed to keep my breakfast down. I felt like I really had left every ounce of push I had in me out there on the course, and was beyond thrilled to stop my watch and see 1:20:13 over 9.4 miles, or an 8:33 average pace, whoa!

1:20:13, 8:33 average pace
60/786 in F20-24

In addition to an amazing time, and not puking, as I walked through the masses towards the water and medals, I had a lady hand me a hat. I told her those were only for the top 10% finishers, and she said "I know".... I had somehow managed to finish in the top 10% of the female race field, I am still not sure how that is possible, but it made my perfect race even sweeter. I have never been so happy about anything or any race performace, I had done everything right and it had all payed off.

After stumbling around and finding someone's phone to use, I managed to meet up with John and my parents.

Showing off my new hat! Seriously I am obsessed with it at the moment, I would wear it to work if they would let me ;)

Post race I grabbed a banana, water, beer, and walked over to meet our friends Jesse & Crystal who had ran the 5k and their first races ever. We stayed for a good hour or so chatting, it was an absolutely beautiful day out and they seem to have also caughten the dreaded race bug now ;)

Sunday morning I woke up...and could barely walk. My quads were screaming any time I went from sitting to standing or vis-versa, but it was a great feeling to know I had raced so well. Sunday was a lazy day for me as I knew I had big plans and a new training cycle starting Monday morning, which you will have to wait and hear about!


  1. Way to go girl!!! That course is anything but easy and that hill is a monster! You killed it out there!!!! And for what it's worth, I would totally never want to take off that hat either! :)

  2. Wow! Great Job!! Really great pacing-nice and even:)

    Sore quads the day after are TOTALLY worth it! Looking forward to hearing about the new training cycle!

  3. Congrats on the great race! Your pace was super consistent and spot on. Bridges are beastly things to tackle mid-race, way to own it.