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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Free race? Sure!

Last night found me, once again, frantically changing into a jog bra and running shoes in the hospital bathroom (where I probably caught C. diff). I close my store at 6, and lately I've been rushing to get to track meets in Metairie at 7pm, track workouts at 6:30pm, and free races in City Park at 7pm! During the summer the New Orleans Track Club, bless their little hearts, hosts free (for members) 2 mile races on some Wednesday evenings. I managed to make it to the race in plenty of time to register (even though it's free, you have to register and sign a waiver) and even get a warm up in.
Part of the course. Best part? There are real bathrooms in that pavilion!

After last week's track meet and my no-warm-up mile, I knew I'd need more warm up. I ran a little under 2 miles at a slow pace on the grass. The race course is paved - actually, it includes part of an old cross-country course that's been paved over to make a walking path - but I ran on grassy areas to stay out of the way of everyone else warming up. All the high school boys were out for the race as part of their summer programs. Right before the start I did two 100-m strides to get my heart rate up.

I started far back, again, but I was much more comfortable this week than last: the weather was much much better. We had a surprise "cool front" and it was only 85 at the start: 11 degrees cooler than last week's mile race. I could tell right away that the weather was in our favor, and the first mile felt almost effortless. Unfortunately I was just pacing off others around me, because my Garmin decided to lose satellite briefly. It often does this in City Park, which is too bad, because many races are in, around, or end in the park! My first mile was 6:12 by the clock.

The second half of the race I slowed a little - partly from pacing off others who also slowed, but more likely because I was tiring! - and silly me, no push at the end. So here's the deal with that: the course has lots of twists and turns, and I saw the finish (marked with a flag), but from afar it looked like people were still running past the flag. I think it was the angle I was looking from. I thought I saw another flag that was the real finish, but actually that was the start flag! Then suddenly we were around the corner, and there was the clock, and I have such a bad kick that 30 yards isn't enough for me to build any speed up. 12:32.
Would like to take three seconds off that, grr. I was 40th finisher, behind a hoard of highschool boys and probably 5 other girls - I am nowhere near the top in these short races.

I took off 28 seconds from last week, but that was mostly the weather helping there. I'd like to work on a kick to the finish and pushing the pace a little.

After the race? Free hotdogs, beer, and chips and salsa! So I got all the sodium I could handle!

Ever run 2 mile races?
Are there free races in your area?
What's your trick for a kick?


  1. I ran the 3200 in high school track. That was over 25 years ago and my times were no where near as fast as yours are now. Some of the local high schools used to have free track meets once a week during the summer but I don't know if they still do. They would run all the people at once for events 1600 and longer and my goal was to not get lapped by any of the faster boys.

    I just started back to road racing. I am definitely an age grouper. I don't have much of a kick but I'm trying to do more track work and running 5K's as a speed workout.

  2. lol @ 40th place for 12:xx.

    A local running store does a "naked" free 5k once a month, but it isn't easy to get to because of how early it starts.

    Sounds fun though!
    I have never run a 2 mile race.

  3. a "cool front" of 85 degrees, wowww, don't think I could handle those ridiculous temperatures!

  4. That's really cool that you have these free races...and free food after? Heaven! Nice job on the 28 sec improvement over last time, just pretend the temps were the same! :)

  5. I enjoyed my first NOTC Summer Series yesterday.. I think I saw you flying by while I was warming up.. I usually run on Wed with LRC group and almost forgot about the NOTC series .. Its great being a NOTC member and having events like this.. I was happy with my 15:47 time , I did kick it off towards the end and was surprise I did good running with out Metallica blasting in my ears.. Enjoying DailyMile website I just joined and reading your blog.. Keep up the good work in here..

  6. I used to do those Summer Series races when I lived there! They were always pretty darn hot though. I remember before those bathrooms (and the bike path) were there and we were running in the street instead!