Monday, April 18, 2011

Race Report: Trolley Run 2011

I know, I know.. nothing new on race day but I decided to go with apple slices and peanut butter for breakfast.  I have gotten out of the habit of making my fruit smoothie for breakfast.  While this decision didn't hurt me, I do want to get back to my old routine or decide on a new one.  I'm thinking about changing it up because I have some more races this year that will involve a hotel stay prior to the race.  I'm looking for something a little more 'portable' like bagel and peanut butter with a banana.

I learned from St. Patrick's Day to hydrate well.  I drank quite a bit of water the day before and took in around 10 - 12 oz of water in the morning. Temperatures were mid-40s so I decided to go with my running shorts and my not-so-trademarked bright orange tech shirt.  I did wear my jogging pants over the shorts and jacket to stay warm in the morning.

I was up by 5:00am and ready to hit the door by 6:15am.  We arrived at the plaza at 6:45am and met Kristen and Shane.

Shane, Me, Kristen
This is a point-to-point race, so you ride a bus to the start.  I remember last year thinking about how long the bus ride was taking and thinking "we have to run back this far!"  Yeah.. you do.  I can't imagine what the Boston bus ride feels like.  

Off to the bus!!
The wait for the bus didn't take long but there was quite a long line.  Just have to be patient.  The organizers are smart enough to allow red (first) and blue (second) wave runners to take special buses since their start is 20 minutes sooner.  Shane had not registered yet and Kristen was running green (third).  I was in no hurry to get to the start and I knew we had plenty of time, so we waited for the next bus to show up. If I wanted to do long warm up jog... yeah, I might have taken the other bus.  I would not recommend arriving too late though because they won't wait for you at the start.

We arrived at the start line a little after 7:00am with plenty of time for Shane to register.  We met up with Joe VI and Carmen.  About 7:30 I decided to queue up and took in a short run.  I got in the red wave just in time to see the wheel chair racer take off.  While waiting a few minutes for the red wave to start, I had time to contemplate if I deserved to be in this wave.  You had to run a sub-7:30 pace and I knew I didn't get my speedwork in.  I guess I had paid my dues... within minutes we were off!

Everyone you talk to about the Trolley Run usually says "It's all downhill" within a few sentences.  Granted, there are a few rolling hills at the beginning but by the time your blood is pumping and legs are sufficiently warmed, you are working negative elevation.

1st Mile - 6:37 pace
Of course my planning wasn't sufficient and I didn't really know what I was capable of.  I started in  a pretty high gear and was concerned about starting out too fast.  The nice thing was I didn't spend very much time fighting the crowd.  Within the first two minutes I knew a problem was brewing.  Just like St. Patrick's Day Run, my heart rate monitor was falling but I decided not to focus on it and let it drop to my waist.  This sucked because I was planning to use my heart rate to determine if I was pushing too hard or at least try to stay in the 165 - 170 range.  It was funny to look at my Garmin and see that it wasn't reading very well because it showed my heart rate at 300.

2nd Mile - 6:36
Any elevation that we were to experience was behind us.  After a short turn, we were on Brookside Boulevard for the rest of the "ride".  I continued to focus on my form and breathing. I was trailing some of the team members from my company and used them as a means for motivation (I wasn't on the team but at least I had a target!).  I ran by Sharp's 63rd Bar and Grill, which was my other means of motivation.  More on that to come!

There was an aid station during this mile and I decided to take only a few sips of water.  My hydration plan was doing just great.

3rd Mile - 6:40
By this point I was definitely starting to feel it.  Cardio-wise I was definitely stressed.  Mechanically (legs) I just couldn't go faster.  I settled into the pace but unfortunately I was starting to lose some focus.  HTFU kept going in my mind and it helped.  Also knowing that I was less than 10 minutes from finishing sweetened it.

4th Mile - 6:50
I started wishing I had my heart rate monitor back.  I attempted to put it back on but decided to focus on my form and race instead.  At this point in the race you can start seeing the Plaza and the two American Century towers.  I tried to kick it up into overdrive during the last .2 of the run. I hit 5:30 for a bit and manage to finish in 26:51, besting last years time by 50 seconds.

This race I decided to go at it alone in the post-race food binge.  There was practically no one there.

There were quite a few options: The Roasterie coffee, Krispey Kremes, bagels, multi-grain rolls, bananas, yogurt, chocolate milk, apple slices, popcorn, pretzels, to name a few.  I decided to line-up for my race time instead of waiting for the results online:

I think I could be a thumb model.  Next career?
Overall a good post-race experience.   I meet up with TKB and waited for the rest of the "team".  We caught Shane and Joe VI but never saw Kristen and Carmen cross.  Danny was also in the race, but never saw him (start or finish).

Even though I dug the post-race food lines, we hit Sharp's 63rd Bar and Grill for some brunch.  And brunch I did:

Farm Boy Benedict: Biscuits, Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes.  I barely finished half of it.

Bakon Bloody Mary - Bloody Mary with bacon-infused Vodka.
The weather was so nice I decided to go for a really easy bike ride when I got home.  I guess I felt guilty eating those calories.

The Results

Overall place:283 out of 8419
Division place:53 out of 568
Gender place:255 out of 3513

At the start they announced another record registration count of over 11,000 participants but it looks like a few thousand forgot to set their alarm(s).

This is a well put on event considering how many participants hurl themselves down a 4 mile stretch of road. They perform a fun run for kids and usually have a local sports celebrity run the show.

I'm happy with my results considering my lack of speed work. Nutrition and hydration plan worked but need to figure out what's going on why my heart rate monitor.  I tightened it up after St. Patrick's Day but maybe need more.


Shane screaming into the finish.

Joe VI and Joe VII.  The Joe's were quite troopers.  Joe VI ran back home after the race.

My pre-race prep.


  1. Great race! The brunch looks really yummy!

  2. So proud of you, son! Keep up the great work!