Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Here's the long race report for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler I ran today.

Left the house at 5:30 and got there around 6:30. It was 47 degrees when I left the house and I didn't detect any wind. No lines (like zero) at the porta-potties all the way up to start time, so thumbs up to the race director! I shivered in my long-sleeve shirt (should have brought a jacket) until the sun came out and I was instantly warmer. It was still 50 degrees or so -- perfect for a 10 miler. The wind was light too, so no excuses today!

I only got a 1 mile warmup in. I started jogging at 7:08 since the race was supposed to start at 7:40, but the announcer kept imploring everyone to get in the corral way early and after a couple of minutes of "final call to get in the corral," I did. Part of the reason for getting in early was that the elite females started at 7:30. You didn't need to get in before 7:30 because they marched everybody forward after the women started. Anyway, I stood there for 20+ minutes before the start.

So, we're off. The new route is the same as last years, but in reverse. This is *much* better because it avoids the funneling into a narrow street in the first mile that we did last year. I found a group to run with and just ran with minimal dodging. The HRM was way off (reading 190+) for the first mile plus. The garmin read ~6:50 at first but settled down and eventually wound down to 6:32 pace (which didn't seem right) by the time I hit the lap button. The was easy enough that I didn't think to look for a mile marker until 12+ minutes in and I looked up and saw mile 2 at the top of memorial bridge. 13:18. Goal pace was 6:42, so 6:39 per mile is pretty nice. I found a rhythm and was going along pretty well. The next split was 6:29. Was it short? No, I think I was going that fast. Looked at my watch at the 5k sign (no pad) -- 20:29. That wouldn't have been a PR this time last year. My heart rate was only 182. I ran the half in January at about that, so I didn't worry. I cruised along for another 6:34 mile and started to think, which probably isn't a good idea. I had an inkling of sub-66, but then I thought I wouldn't goober this up.

Just make sure I hit those 6:40s. 6:41 mile 5. 6:39 mile 6. I had a nice group running an even pace. It started (as it should) to get uncomfortable approaching mile 6. I looked at my watch at the 10k -- 41:10. An unofficial 10k PR. It was started to get harder and my legs were getting a little "lacticy" (to make up a word). It starts to get hard to feel your pace at this point in the race, but I was keeping up with the group and the garmin read 6:39.

Mile 7. 7:06. WTF? I knew it was long, so I say something to the guy next to me expecting an "oh yeah," but he says something like "why do you think so?" Uh, I went 6:40 to 7:06. This was on the spectator-free, lonely part called Hains Point where many a good Marine Corps Marathon race has died, so it was easy to question myself, but still I knew I didn't slow that much, but I figured I did slow and just didn't know how much.

Mile 8. 6:03. OK, mile 7 was long, but 7:06 + 6:03 = 13:09 ~ 6:35/mile. I don't think I sped up. Ah, I'm probably OK. 2 miles left. I decided to look at my elapsed time some time after the mile mark and say 53:35. I'm thinking 13:25 to run two miles. Ack that's 6:42 pace. I've been well under except that last suspect mile. What's going on here. In retrospect, I actually crossed mile 8 at 52:53. Huge difference! Don't try and estimate after you've passed a marker. 2 miles left. Just hang with the people in front of you.

Mile 9. There's a little breeze now as we head north on Hains Point, but not much. My pace reads 6:48 and I can't get it down without hurting more than I feel. I figure the markers were all just screwed and I haven't really slowed yet so I've got a bit of a cushion. Hit the mile marker at 7:00. What? I didn't drop 20 seconds. I now figure that both 7 and 8 were in the wrong place. 7 + 6:03 + 7:08 = 21:11 = ~6:44 pace, which I'll believe. The clock says 61:05 at the mile marker. My watch says 59:53 and I'm figuring if the last mile is reasonably close to a mile then I should make it.

Mile 10. Just hang with some folks and try and run it in. This mile has the only real hill in the course (and it's not *that* bad). It starts just before 800 meters to go. They have a *very* helpful sign there and I figured I could run a 7ish mile and make it at that point. Anyway, we ran up the hill and it hurt and you kind of wind your way to the right, so you get pretty darn close to the finish before you can actually see it. I think I finally saw the clock when it read 1:06:30. For once, I wanted to finish with the clock reading under my goal time (I ran 1:30:01 at carlsbad and 32:0something at the 8k. Anyway, I picked it up and saw 1:06:57 when I crossed. Unambiguous success. Yay, me! I also remembered to stop my watch, which I haven't done in the last two races. It read 1:06:43 (which also is my official chip time).

I planned to run 3 miles to a friend's house, but after stiffening up while waiting 15 minutes for my bag, I ended up taking the train. Here's a note to race organizers. If you assign numbers by projected order of finish and then group bags by bib numbers, you'll end up with a thousand people at two tables while the other 20 sit idle. How hard is this? They could have 10 tables arranged by the last digit of the bib number and serve 10 at a time instead of 2 at a time with half the number of volunteers.

I'm getting nearer one of my long term goals -- a sub-40 10k. If you believe the McMillan calculator this 10 miler was worth a 39:49.

Full splitsahol below.

| mile | split | dist | pace | Avg HR |
| 2 | 13:18 | 2.04 | 6:32 | 185 | -- HRM not working right
| 3 | 6:29 | 1.02 | 6:21 | 182 |
| 4 | 6:34 | 1.07 | 6:09 | 183 |
| 5 | 6:41 | 1.03 | 6:29 | 183 |
| 6 | 6:39 | 1.00 | 6:38 | 184 |
| 7 | 7:06 | 1.07 | 6:39 | 183 |
| 8 | 6:03 | 0.91 | 6:41 | 183 |
| 9 | 7:00 | 1.03 | 6:48 | 185 |
| 10 | 6:50 | 1.02 | 6:42 | 187 |


Mindi said...

Excellent, excellent race. I am also impressed by your ability to do math while racing - I am entirely unable to do that!

So how about Fenty? I forgot to look!

Recovery well and enjoy your 2 PRs in one!! Look out Boston!

Greg said...

Thanks. I didn't see Fenty after he spoke at the start. I just looked. He ran 62:59. Holy cow.

Mindi said...

Jeepers creepers! Must be the Fleet Feet thing :) I say that as I just got a new hat and singlet for my race....

Greg said...

He always wears Fleet Feet because his parents own a store or two.