Aug 072012

by Kevin Robinson – In the hours before the start of the Breaker, I found myself quite calm and really not worried about the race at all. Partly because the only real goal I put on myself was to beat my best here which was a 1:47:30 for the 9 miles. Quite frankly, the running shape I am in this year gave me a bit of confidence as I easily beat that time during workout runs on the mountain.

Everything leading up to the breaker was destined to put a negative affect on my race, including the hot humid forecast. If ever I needed a list of excuses for a poor performance, the days leading up to this race easily provided them for me.

As it turns out, I didn’t need any excuses …..if only I could put them in a “bad race excuse bank” for later use. Now, I could rationalize and speculate how much better I might have done under perfect circumstances, but let’s face it, there never is perfect and there are always things getting in the way.

My biggest worry going into the Breaker race was the volume of fluids I lost during the Beach to Beacon the day before. Even though I ran rather than race, I still sweat immensely and it would be difficult to rehydrate in one day.

My plan for the race was to push the pace a bit on the first lap and as long as I made time goal of at least 48 minutes, I could take it easy on the second if I needed to as I would have almost an hour to complete it and still PR.

In practice, I split my first lap into three segments and timed them. I figured this would work better than using heart rate as a guide to my progress because the humididty and the tiredness from yesterday would surely affect my heart rate.

I figured each split to be at the end of a climb. First one at the beginning of the South trail, second at the top of the summit trail and the third right before the decent on the switchback trail.

Here are my goal splits for the first lap and the actual beside them;
1. 18-19 minutes ……..actual 17:30
2. 28-29 minutes ……..actual 27:27
3. 43-44 minutes ……..actual 41:28

Finish of the first lap 45:46, well under my 48 minute goal even though I power walked half of the Summit trail. I spent about a minute at the aid station to take in fluids, suck down a gel, dump some water over my head and then was off.

The second lap was taxing because of the temps but I actually felt in complete control and had no worries about my finish. I enjoyed passing many runners on the inclines and never felt even a hint of a bonk coming. I did power walk the stone step section of the Summit trail this time around even though I felt I could run it. At the time My glasses were fogged up and I worried more about tripping than anything else.

One thing I like about this race is that you can actually start your finish about a mile early as it is all down hill. Once I hit this section, there was no stopping me, I threw caution out the window and let gravity take over. I had a strong finish, a good kick and a great race.

It’s a good thing I ran this race more by feel because the Garmen completely messed up half way through the second lap and the heart rate was all over the place. I suspect both problems were related to the heat and the steady stream of sweat pouring off me.

Garmen lost signal at 7.76 miles into the race
pace……..av-max (heart rate)
11:09…..150-207 (summit)
12:09…..149-240 (lost 1 minute at aid station)
(lost signal with appr 1.5 miles left)
8th mile …..estimate pretty darn fast
9th mile……estimate whicked fast with hell of a kick

9 miles @ 1:34:34 (10:31 pace)