Beginners and Beyond


Luck of the Irish 10k RR (Read 53 times)

    Short Version:

    Reason: First 10k tune-up race as part of training for April 27 marathon

    Result: 46:07 (PR) 6/25 AG


    Long Version:

    I gave an abbreviated version of this in the Dailies but decided to add to the RR fodder on the board today. I’m currently in the midst of training for my 3rd marathon (Illinois on 4/27) and have been using a Pfitz 18/70 plan. This Saturday was the first tune-up race in the training schedule and I ran the Luck of the Irish 10k on Saturday.


    The weather forecast had been for a mix of freezing rain/sleet/snow overnight but when I woke up on Saturday morning our streets at home were absolutely clear. Unfortunately, the race is about 75 minutes away and when I arrived at the site the roads and parking lots were covered with a layer of sleet/ice. As I sat in the car listening to the winds blow, I checked the weather on my phone and winds were about 15 mph with nice “feels like” temperature of 9 degrees. Oh well, my goal to race this one flat-out to assess training would have to be on hold. (I had intended to run this one sub 45, but after seeing the course condition and layout I would have been happy to run it in 45's)


    After I checked in and decided on what to wear – tights, two shirts and a jacket (along with stocking cap & gloves) - I did a short recon warm-up on the course. It turns out that the race was 2 ½ loops along a single road with dead-end turnarounds at either end. The road was also considerably hillier than I had anticipated – more on that later. The road was ice/sleet covered but was at least starting to melt by race time.


    Starting line

    Photo of starting line – you can see that the ice is partly melting.


    They actually held 3 races (5k, 10k and 15k as well as a 1M fun walk) The walk and 5k race were done but they had rescheduled the 15k race to start 10 minutes prior to our 10k start – that meant we’d have extra people on the course to dodge. Oh well, at least we started on time.


    I started out easy but since the beginning was mostly downhill I did the first mile in 7:09 a bit quicker than my revised pacing plan. That brought me through the first turnaround (i.e. the first ½ of the 2 ½ loops). Now, you can see the goofy elevation of the course from my Garmin track. The end of the North loop had a big sign showing a 7% grade hill that ended with a short flat before a stop sign. That meant we had to do a 180° turn and them immediately start back up that hill from basically a dead stop. The remainder of the course was rolling hills and the only flats that I saw were the little stretch to that stop sign and the final turn to the finish line. Oh well, hills make you stronger – I just wish it wasn’t on a race to gauge my training progress for a flat marathon course.


    Elevation profile


    Anyway, the rest of the miles were somewhat disappointing as the repeated hills and conditions took their toll. The remainder of the race played out with miles 2-6 ticking off at 7:23, 7:35, 7:52, 7:33, 7:46, with a final push to the finish line over the last 0.2 at 6:54. Overall, I'll consider it a win because I didn't injure myself and at least came close to my re-evaluated finish time. If I hadn't been conservative and dogged it on the last two uphills from the North turnaround, I'd have hit the 45s. Oh well, that's why you run more than one tune-up race.


    Finish stretch

    Train smart ... race smarter.

    Just B.S.

      Bruce we have a lot in common.



      We both live where winter seems to go on forever.

      We both live and run/race on extremely hilly routes.


      You however are a boy, and fast.Smile


      Big congrats!!


      Barking Mad To Run

        Goood gravy!  That looks COOOLD!!   Congrats on your race and on not falling on your caboose on the course - especially at your speedy pace!  Nice "floater' photo there...guess that's one  way to keep from slipping, keep both feet off the ground as much as possible! Big grin


        Way to go, Bruce!

        "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

        Hip Redux

          Excellent job!!   Though I expected more snow falling. Big grin


          Who ever mapped out that course is sadistic.  Out and backs, twice, with those hills?  Whoa.



          Go figure

            That's singlet weather out there Bruce!  The course you ran was just crazy, and definitely not something that is set up for racing at all.  You did a great job given that and the conditions.  Way to stay healthy too!

            Trying to find some more hay to restock the barn

              Wow, that course was brutal. are you doing the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in champaigN? Not man hills in the champaign/Urbana area! Im thinking about doing the 10k for fun.

              First Race

              Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago November 4, 2012 30:17

              Second Race

              Penguin in the Park 5K Decatur Illinois March 23,2013 27:08


                That sounds like a really messed up course. Just imagine by how much you could smash your PR on a normal course. Congrats.

                  Sounds like a great result considering the conditions!  Congrats on the PR, and glad you were able to stay safe on the course.

                    Total B.S.- I think there's something about the cold that affects our judgment about choosing races. Wink


                    scottydawg- Thanks, and I can confirm your suspicion that it was indeed cold. If I could have figured out a way to float the whole race I definitely would have - let me know if you get that worked out because I'm sure there's a market for it.


                    Oski- I agree, the course was unadulterated evil. Oh, and we don't need any more snow falling ... thanks for wondering.


                    So_Im_a_Runner- There actually was one dude wearing split shorts and a singlet out there somewhere ... though he was seriously fast! Even so, his arms and legs were bright red from the cold every time I passed him (as he was going the opposite way).


                    Sparker1606- Yep, I'm running Christie Clinic Marathon in C-U. I'm signed up for the I-Challenge - you run the 5k the night before and the full on Saturday morning - just for kicks. I actually did my undergrad down at U of I so I know the pancake flatness of the area. (That was one of the reasons for choosing that race as my spring FM)


                    B-Plus- Yep, I was disappointed by the course when I actually got to see it, but not much to do about that. I'm still looking for another 10k to race (with a reasonable course) that works with my training schedule, but unfortunately there's not a whole lot in my immediate area. I'm not so concerned with the PR, but I do want to get a good assessment of how training has been going to help set my pace for the April FM.


                    Zelanie- Thanks for the kind words and staying injury free was my #1 goal for this race (and training in general).

                    Train smart ... race smarter.


                      I would have just turned around after one look at the weather and course conditions... You truly are brave, Bruce... What an awesome time considering the wicked course. You probably would have gone low 43:00 on a normal flat course with no ice, maybe sub-43 even... Wonderful, wonderful picture of you! You look so hardcore! Congratulations on the PR!

                      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                      18 marathons, 18 BQs since 2010



                        You call those hills?  They look like mountains to this city boy!

                        Bad Ass

                          They look like mountains to me too, LRB!


                          Congrats.  Great job.  Love the picture!  I cannot wait to see what you'll do on your marathon.



                          "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                          It's always fucking hot in Miami!


                            Wow, nice race. This was in WI, right?  I had considered doing the 15k but wow, looking at that elevation profile, I'm glad I didn't.

                            delicate flower

                              That sounds just all around brutal....the hills, the turnarounds, the weather, the road conditions.  Nice job though, Bruce!


                              Turnarounds suck, IMO.  Nothing like having to slow to a crawl and completely break stride, then pick it back up again.  Do not like.



                                Wait?   How'd you manage to PR on that route with ice and snow?   That's crazy and oh so cool!  Great job! Congratulations!


                                .....awesome beard....just sayin'


                                "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson