Sunday, June 19, 2011

[47] Hoofing It Round Holyrood

Race: Race for Life for Cancer UK  
Distance: 5K (3.11 Mi)
Date/Time: Sunday June 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM
Location: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland
Weather: Cool, 50s, overcast (threatening to rain)

Bib#: 16,574

Clock Time: 38:30
Nike+ Time/Splits: 037:28 (Pace: 11'32"; 366 Cal)

  • Mile 1: 13:34 (13'34")
  • Mile 2: 26:10 (12'36")
  • Mile 3: 35:22 (9'12") [Remaining 0.11 Mile: 8'26"]
[Event Atmosphere]
Much like the Revlon Run/Walk in NYC, Race for Life (and fighting women's cancers) is one huge girl power, happy lovefest. Mothers, daughters, sisters, survivors, fighters, and friends all running and laughing together. The warm up consisted of a trio of aerobic instructors leading the crowd in a feel good warm up. I was told to dial down my south Floridian soul because most of the ladies couldn't dance like "those Americans." ;)
[Fashion Choice] lululemon athletical sprint tights, New Balance White Skirt, NWM Finisher's top, and Gasparilla Nike Miler long sleeved top.  

"It can't be more than two kilo up hill," were the famous last words of Sarah. Sure enough, the incline leading to the breathtaking view of Holyrood Park and most of Edinburgh was 2.15KM in a narrow, winding incline which resulted in a bit of bottle necking and struggling for run space. Try as I may, still fresh of the plane from the states by a few days, a dip in weather, and a hike in altitude all conspired against me. I power dragged myself up the hill, and cleared the apex. The path flattened out and wound its way between two lush, green crags. It may not be the Scottish Highlands, but it was pretty darn high up (for me at least).

I stopped for a few photographs along the way. After clearing the third kilometer, things got easier as the path started to slope downward. Gravity amped up my momentum, but I was still a bit worried about the winding path ahead. I see participants from another race in Holyrood, but they were actually tackling the hills and grassy paths! There was an accident in that race which resulted in a substantial delay to our race start time, but thankfully, they got the injured person urgent care. Keeping that in mind, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't the next poor soul they carted off Holyrood in an ambulance. Park goers stopped and cheered as we plodded along. 

Turning the final corner and seeing the finish line gave me a bit of a kick, but my legs were not game for cooperating. Though the race started off overcast and cold, the sun popped out and suddenly my long sleeved shirt became a very poor fashion choice. The MC was calling out the clock time, and the barriers were packed with friends, family, and locals all out for the race. Even though it wasn't a chip timed event, a race clock was posted. Looking at the yellow numbers tick by, I remembered running with Susie and our "finish it in under 40'" dash. Sarah and I cranked it up and turned it out. I didn't mind her finishing before me, as I was grateful that I simply tackled my first race in a foreign country.

Running side by side with one of my long time friends from Japan, really meant a tremendous bit to me. Sarah was a solid support for me when I moved across the prefecture to the other side of Tottori, and we spent many nights chatting about many things over bottles of wine. When a mutual acquaintance of our lost her battle to cancer last year, Sarah was the one to tell me. When I told her about my wanting to run the race while visiting Scotland, she asked to join me and we ran together in Nicole's memory. The hardest thing about running the race with Sarah and catching up on four years worth of life and soaking up the local Scottish culture, was knowing that I would have to leave it shortly there after. 

Looks like I may need to come back to Edinburgh very soon!

[Fartlek Drills]
With the heat and humidity back home, I have spent most o my recent training on long, slower runs to rebuild my endurance. With the Queens Half-marathon looming ahead, what little training I have been fitting in has been geared toward that. I realized as I sprinted the last 1/4 mile toward the finish chute, that I need to do more speed drills. More precisely,  while I was hunched over just past the finish line, feeling like my diaphragm was about to eject my lungs through my throat, I realized my power surges need to be better ingrained.

A fartlek (stop snickering right now; it's Swedish), is a speed drill used to help train athletes to control bursts of speed. By doing the drills over time, one should be able to increase their speed techniques. My greatest difficulty is finding a location to practice fartleks without my students (or infinitely more fit colleagues) watching me. The Westchester Road Runners utilize the track near White Plains High School, but that is in the center of town, and I am still not ready to make that debut just yet.

I may just need to suck it up and use the turf field as it had permanent lines and is right in my back yard.

No comments:

Post a Comment