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Friday, November 13, 2015

Fall Races in Pittsburgh

2015 Pittsburgh Great Race

2015 EQT Ten Miler

I've had a great set of fall races in 2015. The photos above are from event results, but you can see all my 2015 races at my profile on Athlinks. I took most of the summer off from racing in for some weeks took quite a bit of time off from running. I think it did me good because I feel mentally and physically refreshed and have been able to put in some great training. The weather hasn't hurt either! Thanks to global warming, I guess, it's been easy for me to get outside and keep my training consistent.

I started training for the Great Race later than I should have, but I'm still pleased with my time and the effort I gave during the race. My coach always advises me to start this race slow and not get caught in the crazy stampede on those early downhills, but it is hard to resist. Even though I didn't start as slow as she wanted I kept my pace steady up until that long stretch uphill in mile 5. Even then I was able to maintain good cadence and had a strong finish. Best part? No pain in my left leg. The moves I've learned at my functional movement appointments have really handled the weaknesses in my hips and butt. 

For the first time ever I ran the EQT Ten Miler. Last year I did the Buffalo Creek Half and loved that race and it's point-to-point trail course, but I wanted to try something new this year. A ten miler also meant I didn't need to put in quite as many training miles. I also hoped this race would serve as a benchmark for me to knock some minutes off of my Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run time. The EQT course starts at Highmark Stadium on the Southside and follows the marathon course backwards. The race organizers do their best to keep it flat, but this is still Pittsburgh. Hills are unavoidable. 

My pace early on was steady but maybe if I had started a few seconds slower per mile I would've held on better for miles 7-10. I hoped I'd roll in under 90 minutes but I missed that by :35. So close. My finish was a little bit desperate! But I did enjoy the race and would do it again. One fun bonus was the cheers I got via the Motigo app.  

I do like running races more than once because I feel knowing the course makes a huge mental difference but the next race on my horizon is another new one: The Celtic Solstice in December, down in Baltimore. I hate running in the cold, but this is only five miles and will help keep me honest in my training during the winter. 

These definitely aren't the fastest races I've ever run, but if you view my pace in races over 2015, it's trending faster. I give credit to my increased strength work, the FMA improvements, and regularly putting in the miles. 

I'm looking for February race recommendations so if you know of something around 10K, let me know!

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