Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Times Race Report

It was a perfect central Arizona morning for the New Times 10K; just cool enough before sun up so that I was comfortable wandering around in a pair of warm ups and pleasant enough at race time to stand around in my usual race gear waiting for the starting gun. Real Chamber of Commerce weather. I wasn’t trying to PR in this race this morning; instead, I just wanted to run a fast 6 mile tempo run somewhere between 7:15/mi and 7:30/mi. So, I had none of my usual performance anxiety issues that usually precede a race. That is not to say that I didn’t do some of my neurotic pre-race activities. I still got to the race 2 hours before the start and walked around for a full hour before I started my warm up (old habits die hard). This gave me a chance to look for some of my blogging friends before the race. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anyone. Tony (from Scottsdale) did manage to find me while I was waiting for the race to start, but I never did find anyone else. It was great to meet Tony and he managed to PR this morning running in 46:09 .. go Tony.

This morning, I lined up about 50 feet from the start line to try to avoid some of the congestion at the start. Since the race moved to Tempe, the first leg now travels over the two-lane Mill Avenue Bridge immediately after the start. This section is very narrow and filled with all sorts of runners making it very difficult to pass. Plus, the course is slightly up hill going over the bridge which only slows things down more. Fortunately, the course widens out on the first turn north of Tempe Town Lake and heads up a short hill which really separates the runners. Although I started out at a slow shuffle, by the time I got to the top of the hill the average pace of the runners around me increased considerably. Now I could get finally started on my tempo run.

To help me get started, I locked onto a 20 something and let her pace me down the hill and back across Tempe Town Lake on the Rural Road Bridge. She lost me along Rio Salado Parkway, but a gentleman near my age soon joined me on my right. He had just run the Silicon Valley Marathon 2 weeks earlier and was hoping to do something under 50 minutes this morning. He must have gotten nervous when I told him he was on-track to run at least 45:30 at the pace he was going because he soon dropped off my shoulder, leaving me to run alone. I still felt great as I ran past the 4 mile marker. I had no sense of fatigue and my pesky hamstrings were operating as I needed them to. So far so good; my body didn’t seem t realize it was traveling much faster than the usual 7:40 pace I use for tempo runs (just going to prove that running is mostly mental)

As the course turned onto University and headed back towards down-town Tempe, another 20 something in a black top with black shorts cruised by me. I immediatly locked on her pace and stuck to her. I don’t have a clue what she looked like from the front; but judging from her legs I was convinced she could do some serious damage at this distance so if I could stick with her I wouldn't have any trouble maintaining my tempo. She was just running so effortlessly. She pulled away from me near the end of mile 5 and I was flabbergasted when I looked down at my mile split as I passed the mile marker and saw that I had actually slowed down to a 7:35 for mile 5. This wouldn’t do. I can go out and run a 7:35 any day. Interestingly, I didn’t feel as if I’d slowed down, but I must have just convinced myself that my running buddy in the black shorts was moving much faster than she was. I had simply lost focus. I didn't feel tired, but it seemed like my brain was starting to back off the tempo. It was time to get serious.

With only a mile to go, the course was now back in central Tempe. One more mile shouldn't be a problem, but I need to get with the program. I'm just not a good enough runner to casually run 7:15 repeats. I needed to put in a little more effort. For the first time in the race, I actually tried to significantly increase my pace. I caught up with my running buddy and passed her in a half mile or so and kept on cruising and once I spotted the 6 mile mark up ahead, I started sprinting. Yes, I know this was supposed to be a tempo run, but I’d been oh so good for the first 6 miles; now it was time to stretch out my legs. I really don't know how fast I was moving, but it must have been way faster than my target pace.

It felt very good to finish a 10K with plenty left in reserve. The real test, of course, will come on Tuesday when I get to continue on with the Pfitzinger Advanced Marathon training plan. I need another good week this week and I can’t afford to have over-taxed my legs this morning.

Actual mile splits:

Mile 1 - 7:34 (weaving through traffic)
Mile 2 - 6:58 (fun down hill)
Mile 3 - 7:17 (right on pace)
Mile 4 - 6:56 (fastest mile)
Mile 5 - 7:35 (what the ... )
Mile 6 - 7:11 (much better)

I PRd this 10K finishing in 44:51. This is 1:09 faster than my previous best and a whopping 3:34 faster than last year. I finished 229/2900

Hope your weekend went as well.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest (very much needed)
Tue – 10 miles, recovery/easy – 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed - 18.2 miles, long - 8:52/mi avg pace
Thr - Rest (what do you expect)
Fri - 6.2 miles, easy with 8x100m strides - 8:41/mi avg pace
Sat - 5.0 miles, recovery - 8:56/mi avg pace
Sun - 6.2 miles, 10k - 7:13/mi avg pace (+2 mi warm up/1 mi cool down)

Total Mileage for the week: 48.7


Anonymous said...

Well done, Phil, the highly anticipated PR has arrived. How did you measure the miles, with a Garmin, or with mile markers? Because it looks to me as if mile 4 was a bit short and mile 5 a bit long.

You seem to be drawn to the backsides of 20-years old female runners. No wonder you lost your focus during that mile.

Feminist Runner said...

Nice new PR, Phil! Don't you usually run your tempo runs at some ungodly hour of the morning I can't even imagine waking up at? Of course your body didn't know it was going faster than its usual pace -- it was just so happy not to be doing it in the dark!
The start of the race slowed you down a bit but probably left you with enough for that kick at the end. Narrow race starts always irk me at the start line, but then at the finish, I can bask in the fact that I didn't go out too fast.

stephruns said...

Hi Phil,

thanks for stopping by my blog. Running in the sun all the time...that must be wonderful. I would love to move to AZ, but my husband has business to do here. So maybe some day, since I adore the desert.

Love2Run said...

Ha! Nice PR in the middle of the program. Great work but you'll have to learn from your 'mistakes' come marathon day and keep your eye on the prize, eh?

Anonymous said...

Good job, Phil. There is nothing better than running a PR when you are not even trying to run a PR.

Anonymous said...

Great report. I didn't think I'd see anyone there either. I was surprised when Javamom found me on the bridge. It would have been nice to meet you. Soon, I'm sure. I watched the start of the 10k, I was the one on the right with the camera.:)

I, also watched the first finishers come in, but left just before you would have finished. For a back of the packer, it was neat to see the fast runners.

Congrats on your PR, it was a PR kind of day.

Arizona, USA

tb1 said...

I think Thomas is right, I also had a smoking mile 4 and a slow mile 5 so I think the markers were off. Phil, you ran a great race. It was nice to be able to meet you. My chip time was 45:39 so I was elated as I'm sure you were with your time. I hope we can do it again sometime. This should give you some excellent motivation to wrap up your marathon training. Good luck.

tb1 said...

I rechecked the results, they must have posted the wrong results last night. You are right Phil, I timed in at 46:09.

D said...

Nice job Phil! Fast!

Runningdoctor said...

Strong work, Phil. Congrats. Do you know what your age group placing was?

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your PR, Mr. Speedy.
As always you gave a great race report.

Anonymous said...

Phil you did it another PR great job and as usual a great race report!! Congratulations, I can see the sub 40 when you do it for real the next time :)

Anonymous said...

Great run and great race report!! I ran the 5K and I agree the morning was perfect!

Ewen said...

Congrats on the PB Phil. Sub-45 is a breakthrough time. A great sign the training is going well.

Mike said...

Geez, I'm late to the party on this one. Congrats to both you and Tony. I love to hear about you finishing strong after three sizable runs within the last 7 days before the race. You are seizing some stamina here Phil, and the fact that when I look ahead to Tuesday's post you are still as motivated and back to the schedule affirms it.

Reading blogs like yours, Andrew's, and Thomas's and seeing the progress that is being made is grand.