Well... I think I just want to talk about the 10k today. I pretty much mailed in the 5k after 1 mile. But I did give good, consistent effort in the 10k. I have always struggled with exactly how to approach this race. I'm not a big fan of racing, then taking off some time, and then racing again. I just struggle to put it together again for the second race. I had a big fat case of "I don't want to" during the 5k.
The numbers up front... I was 10th overall in the 10k and 2nd in the 35-39 age group with a time of 39:09. I was 14th overall and 2nd in the 35-39 age group in the 5k with a time of 20:29 (blech).
My prerace routine was much better today than it has been. I have been really struggling to get out of bed for a variety of reasons (maybe I'll detail those on a later post). As a result, I've been showing up with hardly any time to warm up and haven't been able to, ahem, take care of business (runners know what I'm talking about here) before the race. All was good for this race. Plenty of time.
The First Loop
This course is a rolling double loop with a crowded out and back that I really don't like very much. I really only run it because it's the place to be for runners on Labor Day weekend. Well, that and 10k races are scarce around here. And it's an excuse to mix hard miles into a long run.
Anyway, I was hoping to hit 39:00 for this race. I was figuring that I had recently run about a 19:00 5k. This is a difficult course, so double your 5k and add a minute. That's how I got 39 minutes. I probably should and could run this a bit faster.
The first mile is pretty much all uphill and not a nice uphill at that. I don't know why I didn't take that into account, but I didn't. I went out a bit too hard and hit the first mile in 6:11. The second mile rolls quite a bit, but it is still a net downhill mile. I didn't keep even effort here, slacking a bit on the uphill portion and already tiring from the aggressive first mile. Still, the split was okay at 6:12. The third mile is another rolling net downhill that I didn't keep even effort on and split at 6:15. I was feeling pretty good as I hit the 5k split at about 19:24 with a very good chance to beat 39:00. But I knew I was tiring.
There are a couple of spots on this course where you see the runners ahead and behind. On this first loop, I was battling Dave Purinton, Robert Whitaker, and Chad Davis. (The wrong part of that is that all of them have several years on me. I have work to do!) As we were coming back and other runners were going out, I kept hearing so many people shouting my name! That was totally awesome! I really appreciate it. I cheered for those that I know and recognized. Big thanks! It really helped.
The Second Loop
I knew I had some work to do on this second loop. I was tiring and needed to keep consistent effort on the last half. Chad had dropped the hammer and pulled a good 30-40 seconds ahead of me. He really ran a great race today. Robert and Dave were still in sight, so I hung on to them. I probably let their effort level dictate my effort level more than I should have.
Mile 4 is pretty much the same as mile 1, uphill. I worked a little hard up the hill, but no way I was going to 6:11 this mile this time. It was more like 6:20. Ewww. Just after the 4 mile marker, I passed Dave Purinton, but he hung on to me pretty good. I put some distance on the way out to the cone turnaround. After the turnaround, I decided to make a move on Robert. I did and he didn't really give chase. I think it was more of those two fading more than me running strong, because the 5th mile (again a rolling but downhill mile) split at 6:28. Ewww again. What is happening to me? Oh yeah, I'm not really prepared to run a 10k, that's what's happening.
After that, Chad was out of reach, and there really wasn't anything left to run for except to break 39:00. I still thought I had a chance, and I really did. But that 6:28 really discouraged me. I let it get in my head. This was my biggest mistake during this race. I lost focus during the fifth mile and let it discourage me during the 6th. One thing that helped a TON was that Linda Scavarda saw me and I was really tense. She said, "You're looking great. Relax your arms! You got this!" I really needed that. I relaxed my arms, and my pace almost instantly dropped! I ran the next mile in 6:19. Much better, but not where I should be and not good enough to undo the damage. Oh well.
I cruised in at 39:09 when I saw that I had no chance of sub-39 I just mailed in the last few yards. Shame on me.
It was great to see everyone and I had some good easy miles between the races and some good cool down miles after the 5k with Fleet Feet teammates. And, I've never placed in my age group at this race. I was glad to do that today!