Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FLS Sugar Land 30K Race Recap

This past Sunday, Chandra and I ran the Finish Line Sports 30K in Sugar Land…my home town! Whoop! Those of you that have been around for a while may remember that last year I wrote about my worst race ever. Well this was it. Last year it was a warm, humid 70 degrees at the starting line. Did I mention the race begins at 6:30am before the sun comes up?! This year it was a cold 33 degrees. While it was less than pleasant waiting around for the race to begin, it was excellent for running!

The FLS 30K is a 3-loop course that starts in Sugar Land Town Center. You head out a few miles to get to the loops, then it’s three 4 mile loops followed by 2 miles to get back to Town Center for the finish! JP and my dad came out to support us {yeah, best guys ever to come out in the freezing cold early on a Sunday morning!}, so we got some pretty sweet pictures and they were able to catch us a few times.

The first bit and the first loop went by very quickly. We saw JP and Dad just before the mile 8 marker and were quickly shedding our outer jackets and throwing them to the guys for safe keeping.




The second loop was still pretty easy. We did a great job at pacing ourselves and starting slow, so we picked up the pace this loop and were able to maintain a 8:55-9:10 min/mile for the remainder of the race. The second loop is also when we got lapped by pretty much all of the fast runners. Nothing like knowing they’re on their final lap when we were still trudging through our second one :)







The third loops we were still going strong. We saw Dad and JP just after mile 16 and JP ran with us for a bit to keep our spirits up. Chandra and I both agreed that the first 16 miles went by pretty quickly and really weren’t too bad. We were done with the loops and felt like we should be practically done with the race. Wrong. Just wrong. We still had two miles to go, which we realized. However, we did not anticipate them being the longest two miles in all of eternity. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but it still felt like forever. 







Luckily with about a mile to go, we saw JP and Dad drive by as they were heading to the finish line. Nothing like seeing your fan club to brighten your spirits!





As we were nearing the finish, my hip started hurting pretty bad. I suppose pounding your legs on nothing but concrete for over two hours will do that to you. I was trying so hard to go faster and my body wouldn’t move. Poor Chandra was trying to be motivating and said we needed to pass this girl in front of us. In the whiniest voice imaginable, half in tear I said, “Chandra I just can’t go any faster!!!” It was pathetic. We still passed that girl despite the fact that I was being the biggest brat. I was in pain and wanted to be done. A few moments later, we finished in 2:50:45!




We finished 17 and 18th in our age group and came in 10 minutes faster than I did last year. I think starting slow really helped us. We had an awesome negative split averaging a 9:20/mile pace the first 9 miles and a 9:02/mile the last 9.6 miles coming in at an overall 9:09/mile! This is the exact pace that we need to maintain for the marathon to come in just under 4 hours. I’m feeling confident that adrenaline will make it happen assuming race day weather conditions are good!




I felt so much better about this race this year and hope that my improvement will transfer to the marathon!

The race itself was great. Packet pick up was easy, we were able to avoid the cold air before the race by hanging out in the Marriott lobby, and the post race arrangements we very organized. The main downfall of this race is the fact that it's a 3-loop course. It's kind of boring, but at least spectators can see the runners multiple times without moving!

Big thanks to my dad and JP for being out there for us. It's amazing how having someone out there gives you something to look forward to and lifts your spirits!

Are y'all doing any winter races? Fun runs?


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