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Snowman Stampede 10m Race Report

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by , 02-20-2011 at 08:12 PM (1539 Views)
With four weeks to go until the LA Marathon, I needed a confidence booster. Last year I received it running the Colfax Half Marathon in 1:20:32 (6:09 pace), three weeks before the San Diego Marathon. My running schedule was a bit jacked up last week, as my right calf was killing me earlier in the week and I was tentative to do a long run, fearing an injury. Thus, I ran 20 miles on Friday, finishing at 5pm. Having finished a 20 mile run 17 hours before racing a 10 mile race, my legs were anything but fresh. I did a two mile warmup before the race and felt awful - lethargic and my legs were dead.

Whenever I don't feel in peak form going into the race, I try to remind myself that your body can often times surprise you. I think of Michael Jordan and his epic playoff game against the Jazz when he had the flu, or Pete Sampras defeating Alex Corretja after vomiting on the court and looking like he was going to pass out at any minute. I figured that I would start out smart and hopefully once the legs got loosened up, everything would be ok.

Here are my splits:

1 = 6:10
2 = 6:04
3 = 6:05
4 = 6:08
5 = 6:13
6 = 5:59
7 = 6:09
8 = 6:04
9 = 6:03
10 = 5:59

I've said it many times, but I hate the first mile of a race, hate it, hate it. In the first 1/2 mile everyone and their Aunt Martha was out in front of me, I was literally in about 60th place when we went through the first mile. It baffles me how people don't know how to pace themselves, you hear people breathing loudly after 1/10 of a race has been completed, and it's a WTF were you thinking moment. The course is an out and back, the first half is slightly downhill, but we were running into a rather stiff headwind.

I tried to find someone to draft off of, but most people were already slowing down and I was starting to pick up the pace. After two miles had passed my legs had loosened up and my calf was no longer bothering me. I was bidding my time for the turnaround and hoping to pick up the pace with the wind to my back. At the turnaround, I counted how many people were ahead of me and the challenge was on, to see how many I could catch. When the turnaround hit, I started to get a side stitch, pretty rare for me. I concentrated on my breathing, it was nagging, but not really affecting my pace. I was just hoping that it wouldn't get worse, because I was feeling strong and confident.

At this point in the race, the field was pretty spread out and I caught three guys over the next four miles and knew that I was picking up the pace. I could see three guys ahead of me and could tell that they were slowing down, but the closest guy to me had 20-25 seconds on me with a mile to go. I thought I had a chance to catch him, but knew it would be tough. I hunkered down and told myself that the goal was to make the last mile the fastest and to go <6:00. I gritted my teeth and got tough, the last 1/2 mile the runners entered Hudson Gardens and there were four 90 degree turns and a steep uphill all on dirt. I kicked it in at the finish, to run a 60:59 (6:06 pace). With the last mile being a net elevation gain and with the turns, really pleased with the 5:59 final mile. Finished 23rd overall.

McMillan states that my 10m time is equivalent to a 1:20:59 half marathon (6:11 pace). Thus it does not equate to my performance at Colfax. I'm sure that formula would hold true for most people, but I honestly think I could have knocked out three more miles at ~6:06 pace on Saturday to PR in the half marathon. I often feel like I don't have that many gears, but I'm really efficient at using the gears that I do have, not much variance.

In conclusion, really happy with the race, shows that my quick mileage buildup in January/February is starting to pay off. I think it was a more impressive performance than Colfax, harder headwind, more turns (including several 90 degree turns onto bridges and a 180) and I ran it on tired legs. Rationalizing, I know.

I'm thinking that I will race once more before LA Marathon and that will be The Runnin' of the Green 7K. Good sign and confident that I will be able to PR in LA if all things go well, which is never a given in life.

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