Saturday, December 09, 2006

North Phoenix 10K Invitational Report

The crowds were underwhelming this morning for the start of the North Phoenix 10K Invitational; however, the competition was fierce. It was me and another fellow (pictured below) who I don’t believe understood that he was actually competing. He pulled out of the race after a couple of miles and scored a DNF for the event.

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for a race. Not a cloud in the sky and temperatures hovering just below 50F (10C) as the sun came up over the track at Paradise Valley Community College. Although I didn’t have anyone to pace me, I really needed to treat this as a real event in order to derive the required benefit from the run, so I went through my standard race day antics and wore the my usual race outfit (short sleeve blue top, black shorts) and did my best to act as if I was preparing to run in an official race.. After a 2 mile warm up, I even milled around for a few minutes getting psyched up to run this 10K under 45 minutes. Last month was the first time I’d ever run a 10K under 45:00, so I figured if I could squeeze another under 45:00, I could count this as a full out effort.

The first lap was right at 1:47, so I had the pace correct from the start. Of course, with only one other person on the track, I didn’t need to spend the first ½ mile sorting through traffic. The only question was whether I could string together 24 more laps at or under 1:48.

I don’t have much more to report for the first 3 miles, I just cruised around the track holding my pace as well as I could. I employed the rubber band idea that Dusty suggested yesterday to keep track of the laps and I would have been totally lost otherwise. Even using the Dusty’s lap counting technique, I really had little idea where I was for most of the run. I couldn’t really count the rubber bands on my left wrist as I transferred each one to my right wrist every other lap. I just had to get in the groove and hang on. I also had my simple sports watch set up to give me each lap’s split, so I was never fretting about how long I’d been running nor did I really worry about pace since I didn’t have my Garmin screaming out any particular Min/Mile rate. I just tried to cross the 400m line at 1:48 over and over and over. This strategy seemed to work really well. Although my breathing became labored from time to time, I was always able to get things back under control and hit the 400m splits within +/- 2 seconds on nearly every lap.

As I got down to the last 6 laps, my legs were starting to wane a little; but I’d be damned if I was going to slow down. I only had 3 more bands to transfer and I knew that I was either right on time or slightly ahead. I did my best to keep my shoulders relaxed, shortened my stride and started to drive my arms harder. My pace picked up again and by the time I was on the 25th lap, I pretty much knew I had a sub-45 in the bag. A big kick (for me) on the last 400m shaved another 10 seconds off my time and left me with a new PR of 44:40; an 11 second improvement over last month.

Split information for the terminally obsessed runners:

1600m Splits: 7:08, 7:06, 7:13, 7:13, 7:15, 7:08
Mile Paces: 7:11, 7:09, 7:16, 7:16, 7:18, 7:11, 6:31 (last 400m)
400m Splits: 1:47, 1:48, 1:46, 1:47, 1:48, 1:45, 1:49, 1:46, 1:48, 1:48, 1:48, 1:49, 1:48, 1:48, 1:49, 1:48, 1:48, 1:48, 1:50, 1:49, 1:50, 1:47, 1:46, 1:45, 1:37

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace
Wed: 11.2 miles, medium long, 8:58/mi avg pace
Thr: Rest Day
Fri: 4.2 miles, easy, 8:28/mi avg pace
Sat: 10K Race, 7:12/mi avg pace + 5.6K warm up/cool down


PVCC Track just before sunrise

Your author with a serious game face before the start of the race.

The competition! You wouldn't know that this guy (about my age) was on the same track at the same time. He was wearing what appeared to be a parka with a hood, long pants, and gloves. Really folks, it wasn't anywhere close to snowing.


Anonymous said...

You did it!!! I just can't believe you actually 10k on a track!! good for you!!!nice splits and congratulations on your new PR. Great job Phil!!

Love2Run said...

Virtual cheer from Canada! Nice job Phil.

Runningdoctor said...

Ha ha ha. That's so cool. If you had put up a little tent with Gatorade, it would have been classic. I would have been there (if I had been a Phoenician).

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo - Race director, Winner and Course record all in one!!


Glad the rubberbands worked!

Anonymous said...

What a great race! Wish I could have been there, other then the fact I avoid the track at all cost.
I totally understand the guy in the parka, I tend to over dress too.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!! Race director, winner and course record all in one!!!


angie's pink fuzzy said...

woo hoo!

Ewen said...

A beautifully executed race Phil. There's nothing like a 10k track PB. I like the last 400m kick to defeat your rivals ;) You'll have to return next year to defend your title!

By the way, next time I'll spend more time in Arizona - really enjoyed the drive down through Sedona. Spectacular country.

Anonymous said...

Dang it, I wish I had checked your blog earlier! I would have so been up for the North Phoenix 10K Invitational. Great job!! I love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, add it to your resume!

tb1 said...

Sorry Phil,
Saturday turned out to be very nuts for me. My daughter need her first Rx for glasses, my son had a flag football game, Christmas shopping, etc., etc.

I run mostly by myself so this would have been an excellent workout for me with you pushing the pace. Give me another shout next time you're out.

I know you are doing the AZRR 30K next Sunday. I'm opting for the Frosty's 10 miler on Saturday instead. I'm probably going to do the PFCHANGS half marathon in Jan since I've missed a couple of long runs due to family obligations. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I finished just 15 minutes behind you and 30 miles south of you. Of course, I also ran 1.2 miles less than you, but who's counting.

Congrats on a strong run. I don't think I'd like doing a 10k on a track by myself. I would have paced with parka man.

Arizona, USA

Anne said...

Ah, thanks for reminding us the only competition is with ourselves. Great job!