Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Race Report: Greasy-Gooney 10k

Looking back, the last race I have done this year was the Eastern Divide 50k in June! Yea, life's been a little hectic these past few months. Now that we're settling down in our new home, I am looking forward to adding races back into the schedule, including the Richmond Marathon in less than 2 weeks!

This past weekend Jordan and I decided to race an impromptu 10k near Front Royal, VA. The Greasy-Gooney 10k is unique in that it's 3 miles uphill, followed by 3 miles of downhill. Both fun and torturous in one great experience! We did this race last year and I remember hating the first 3 miles, but loving every second of the downhill that followed. This year was no different.

Greasy-Gooney 10k Elevation Profile
Race morning I remember being particularly grumpy. I was tight, stiff and hurting still from my 21 mile long run just 6 days earlier, and we had woken up at 5 am to make the 2 hour trip from Lexington, VA.  While Jordan was telling me that I should "try to win" for the females, I was approaching this race as a means of a good tempo workout and nothing more. After changing out of our pajamas (yes, we wore our pj's to the race site), we went for a longer warm-up of about 3 miles.

At the race start, we chatted with some of our Winchester friends that we had not seen in a while, many of which will also be running in Richmond! It helped to put me at ease. Finally, the gun went off and I took off towards the front. To my surprise, I felt particularly good on the first mile! It seemed to fly by, but after clocking a 7:04, I backed off knowing that the next two miles ahead were much more difficult. Mile two was a 7:45 and I could feel my muscles fatiguing. My three, the steepest mile of the course, was a struggle to keep moving. Last year I clocked a 9:45 during the third mile, this year I was three seconds slower in 9:48. A sure sign that I need to add more hill workouts into my training plan. Overall I made it to the top in 25:44, one minute faster than last year.

Now the fun part...downhill! I love downhills. In a few weeks I will be crewing Jordan for the Hellgate 100k and the last 3 miles of the course to the finish is all downhill. We fly through this portion and I love it! Anyways, I took off chasing the runners ahead of me. Mile 4 flew by (655), but miles 5 (6:39) and 6 (7:02) seemed to drag as my body grew more fatigued from the overall pace. By the 5.5 mile mark, I was more than ready to be done! I hung on for all it was worth and ended up clocking a 20:59 for my 2nd 5k! Yea!  20:59 is the fastest 5k of the year for me, so I was more than happy with my race after seeing that! My overall time of 46:44 was a full minute faster than my 2011 performance... Seeing that I have not been doing any speed related workouts, I'll take it!!

For awards, Jordan took 1st overall male and I took first place female 25-29. A good day for the Chang household!!

Revisiting the same races each year can be a great way to measure progress. While the 2012 racing season is quickly drawing to a close, I am looking forward to 2013 with hopes that I will continue to improve and become a stronger, faster runner.

The beautiful country scenary of Browntown makes this race a delight.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Brown

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