Avery Four on the Fourth Race Report 2016

Four-on-the-Fourth-4K-logo-2I was excited for this run, but also a little nervous about the calf pain I’d had late last week. It was forecast to be WARM (77F) at the race start of 9am.

Avery Four on the Fourth is a great Independence Day run; they have a beer garden and breakfast for all runners afterwards, and if you place in your age group, you win beer! (I placed in my age group a few years ago, the only other time I’ve ever run the race). A few weeks ago I’d looked up my age group from last year; 2nd place ran 17:11 and 3rd place ran 17:33. I told Sara I’d like to aim for 17:15 or so to get that beer! 🙂 That’s a 6:56 pace, although my secret goal was to try to run a 6:45 pace.

I felt a little strange driving up to Boulder in the morning. I was telling Sara that I felt a little apprehensive seeing all the people I used to train with “when I was training more (/faster)”.

I wore my pink ReadyTalk singlet, black lululemon shorts, flatirons hat, a calf sleeve on my right calf, injinji socks and my new brooks hyperion shoes. As we jogged out to the starting line I was a bit concerned at the heat and also my calf. I made a last minute decision to ditch my singlet and run in my sportsbra.

Garmin_ConnectThis year they had chip timing, which was great. There were still a lot of people who lined up closer to the start than they needed to, so the first few hundred meters I was bobbing and weaving.

The course itself was… not great. It was several loops around a business park? It was kinda neat to be able to see people several times, but I didn’t love just running in circles without having a clear sense of where the finish was!

I felt my calf a little as I ran, but definitely not too bad at all! The heat was the bigger annoyance, and the plastic cups they had at the aid station weren’t foldable so they were pretty hard to grab and drink from.

I was wearing my heart rate monitor to try to really get a read on what my max is.. and did a pretty good job at it!

I will admit.. I pulled a ‘classic Andrea’ and stopped to walk. In a 2.5mile race. Just a bit to get the ole heartrate down a bit and then I was off again… and pulled into the finishing corral at 17:13 (by my watch).

Yup.. despite calf pain and a really warm day (and walking!!!), I beat my overall time goal. It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t look at my watch during the race itself, I just ran the best I could.

Mile 1: 6:35
Mile 2: 6:57
Mile .53: 6:55pace
17:13 (6:48 pace)
AvgHR: 179
MaxHR: 190

As soon as I finished I felt kinda sick, but rallied as everyone came in. Sara had a really enjoyable run in her new Hoka Tracers, despite the heat. She’s definitely becoming a strong racer!

We enjoyed some beer and fruit (I couldn’t stomach the idea of warm vegetarian hash) and when awards rolled around I picked out my 2 6-packs for placing 3rd in my age group! Another goal met!

I was really pleased that I placed, despite not training with all these Boulderites! It was definitely strange to look around the venue and see all these pockets of runners I know. A few years ago, plenty of us were training together and we’ve all sorta splintered. I felt nostalgic about it, but it also was a bit of a relief that it wasn’t just I who had moved on. Sure we all share running as a passion, but that doesn’t mean there is only one way for that to manifest itself and anyone who is different is ‘lesser-than’.

And the best part? Hours later, my calf feels fine! Better than it has in days, despite the hard run. Sara wondered if perhaps the heat loosened it up? I don’t know about that, but I’m grateful for it!

Today was fun, and now I have that max heart rate I can use to calculate training zones. Even though I felt a little sickly earlier today (hard running and beer in the sun does that to me 😉 ) I’m feeling good now and excited for the next race! Which is good, because we have 2 over the next three weeks…

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