Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Trolley Run Race Report

I originally hadn't planned to do the Trolley Run but my company is a sponsor of the race, so we got some registration spots for teams and I put my name in the lottery for bib.  I was selected and placed on the "fast" team.  Not sure if that was a wise idea, considering...

As with previous years, this race uses the corral system and I had times to be placed in the first corral (sub-7:30 minutes miles).  Considering my training over the last 5 weeks which has been mostly on base building with a low heart rate, I wasn't confident I could even hold that pace.  I have had no sort of speed or tempo training, so I was planning on running a pace that would be respectable for the first corral.  Don't get me wrong, I raced this event.  I decided it would be a baseline race to see where I am.  This race is known as being a downhill so if I ever check against my baseline, it would be best to test on this course.

My pre-race routine was the same as last year with a toasted bagel with peanut butter and a banana.  We arrived around 6:45am with temps in the 50s and rainy.  I put on a trash bag as a rain coat and took off for the buses.  Every year I swear these busses drive 10 miles out to the start line because it seems to take forever.

I happen to pick a bus with Denise,  one of my company's ruthless Corporate Challenge coordinators, and then saw another co-worker, Todd, as I got off.  I chatted with Todd and his running mates for a while as I hit the port-a-potty.  After taking care of business I found a member of my Trolley Run Team and talked about our times.  The top 3 times on the team are used.  I knew there were three people on our team that would be running 24:xx minute times but Jeremy informed me that one of the three was not running so my time was going to count.  Oops.

I took off for a warmup jog of half a mile or so and then walked over the the corrals where I met up with Joe VI.  During the National Anthem, I spotted Ryan and waved him over.  We chatted up until the "Go" call.  I don't remember when but the rain had pretty much stopped by this time or down to a slight mist.

Mile 1 - 6:47
My goal here was to simply not go out too fast, as usual.  I managed to run at a comfortable pace that I thought was fairly slow, I noticed I was going at a sub-7 minute pace.  That surprised me but I didn't change anything.  Comfortable is comfortable.  I figured my warmup run helped keep me from feeling like I was running too fast.

Mile 2 - 7:03
I had set my watch to my "race" setting before the start.  This puts my current pace and average pace on the same screen.  At this point I couldn't remember which one was current and which was average because every time I looked, one was higher than the other number.  It was different every time.

This section had the last of the hills for Trolley Run.  I started thinking about my knees and hip.  There was some slight pain but it was manageable, so I focused on my form.  I took a peek at my Heart Rate and it was 170 - 175, which is where I expected.

Mile 3 - 6:55
More of the same.  Focus on form.

Mile 4 - 7:07
It's at this point where I start thinking, "You'll be done in less than 7 minutes."  Probably not the best mantra.  I knew my miles were coming in around the 6:55 - 7:50 miles, so I kept pushing.  The course flattens out here.  I tried to kick it up near the end as I always reflect back thinking that I should have (of course those reflection do not recall the pain my system is in at the time).  I managed to push through the pain to hit sub 6 minute miles, but it was only brief.  I was motivated on finishing under 28 minutes as I was hurdling down on the finish chute.

The splits were based on my automatic mile splits on my Garmin.  I actually have an additional 7 seconds before hitting the stop button.  Assuming Trolley Run's mile markers are correct, those seven seconds are probably evenly distributed in the above splits.  I need to do manual splits on all run races.

Overall: 380 / 5,929
Age Group: 64 / 421
Time: 27:54
Average Pace: 6:59

Everything was the same as last year, that I can remember.  One of the nice things about finishing in the top 7% of participants is that there is no trouble getting post-race food.  Plenty of water, gatorade, bananas, rolls, yogurt, chocolate milk, donuts, pizza, popcorn, etc.

My right knee and quad was feeling a bit sore on the drive home.  So I iced them before my shower.  They were feeling better within an hour.

I am pleased with my time, considering it was all downhill.  It's under 7:15 pace per mile (which is my BQ pace, which will likely need to be 7:10-ish).  My cardio seemed to be taxed more than I thought it would, considering my leg speed/strength is what I figured would be my delimiter.  I'm sure as I work on leg speed (started last week), my cardio system will also improve.

The Proof
Hmm.  I actually didn't get any photos there.

Up Next
Next weekend I have the Corporate Challenge 5k race.  I'm planning to move my long run to Wednesday to effectively make this race and next weekends 5k speed workouts.

UPDATE:  It took a day to post the team results.  Our team members did get screwed up and so we were all on different teams.  That meant that my mens only team was now a co-ed team.  Had it been correct, we would have placed 4th in the mens only division, instead my team placed 14th in the co-ed division.   So my score not only counted, it was best in the team.  In addition, my team was the fastest team of my company.  Woo hoo!


  1. Nice posts, thanks for sharing this to us and looking forward always for more updates. Great job well done, Congratulations !