Saturday, May 23, 2009

5.23.09 Expo 10K

Okay I'm going to try and get this report done now, take that procrastination, bam! The morning started off well enough. It was gorgeous outside, but unfortunately I didn't sleep all that well last night. Well I slept well until about 4:30 am, at which point i tossed and turned. Either way I felt somewhat alive when I finally did get up. I had everything ready to go and decided to leave my HR monitor behind. I didn't want to be checking it constantly and just wanted to run.

78 must be my lucky number
So after some cereal and getting things in order, April and I were off downtown to get parked for the race. Pretty standard race morning, well for the most part. I had plenty of time to warm up and do all my pre-race things, which I normally don't, so it was nice just to be relaxed. Okay firstly this year the Expo chose a new course. Normally it starts down Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, heads out and then comes back finishing at Market Square, which is pretty much the hot spot nowadays. That course has a few rolling hills, but no major drops or inclines. This year it started at the Coliseum and headed out, then ended at the same spot, so definitely different and I hadn't really the "back" part of the course.

some pre-race happiness
The first thing I noticed was that the start looked to be right at the Coliseum. So I did all my warming up there, but after a while it got closer and closer to start time, and they weren't putting the banner out and nobody was lining up. I saw a migration up the hill, which is pretty steep, and just started following people. It turns out the start was clear at the top of it! By the time I chugged up that thing, everyone else was lined up and ready, yikes. Either way they still had to do the anthem and things like that so I wasn't too late or anything. I decided to get my ipod ready, which turned out to be a mistake. The screen went blank on me, and never came back. It has been doing that lately and was a huge oversight on my part not to take care of it earlier. So I ran this race blind.

trucking down the hill

That was probably a big factor in this run. Now normally in races you set out the mile markers like this 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Well my friends today was opposite day....I'll get to that later. So I'm actually feeling good at the start, even though I knew I would have no idea of splits, I figured if I ran close to someone with a watch I might hear a few. Okay so the first part of this race is down the huge hill we had to walk up, then it goes right back up another hill, pretty much eliminating any momentum you had off the first. I decided to just run down this thing hard, well at least fast and not just coast down. I ended up being pretty close to the leaders at the top of the hill, but there were plenty of people ahead. So that was an interesting start.

trucking back up the hill

I stayed calm and focused on breathing easy and relaxing. It worked and I could tell the people around me were not feeling the same way. In fact even at mile 1 people were breathing hard like crazy. I tried to maintain a good pace. A runner yelled out 5:45 for the first mile, but I had already passed it, so I was probably closer to 5:42. I felt pretty good though and thought I might be able to hold that pace, I was relaxed. We come up on mile 4 and I think, I am feeling great, maybe I should pick it up. I had been running a guy for most of this time, step for step. We were feeding off each other and going at a pretty good rate. Then we come up on mile 3 and ....oh crap. There are STILL three more miles to go.

My legs at this point were already burning a bit, but breathing was good so I thought maybe I could hold the pace. The guy stayed with me, but I was pulling ahead. There were plenty of others right behind me though. At 2 miles I was running with our top woman in the area, Kathy Wolski. She was chugging right along. I actually stayed with her for the next mile or so, but she had paced the first half better and had plenty of gas in the tank and started to get away. I was just trying to maintain. She dropped me around 1 mile, but she wasn't too far ahead. At this point I was breathing pretty hard and the legs didn't have much strength. We had a short hill to climb, then cross the river on the bridge and not too far after that was the finish. At this point a guy was breathing incredibly hard tried to pass me. He got a few steps, but it was pretty clear by his breathing that he was hurting much more than I was.

My only goal at that point was holding him off. Remember, I have no idea how fast we are going, I'm just racing people, not time. So I try to get a gap on him, if anything just not to hear his crazy breathing anymore. That thing took a lot out of me and I slowed a ton, but at the top I recovered and took off. I got a good gap by the end of the bridge, and could sort of make out the turn to the finish. I could hear breathing guy getting closer, he was making a final push. I was determined not to let him get me. At that point I was going to do whatever it took. I thought to myself, I am in nowhere near as bad of shape as him, there is no way I'm letting him outkick me. And I just gunned it when I saw the finish line. The only fortunate thing here was it was a little downhill (we climbed it at the start) and I finished as strong as I could. I actually saw my time this go around, and it wasn't what I hoped for, but it was good enough.

no, I will not let you pass heavy breather guy!

So I ran a 37:50 today. I am making no excuses. The course may have been different and possibly a little tougher, but I was simply not fit enough to run faster. Maybe I could have gone out more conservative, but honestly I think I run better if I stick with people as I don't tend to catch to many. Of course that may be because I go out too fast, but 5:40's weren't really much faster than my goal pace and I had no clue how fast I was going to begin with. But considering my last 5k was 18:35 I can't really complain. I mean I basically ran that twice in a row today. Progress is progress, I just would have liked to see something a little closer to 37. So the training continues. It was a good day, great day in fact. I got a 2nd place age group finish, Last year I wasn't even close to the top. Probably the only bummer on the day was smoothie king wasn't there :(

first year
74th overall
12th age

last year

48th overall
10th age

this year
20th overall
2nd age
37:50*different course

8am. expo 10k. 64° 90%H 1mph from NE
37:50(6.2) fasttwitch 84


Sheila said...

Nice race report. Congrats on the PR.

reachdown said...

Nice job, Ron. 37:50 is definitely a great time on Memorial Day weekend in the South on a hilly course! Running blind is a bummer, too.

Nice race! Nice report!

Ron said...

Hi Sheila, thanks so much!

reachdown - I don't want to "blame" the course. I went out hard and tried to hold on. If I were to run the course again I would be conservative and hope for a stronger 2nd half.


RunnerDude said...

Hey man! May not have run it the way you would have like, but you stil had an awesome time! Congrats!

Ron said...

RunnerDude. Yup I am totally happy with my effort and it was a lot of fun :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Ron,
Congrats on the 10k race! You should be very proud of that time. One of these maybe I will actually train for a 5 or 10k race but then again maybe NOT. Do like the long distance training...

Again congrats and take care!

Ron said...

hey pace runner,

Well my training for this was coming off marathon training, so I was kinda cramming a plan into a six week stretch. The speedwork was fun, but like you am I ready for longer runs and more miles already.