Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Army Ten Miler Race Report

Recap:

“Dude, you ready to crush this?”  That’s what I said as I turned around on my way to the race and saw my buddy from Capital Area Runners in the same metro car. That’s not exactly how I felt.

I had set a two second PR in the 5K two weeks prior, but I hadn’t had a quality long run or long race since I was out for a month injured in June.
I told myself I would shoot for a 7:00 pace and if I was feeling good I could push it later in the race.

Chris and I got off the metro and on our way to the starting corral ran into a couple of my Cancer to 5K peeps and saw Maggie from my Pacers team. It took forever to get to our corral. We started walking then jogging for fear that we’d be late. It ended up being a nice warm up and we arrived just in time for the National Anthem.

The first nine (of ten) miles were kind of a blur. It was a mix of me looking down at my watch, trying to stay on pace, and looking to my right and left to see Chris and Maggie cruising right along with me.

Here are my splits for the first nine:
6:51, 6:51, 6:58, 6:42, 6:48, 6:47, 6:48, 6:45, 6:48

Then, with about a mile to go, something came over me. I felt a rush of adrenaline and just started hammering.

I finished strong and felt great. Checked my watch afterwards and saw that I posted 6:09 in the final mile. Probably should have set a more ambitious goal than 7:00 and probably could have started hammering earlier than the last mile.

Official Time:

1:07:53/6:47
757/21,914 overall
103/714 in a stacked age group

Goals:

Break 1:10/7:00. Mission accomplished and I probably could have pushed harder.

Run the shortest distance possible. The first (and only) marathon I’ve ever run my watch read 28.5 miles. I must have been zigzagging on the course like crazy. This time I focused on running the shortest possible distance from start to finish. I did a pretty good job. My watch read 10.04 as I crossed the finish.

Usually my goal is to set a PR, but when I raced Cherry Blossom in April I was in top form, crushing it in 1:05:03/6:31 and I knew I didn’t have a shot at breaking that.

Lessons Learned:

Being in tune with your body and knowing exactly how hard you can push is the most challenging part of racing. It’s a fine line to walk. If you push too hard too early you’ll crash and the last miles will be slow and painful. If you’re too conservative you’ll finish disappointed that you didn’t run your best. I definitely should have checked in at mile 5 and at mile 7 as planned and turned it up a notch because clearly I had it in me.

This serves as a fitness test on the way to my A race this season, Philadelphia Half Marathon. I would really like to finish in 1:23/6:20 to qualify for the NYC Marathon next year. We’ll see what I can do.

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