Thursday, April 23, 2015

LP Run 2015: A First on a Few Levels

The track at the distinguished Rice University.
It's been a few months since I've raced. Finally the desire to do so returned earlier this month much to my own relief. Best place to start? How about this old and quirky little race in Houston called the LP Run. Someone actually had to explain to me why it as called that and why it was an event timed at 33 and 1/3 minutes and placement was based on distance covered-the race is 48 years old, and back then LP records were the thing, turning at 33 and 1/3 revolutions. Hello, generation gap! This was my first time running LP but may stick it on the schedule next year too.

A little background for those not familiar, it is one of the oldest running events in Houston put on by the Terlingua Track Club. It's run on the Rice University track, which felt like it would be fast if the humidity was not 150%! We all had to recruit a lap counter (something I didn't think about beforehand but worked out well) and I found it as low key as they come: music was playing, everyone was very friendly. I enjoyed running on the college track.

Another first for this race is a pretty big one for me: I was not ready to go out and compete. I honestly just felt about 75%-80% but that was fine for my plan. Just weeks ago I was feeling drained and I was good just getting any kind of run in for the day. Those who know me well know I will prepare to death for something and wait until the "conditions are just right" to go out and perform. Luckily, at this stage I have decided that that may be kinda stupid and should just go challenge and enjoy myself.  And I am more and more becoming a believer that the best way to become a better racer (and get fitter) is to race. I also don't have to treat all events with equal importance.

I decided to play it safe and treat is more like an uptempo training day, I needed about 5 miles that day anyway, why not rock my Oiselle kit with My New Balance 1400s and do it festively? I really wanted to work on negative splitting, but changed my mind after the first mile and just held steady. The event was set up beautifully for that.

So I won't bore you all with the details of running in a circle for 33 minutes and change. I did feel like I started and finished strong with a little loss of focus in the middle-the more I expose myself to these situations and paces, the easier it will get.  The conditions weren't that great on top of a lack of fitness but complaining won't do any good and it will only make me tougher.  but I came out with a few takeaways from the event.

The Objective Stuff: 2nd AG (pleasantly surprised with that with a lot of fasties in the field), distance covered about 4.5 miles.  The race shirts were tie-dyed. See I told you this was an old-school race! Only second event of 2015.

All the Other Stuff:

  • I enjoyed reconnecting with the Houston Running Community a bit, I didn't realize that I have been largely absent in a racing sense, and it was nice to do a HARRA event again. 
  • I challenged myself without doing anything stupid. Always a plus. And I may get fitter from this. 
  • I walked away feeling like I put in a good day's work and got out of my "little ego's comfort zone" and ran smart. 
  • Although I would have liked to crank out a faster overall pace, considering the difficulty this Spring has brought, I kept it pretty steady throughout. 
  • I kind of like the feel of the track for racing, a nice change from the usual...except the last 10 minutes or so...
  • Got a nice little mental workout staying motivated and focused in an event with no real  definite 'end point'.
  • Terlingua Track Club did a great job putting on the event and seem like a good bunch.
  • Iron is good for you.
There you have it. Quite the fun evening!

Stay the course. 


L.A. Runner said...

"I challenged myself without doing anything stupid." HAHAHA!!!! LOVE IT and so true! That sounds like one of my lines!

So proud of you for stepping out and racing when everything wasn't 100%. I guarantee the more you do that, the easier it will get!

Elizabeth said...

That's such a cool idea for a race. Sounds super fun and a unique challenge. At least it wasn't hilly. Congrats on the AG placing.