Hi everyone! I ran a ten miler today and had a pretty good race today so I wanted to do a writeup. For those that like a short story, I came 2nd in 57:18. I thought I could go a bit faster, but several factors including hills, the weather, not being totally rested, etc., make this a pretty good time for me. Anyway, a little bit longer version:
Last year: I also came second, in a really good race to a local guy named Hugh who I've never beat. We ran together for the first 4.5 miles, then stepped it up to get rid of the 3rd place guy. At 6 for some reason I told him that 3rd place had fallen off, and we should slow down. Obviously, Hugh sped up, and left me in the dust by 6.5. The next race, a 5k, he took off at the 1 mile marker and I didn't bother trying to stick with him. He's generally faster than me. I was happy he had signed up for this year (I saw his name on the list at packet pickup), because I had imagined beating him at this 10 miler all winter long. Pre-race: Ate half a bagel and drank some gatorade. About an hour before the race I jogged two very slow miles to the race site. The weather was 30F, and pretty windy. It was supposed to be 13 mph wind, but I thought it was something less than that although still significant. Because I tend to "run hot" as a running buddy says, I still went with a singlet and shorts, but I added a hat and gloves. Once I got to the race I did another few laps, some strides, and some other various warm ups. 3+ miles total. Race:Miles 1-3I had planned to start off slowly, so I lined up a few rows back. I settled in with a few people, and ran the first mile in 5:38 (all the mile markers were off, apparently this was 5:50 pace). That was way too slow given a big downhill, so I started eyeing people ahead of me. I sped up and got into 5th, and fell in with another guy for about a mile. The next mile was also slow - I went through mile 2 at 11:47 cumulative, when I was thinking 11:30-11:40 would be more reasonable. I left my friend and started catching up to 2 & 3, who were running together about 30 seconds ahead of us according to a volunteer. It must have been less than that because, with the assistance of some big downhills, which I am very good at, I caught them by a little after the third mile marker.Miles 4-8I had wanted to stay with these guys for a while, but it felt like they were letting me go. At first I told myself to relax because it was still early in the race. But then I found myself with a small gap on them going uphill. Almost as a test, I pressed, and soon found myself running by myself down a long hill. If they couldn't keep up with me on an up hill there is no way they were going to stick with me going down, so I knew I was building a good margin. First place had been out of site for a long time, so I had no delusions there. Mile 5 was flat to downhill so I really pressed to get away from them. I saw two 5:19s pop up on my watch for 5 and 6, but knew that wasn't right. I think 5 was actually mid-5:20s pace, and six was slower. I ditched the hat and glove somewhere in this mile, and prepared for the big, gradual hill up 7-8. Running hard by yourself, when you don't have a pacer and there aren't any spectators, is pretty weird. It was hard to keep turning over up the hill. I was running mostly out of fear that everyone else was better at hills than I was, and I would start hearing footsteps. Nothing came though and, not looking back out of fear that if there was someone there, they would be encouraged that I was hurting, I just kept on going and assumed I was by myself.
I made a 90 degree turn at about 7.5 and looked back and didn't see anyone. Phew. Then it got steeper. At the next 90 degree turn, I looked back, and there were about 10 people running in a pack 100 yds back! That shot adrenaline through me. My breathing went from pretty hard to gasping on the big hill up to 8. Miles 9-10I charged down the quick downhill, and up the last big hill. I thought I was pretty safe now with just 1.5 miles to go, most of which was down. I zoned out to ignore the pain I was in and focused on turnover. Then I heard two guys yelling TURN!! TURN!! I had missed the turn right before 9! And I was going downhill, so now I was already having trouble breathing, and I had to come to a complete stop, run back up to the turn, and then get into my pace. As I turned back onto the course I saw Hugh 10 seconds back! Obscenities were yelled. I turned it on, made my way down to the last little hill to the track. I went through the gate, and they called out my name (pronounced wrong as always), and then I immediately heard "and the top three runners are now on the track"!! I knew Hugh was generally faster than me but I have a good kick and hearing that brought it out. I got up on my toes for the last 200m, and held him off for second place. According to this picture I beat him by 50m, so it wasn't as close as I feared.
Post Race: Got about 2 miles in while I jogged around apologizing to the cops at 9 for swearing, and picking up my hat and gloves. Then I called Megan and the kids and went out for waffles. Given the winds, the cold, the incident at 9, not being totally rested, and the slow start, I'm very happy with how this turned out. I had thought I was in 5:35-5:40 shape, but with the above factors I'll take a 5:44. I think it sets me up for a good spring. First place, by the way, was WAY ahead of me in 53:50. The top 6 male runners were all on my team, as well as at least the top 3 women, so a very good day for PR. Of course, it was a PR race, so that isn't surprising. Oh, and Hugh was doing marathon pace for 7 miles before speeding up to try to catch me, so that was a total hollow victory (but again, I'll take it).Anyway, sorry for the long report. If you made all the way through, congrats!
2nd place! Wow, that's fantastic! And, seriously - given the wind and the course (I ran the race last year), your pace was pretty spot on. You do look pretty tired at the end. I love how even the super fast people stop their watch as soon as they finish. Hope you enjoyed the waffles. Again, so happy you're out running and racing again.
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
My blog is JT Running DC. It's awesome.
Congrats! Great job and a smoking hot time.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner, INKnBURN Ambassador
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Fantastic job! Your pace is close to my mile PR...set 30 years ago!
Killer job Jack! Nice to put a face to a name too. I can see why you would have hesitated to drop the rest of the pack as early as you did, but if you have it in your legs I guess there's no point in holding back. Do you have any tips you can offer me on running downhill? I am terrible at them. I fear down so much more than up, which pretty ridiculous.
I can't believe you missed the turn! That would have killed me, but it seems like you did a great job just dealing with it. Even if your rival was running some MP miles, you still out kicked him, which says something. Congrats on your great race on what sounds like a tough course in some difficult weather. It's great to sense how positive you are after this race compared to how down you were feeling a few weeks back.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:24:13; '15) 10k (37:25; '14) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:27; '14)
Wow, great race! That is so fast, and it sounds like conditions were tough, too. I agree with SIAR, you handled the missed turn very well. Great job!
PRs: 5K: 22:09, 10K:44:55, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:32:09
Well done Jack! Thanks for the awesome race report!
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
Thanks everyone! I'm still happy about my race, except now I'm drunker. SIAR - re: downhill running - I just point my shoulders down and try not to fall. Somehow I always go faster than the people I'm running with. I think I have good turnover. But, they get it back on the up hills. I think that has to do with not having any muscles in my legs. As far as a tip, I'd say, it is really hard to push your heart rate up while running down hill, especially a slight down hill. You have to work much harder at it than on the flats or uphill. So, you can probably afford to spend more energy than you do, or than the people around you are. Other than that, i think you have to build confidence that you're not going to fall on your face on steep downhills by getting out of control occasionally in training. I think about quick feet and getting my feet down properly instead of overstriding. Not sure if that is helpful.
Oh, I did NOT handle the missed turn well. I mean, I kept on running, but there was a lot of swearing. I'm a little embarrassed I had to go back and apologize! Although, the cop didn't remember so maybe I'm exaggerating it.
Great job! It still blows me away that some of you are able to consider a 5:50 pace slow. I can't even hit that pace in my dreams! Anyway, congrats on the PR and the placement and beating Hugh. A win is a win. It's not your fault he ran extra marathon pace miles earlier. Great RR, too. I felt like I was watching you make that wrong turn. How frustrating! I love that you apologized to the police officers for swearing.