Saturday, September 16, 2006

First 10k of the season

It’s been a long time since I’ve run a 10k. It's just way too hot during the summer months to host a 10k anywhere near Phoenix and I’m just too lazy to drive up to the mountains for an event. So the 10k I ran this morning was the first 10k of the running season in the Phoenix area. The race ran through the Reach 11 Recreational Park with most of the course staged on dirt trails within the park. The course was set up as a 5K with those running the 10k simply running two loops. I posted several pictures of the course below.

I met up with my buddy Bill (yes, the same Bill from the Jerome Hill Climb) for a brief pre-race discussion. I haven’t felt all that well all week and I wasn’t expecting to do all that well in the race. My left hamstring has been bothering me again and my right foot still hurts. At least with Bill in the race, I’d have someone to chase for the first few miles. I also spotted my friend David before the start of the race. In several 5ks this summer, David has blown by me in the last mile and finished very strong. I fully expected him to do the same this morning.

The race started at 8:00 AM and I immediately got stuck behind several people jogging 3 or 4 abreast right out of the gate. (Insert your own complaint about joggers lining up at the front of the pack). Once I stumbled around these folks I was able to get up to speed quickly and reached the first mile marker at 6:54. I was feeling pretty good and was very happy with the time. It wasn’t too terribly fast, but I still had a long way to go; too early to get giddy.

Bill was 20 feet in front at the 1 mile marker, so I shortened my pace and upped the tempo to close the gap to 2 feet. I ran most of next mile through soft dirt hanging on his right shoulder. I don’t know if he realized it was me, but he did know that someone was following closely. Either he accelerated or I slowed down, but the gap between us increased to 10 feet as we got to the 2 mile marker. We stayed this way until we neared the 3 mile mark at which time our friend David blew by. David is a very nice guy. He slowed up to talk with me for 30 seconds and then ran ahead to talk with Bill. As David pulled away, Bill tried to keep pace with him, but quickly fell back.

I completed the 1st 5K in 22:42. I was still feeling OK, but not great. I was running faster than I’d ever run a 10K at this point, but knew I’d be hard pressed to do a repeat on the 2nd lap. The sun was getting higher on the horizon and I was starting to feel the effects of the sun beating on my back as the temperature slowly rose.

At mile 4 I pulled up even with Bill so I could see how he was doing. He wasn’t all too happy with his pace and I didn’t mention that I was running faster than ever for this distance. We continued side by side, running 7:20+ miles along the back side of the course. This area is hard packed dirt and the traction is fairly good; however, at mile 5 I knew I’d had it. My legs were feeling heavy and my skin was slowly frying in the sun. Bill pulled ahead 10 feet and then slowly increased the gap. I didn’t have enough energy left to respond. My pace slowed down to 7:34 and I just hung on running as strong as I dared without hurting myself. Once I got to the 6 mile marker, I pushed hard through the finish line; the clock read 40:0x. I didn't catch the last digit. Even though I didn't remember exactly what the clock read, it was over 46 minutes. I’d have to wait until the results were posted to get my actual time.

Bill caught up with me on my cool down run. This is the first time I’ve run a cool down with anyone. It was nice to have someone along although the first mile was very painful. My legs felt like lead and I was having trouble talking. But after we finished the first mile, things settled down and I actually started feeling good again. We only ran 2 miles at a 9:00 pace, but I felt I could have gone much further (this could have been wishful thinking)

My official time was 46:00 (yes, 46 minutes even). Bill finished 10 seconds faster. This was a PR for me and my 5K split was 20 seconds faster than the 5K I ran on the same course this summer. All and all, it was a good race.

Hope your weekend is going great.


Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 5.0 miles, easy, 9:00/mi pace (approx)
Wed: 2.3 miles, tempo, 7:39/mi pace (don't ask what happened)
Thr: 5.0 miles, easy, 8:18/mi pace (yes!)
Fri: Rest Day
Sat: 10k, race, 7:25/mi avg pace (not too bad)


One of the many small washes in the race. The bottom of this is filled with soft sand

The course looking south towards Piestewa Peak in Phoenix

Small pond left over from the heavy rains this week.


Mike said...

That was quite possibly the most low-key PR post I've ever read, which makes me think you believe you have some faster ones in you. If so I agree with you. Still, it's always good to cherish a "best", even if it's short-lived. After all, you never know when the next one will come along. Hope the foot improves soon.

Phil said...

Thanks Mike ... You're right, it was low key. I took 1:48 off my previous best; however, I think I can do better. I've run 3 other 10Ks in the past 12 months, finishing in 48:24, 47:48 and 48:53, so I should have been extremely happy with 46:00 on a warm September morning. I know I wasn't happy about bonking on the 6th mile. Of course bonking is relative. My pace on the 6th mile this morning was faster than my average pace in the other 10Ks. Now that I've got my sites set on running in the Carlsbad Marathon this coming January, I need to get my training and race schedule in order.

DawnB said...

outstanding!!! congratulations!!! I just came from my son's first football game of the season!! They won!!28 to 15!!. Nice PR and a wonderful race report...Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Ann Ewbank said...

nice job on the 10k!

This morning was the first morning where it really felt like the temps were coming down.

And running season has officially begun!

Mike said...

Carlsbad?? I'm kind of glad to see you skipping Phoenix in favor of going somewhere fun to race (not that Phoenix isn't fun...actually Phoenix really isn't fun). : )

If you're heading up to marathon town I wouldn't sweat too many races this fall if I were you, especially at the expense of long runs. If you do race on the weekend, hopefully you can get a longer run in earlier in the week. It is cooling down, but sadly we're losing daylight. It's always something.

Feminist Runner said...

Well done on the PR, Phil. And if that wasn't impressive enough, hitting an even number has to represent some sort of good fortune, eh?
Glad it was a good race -- it's a pleasant way to start off the fall

Love2Run said...

Nice PR Phil! The consistent running is paying off but take care of the aches and pains. I think older runners do get better with age, don't you?

Michele said...

Congrats on the PR, you sure are speedy.
That is one heck of a lot of time to shave off a 10k!
Hope the aches and pains are getting better, take care of yourself.

Shane (mississip) said...

Congrats on a GREAT race!!