Monday, February 8, 2010

10K Race Report

Sunday was our most recent trail run on the roster.  It was supposed to be sunny and warm-ish (10C / 50F), but instead it was drizzling and damp.  Here on the coast when it rains it's a very damp cold, it can be above freezing but feel well below freezing.

Normally when we arrive there is a long line-up for unregistered participants, and little to no line for pre-registered.  This time however it was reversed and we had to wait quite a while to get our numbers.  This didn't leave us a whole lot of time for warm-up and stretching, but we got in enough.

Thankfully though they started the 5K runners in a different area and waited until they'd all gotten out onto the trail to start the 10K group.  Plus we started on a much wider trail.  It was nice to get off to a faster start!

And a fast start it was .... my first mile was under the 8 minute mark, that's really good for me.  I look forward to the day I can sustain that kind of pace over a longer distance.

The next 3 1/2 miles were SUPER hilly.  There is a hill on this trail that is referred to the locals as "Heart Attack Hill".  At the top is a bench where people often stop to catch their breath.  It's long AND steep.  My "running" speed on this hill dropped to 3 mph, maybe even a bit less.  We had to do a loop and run this hill TWICE!  I knew it would be on this course so I expected it, but it was still super tough.  Plus, the entire loop itself had a number of respectable hills.

The second time going up that long, steep hill I wasn't sure I could hold my cookies.  I actually had to stop for about 10 seconds at the top and get everything back in order.  But I knew once that was done that there would be a slight downhill and the rest of the course was flat.  Course knowledge is a wonderful thing!

After all those hills my average pace had dropped to 9:04, which was slower than I wanted to be.  For a moment I mentally checked out thinking I couldn't reach my goal, but I worked hard to push through that and then I knew that I could make up time.  So I really pushed to pick it up in the last part of the course. 

Running in a series is neat because you see familiar faces, you tend to run with the same people.  I knew from previous races who is typically just in front of me, who typically goes out faster than me and that I can pass later on, who runs faster uphill but then levels out ....  I used this to my advantage.  There is this one guy who always passes me at about 4K, then finishes about a minute in front of me.  This time when he passed me I pushed HARD!  I stayed on his tail and when I found I had just a bit more energy I passed him and wasn't going to let him by me again.  It wasn't about beating him for the sake of beating him, it was about knowing that if I beat him then I'd have beaten myself.  I'm nowhere near the point of competing within the field, so it's all about competition with myself.

With about 1/2 mile to go I could hear someone coming up behind me.  I really wanted to finish strong.  So I picked up my pace AGAIN and saw that my average pace had gone from 9:04 min miles to 8:57.  By now my stomach was beginning to churn again but I kept up my pace.  At about 6.15 miles the guy behind me passed me and I couldn't catch him - though I also could not see the finish line which should have been in sight by then.

The distance ended up being 6.35 miles (aka 10.25 Km) and I finished in 56:28.  My average pace was 8:53 min/mile - 5:32 min/Km.

Afterwards, the guy who passed me at the end came up to me and said "WOW, good pace!".  Apparently he'd been pushing hard to pass me too.  Glad I at least offered him a challenge.

My goal for this race was 55 minutes, and if you convert the distance to an actual 10K then I finished in 55:08.  Pretty darn close! 

I think that with all these hills, I should be able to break 53-54 minutes on this distance.  Though my goal for this year is to break 52.  I definitely need to do some hill & speed training to improve my game.

Tomorrow I'll recap a few things I thought about this race (and the series) as well as how the remainder of my day went after the race.  Race recovery is tough!

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Suzy said...

Way to finish strong! You'll be able to take time off with hill work and speed.

Susan (All Things In Moderation) said...

You always amaze me!

Angela said...

Great job! You're speedy!

Sarah said...

Awesome report! Sounds like the hills were crazy! I try and runs hills once a week, but they still kick my butt. :)

Sarah said...

Wow great run and sounds like having someone to focus on competing with really helped. I may have to try that sometime when I need an extra push! Nice work on your race!

Tricia said...

Great job!

ajh said...

Sounds like you did great. You did well on what sounds like a tough course.
Yes, most of the purchases I posted were from Target. It is a fun store.

Marcelle said...

Respect, Respect, Respect


I am on earth does anyone do it in that are like lightening girlfriend!!!!

I would be the irritating one doing the 5km run....LOL

Michelle said...

Awesome pace! Way to go!

kimert said...

What an amazing race pace!! Way to go!