Monday has come and gone and I am sitting here on the couch catching up on everyone's blogs and enjoying a much needed rest day. It's great to read everyone's updates and see that training/racing is going well. Keep up the good work guys!
Yesterday was my first actual race since the Dallas White Rock marathon back in December. I really didn't have high expectations for this race going in given the fact that my running has been pretty nonexistent for the past month due to the knee pain. The Redbud is an interesting little race because it is ran in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday. This is my 2nd year to run it and last year it was VERY windy and cold. This year it was just the opposite.
Katie and I showed up at 1 PM to meet up before the crowds got too large. This is a point-to-point race so we parked about a half-mile from the start and walked over to find our spot in line. It was a very sunny and warm day in OKC yesterday and even though the forecasters were saying it would be windy, it was surprisingly pretty calm for Oklahoma standards. The temps ended up being about 82, with about 65% humidity, and 10-15 mph winds. This was a little warmer than we had expected and I definitely haven't ran in any sort of heat since probably last September. We had an abnormally cool fall and winter so this was a little shock to the system. The announcers were advising everyone to slow their paces down by 30sec to 1min slower than they usually run and drink a lot of fluids. I don't know that Katie and I intentionally slowed our paces down by that much, but if you compare my 10k race from April last year to the race yesterday, I was about 1 min per mile slower. Interesting.
The race kicked off at 2 PM and we made our way through Nichols Hills in northern OKC. The area is a great place for a run. Nichols Hills is the very, very rich area of inner OKC and there are houses there that my whole family could never fill. That's great when it's cold and you need a wind block, but when it's 80s and you are baking on the black top, a stitch of wind isn't all that bad. It's a very hilly run for Oklahoma City too, hence the name Nichols Hills. The run weaved in and out of the neighborhoods and just when you thought you were going to catch a downhill, we had to turn a corner and go up another hill. Overall I really like the area for a run and I often frequent it during my training runs because it is safe area and there is minimal traffic. I do wish they hadn't merged the 10k and 5k courses late in the race because by the time we merged back in with the 5k race, all that was left were the walkers and they made it very difficult to run in a straight line. It seemed like we were dodging people quite a bit towards the end of the race.
Katie and I managed to keep up a pretty decent pace and I felt like we ran pretty well considering our lack of training. It was definitely a wake-up call for the upcoming half marathon though. I realize the weather was hot, but it doesn't look like I am going to get anywhere close to sniffing my time of 1:51 from last year. I will be happy with a 2 hour half marathon this go around if everything goes well. The plan is to get in a couple of more runs this week, try to do a 10-miler this weekend, and then rest the knee heading into next weekend's half marathon. I really hope everything holds up. I plan on taking a week or two off running after the half marathon and let things heal up. I will focus on biking and swimming with a little elliptical worked in to keep up the fitness level, but really need to focus on getting the knee back to 100% before the triathlon and the upcoming summer marathon training.
All in all, it really was a great weekend and I am happy I was able to get out there amongst the racing community again since it has been so long. My official chip time from the 10k yesterday was 52:45. It is only my second 10k ever, so it's really hard to get a feel for what's "normal" for me, but I was pretty happy with it overall. There is a slight chance I will run the Remember the 10 Run this weekend in Stillwater, but I think I may need to give myself a break and just run a nice, slow run here in OKC. Back to the bike tomorrow. It's amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun. Only 7 weeks until the Oly in Austin.