I honestly didn't know what to expect at this race, not only because I haven't been running that much lately, but I have not been training for 10K road speed. My original plan was to run with my wife at her pace which is much slower than mine so kind of a breeze for me.
My wife opted out of the race so it left me wondering how I should approach it. Now the pressure was on to attempt a respectable time. The one flat road run of a couple weeks ago put me at about 9 minute pace so I hoped to at least beat 9 minute.
In my head, I felt certain I should be able to find some hidden power over my body and pull off an 8 minute pace (best case scenario, beat 50 minutes, worst case, no slower than 55 minutes)......who the hell was I kidding? none the less I started at the 8 minute pace sign in the chute.
First problem of the day was the way they start this race. Once in the chute and packed in like sardines, it is impossible to relieve ones self and get back in. The wait time is over a half hour and even though I thought I timed everything perfect, I found myself looking very longingly at various trees in the distance. One tenth of a mile from the start is a portapotty and I found myself reluctantly pulling off the road and entering. The hundreds of runners passing by sounded like pouring rain.
Finally I ran back into the crowd and assumed I was probably back with the 10 minute milers. Problem with this is I wanted the 8 minute crowd to suck me into a faster pace at the beginning to hopefully get a better time. This surely was not the best way to start a race, but the was no other place in the first mile to accomplish the task.
I passed quite a few people and was glad to see 8:44 at the first mile instead of something slower. Not as fast as I wanted but it could have been worse. Each mile I ran faster and by mile four I was down to 8:06 pace. My excitement quickly turned sour as I calculated a minute lost in the first two miles and two miles of tougher uphill running ahead of me.
Though I was feeling a bit tired, mile five went surprisingly well as I only slowed to 8:37 pace. I quickly calculated that If I could maintain this pace for mile six and get a good kick going, I might be able to pull off a 8:20 pace over all.
I felt good on the hills of mile six as it seemed my pace was steady. Somehow I slowed to 9:17 pace and as I think about it now, it makes sense. I should have NOT felt good on those hills, if I was pushing then I would have felt bad...........
Rounding the corner into the park is a short steep hill that always seem to kill me. I assume my Bradbury legs took over because this time the hill was nothing as I kept to the inside and literally passed twenty people laboring up it.
From this point on I put on my race face and tried to pass as many people as I could pulling off a 6:53 pace for the last .2 to the finish. I swear I passed a hundred runners. I felt great as I passed the finish line and if not for the dilemma in mile one and the brain fart in mile six, I think I would have been quite pleased with the whole race.
As I walked up the hill after the finish, the thought of waiting in line in the hot sun for an hour to catch the bus was overwhelming so instead I decided the hour would serve better as extra training rather than suffer the muscle stiffening of a long bus ride.
I ran back to the start and turned this into more of a long run. The first couple miles, the quads were cramping and I almost wished I had not made this decision, but each mile I felt better and ran faster going from an 11:37 in the first mile to a 9:14 in the last.
Though not quite the under fifty I wanted, I was happy beating fifty five and doubling the effort with an extended run.
6.2 race 53:56 (8:41 pace)
5.5 return 56:57