Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pepsi 10K Race Report -- September 19, 2009

Long time since I posted. I'll try to dig up my old race reports and get them on here.

Here's my most recent effort --

Summary: 43:01, 10K.

Long Report:

I've got a sentimental attachment to this race. It was my first race, back in 93 or 94, and aside from triathlon legs it's the only 10K race I've ever done. Got my 10K PR there in '97 at 43:07, and I've been shooting at that mark ever since I got back into my athletic "career" back around 2005. It's a fast course by Charlottesville standards, with a couple of hills at mile 2 and 4, but otherwise rolling, rural, and scenic.

The weather was good, in the mid 60s with just a bit of humidity, and there was a pretty good-sized field -- probably about 300-400 I'd estimate. Lots of UVA college students, including several teams in the off-season out for a good time. My plan, developed in consultation with Ms. Bernardes, was to start easy, around 7:10, then gradually pick up the pace. At mile 4 to the end, throw in some surges every hundred yards or so and try to kick it home strong.

The start was the usual scrum of inexperienced runners blasting ahead, but I found some space and settled down, telling myself "easy, easy." At mile 1 it wasn't quite easy enough -- 6:35. Damn! I chalked it up to a downhill stretch and resolved to settle down as we made our first turn on the double out-and-back course.

Through the second mile in 7:08, which included the first uphill. Not too bad. By now the field was spread out pretty well, and I was running pretty much alone. Mile 3 in 7:05, and I didn't feel too bad.

I started to pick it up just a bit over the next mile, which featured a couple of downhills, and hit mile 4 in 6:42. Another turn, and onto the last hill, and the inevitable period of pain that comes with any 5 or 10K race. I started to throw in some surges, picking up the pace for 20-25 steps every hundred yards or so. It helped break up the last couple of miles and kept my pace up pretty well.

Finally the turn into the school where the race ended. I saw the finish line clock -- 20 seconds left if I wanted to break 43 minutes. Dig deep and go! I hit the line right around 43, and gasped my way through the chutes, totally blown.

All in all, a good race. Snagged my PR, with an official time of 43:01, and got 2nd in M50-54. Looks like I'll have to wait for next year to try to break 43:00!


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