2011 RaceFest 10k

16 Apr

This was my first 10k (automatic PR, yeah!) and my first big race. First race with porta-potties too. I looked at the website and saw there were some at the finish line, so I used those instead of the ones by the start line and didn’t have to deal with the crowds.

The forecast was for severe thunderstorms, heavy wind, and lots of rain. I lucked out with the weather–it didn’t really rain, save for two showers at the start line. Now before moving to Charlotte, I only knew NJ/PA rain, which was drizzle for a week straight. Charlotte rain is something else. For the first months here I thought we were in a flood state of emergency every time it rained here. It pours and the roads puddle like crazy. So fully expecting a race in pouring rain, I wore a hat, hooded windbreaker, and my “old” shoes–Nike Lunarfly–so I wouldn’t ruin my Frees or Kinvaras (does rain ruin running shoes? I don’t know these things yet). It was 60 degrees and the windbreaker made me hot so next time I might skip that. I was surprised how many people were wearing ponchos. There were also people holding umbrellas at the start line.

Miles 1 and 2

The 10kers and the half-marathoners started at the same time at the same place so the first mile was pretty crowded. I started out farther back than usual (2 reasons – race had a chip start line and I didn’t want to start out too fast). Well, I wasn’t able to start out too fast because everyone else in front of me started out too slow. So one of my main goals for this race was achieved, yay! The second mile was rather uneventful, but I found my pace at 8:40. Goal pace for today was 8:40, with a hope for 8:30 if I was feeling good. I wasn’t feeling good so 8:40 it would be.

Mile 3

The half-marathon and 10k split up at this point. This was nice as the people I was running with were now going the same distance as me so I could make comparisons to some extent. This was also uphill, which I didn’t notice when I tested this course out on a long run. Note to self, use a tempo day to test out the race course next time. I have done enough races now to notice that everyone around me passes me uphill and then I pass them right back on the downhill. Effort-wise, I also know when we are going even slightly uphill because I am panting and I know we are going downhill when it feels too easy.

Miles 4 & 5

“Yay, downhill, time to make up for that last mile!” Not so much. These miles kind of blend together in my mind as “the tired portion before the uphill.” Mile 4, my fastest mile, was mostly downhill, but I was beginning to struggle and the downhills didn’t provide as much relief as I would like. I was wishing for this to be a five mile race, which would have been PERFECT, but I knew I had a while left to go. Mile 5 was also a slight downhill but I struggled to hit my pace.

Mile 6

Evil, evil uphill. This one I knew about, and I was hoping I could just push through since it was the last mile. But I couldn’t do much about it today. It slowed me considerably and I was passed by a whole bunch of people. It straightened out a bit towards the end, and I picked up my pace a little but my legs felt SO HEAVY. I honestly wasn’t sure I could make it to the finish line if I pushed any more.

Last Kick

There was another little hill, and I was just thinking to myself, “don’t walk now, don’t walk now, you’re near the finish line, everyone will see you!” I was so tired at this point I was barely running. The finish line wasn’t visible until the last .1 or so. Then I heard some people behind me getting closer, and one started to pass me. “Oh no you don’t,” I picked it up as much as I could and to my surprise, I easily FLEW ahead. I think I might be holding out when I race, especially today. Looking back, it amazes me how much energy I have at the end of the race, especially during the “final” kick. I totally could have kept that speed up for another 600m or so; I definitely need to start my sprinting earlier. Gonna practice that and that will be one of my goals for the half-marathon.

Official chip time was 55:08, which is 8:51 pace. Boo. I go faster than that on tempo runs. I was going for 54:00 and hoping for 53:00. Bright side is this leaves a little room for some PR action on my next 10k, I guess. 16/71 age group and 160/678 overall which are both top ~23%. =)

Garmin Splits:

1 – 8:38
2 – 8:44
3 – 9:08 (hill!)
4 – 8:32
5 – 8:51
6 – 9:09 (hill)
.23 – 10:16, but 9:33 moving pace – forgot to stop it as usual ~30 secs

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