Saturday, December 13, 2008

10 Kilometers, and One Heavy Breather

My coach has been on me to get some racing in.  I always figured it was because it forces you to run harder than you're probably used to.  Gets those competitive juices flowing.  I'm a pretty competitive person, so it was good to run it.  I awoke at 5:30 to overcast skies and  53 degrees... perfect running weather.  Sure, it's nice when the sun is shining and it's 70 degrees, but as soon as you start running, it gets much hotter.  I had a few bowls of cereal with rice dream, (trying to cut back on dairy wherever possible, my acupuncturist thinks its wise), a cappuccino, and finished up with two pieces of toast with just a drizzle of honey.  It's nature's energy gel!  I arrived at the race with about 15 minutes to spare, parked about 1/2 mile from the start/finish line to avoid the parking mess and get my warmup in.  

I got stuck about halfway back in the pack, so my first mile was probably around an 8:15.  In retrospect it was probably a good thing to prevent me from going out too fast.  Around mile 2 I was stuck near some heavy breather.   He kept exhaling real loud-  "WHEW!  WHEW!  WHEW!!!"  I looked down to see I was running in the 7:20/mi range and worried I was going too fast, but hell, I felt good.   It was around mile 3 I decided to just not worry about my pace, and just start to race.  I tried to focus on keeping relaxed, and staying steady.  Mile 4 brought a focus on other runners ahead of me, and a need to pick them off.  It usually involved fixating on someone wearing a peculiar hat.  First there was the woman in the santa hat, then it was a guy in a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hat.  Finally, around mile 5  I saw some dude wearing a hat, backwards, emblazoned with a pot leaf.  I had to pick that guy off... and I did, about 30 yards from the finish line.  Does that make me a dick? Maybe. One bad thing though- I got picked off by some dude near the finish I had passed  1/2 mile earlier on a short uphill.   That sucked, but hey, it was my fault, I kicked too early.  I didn't leave enough gas in the tank.  I felt like I was gonna revisit my breakfast, but was able to keep things where they belonged.   Two runners I saw weren't so lucky.  One guy threw his groceries in the timing chip removal area.  

I don't run many 10Ks, this was probably my 3rd or 4th, with my best time being 42:00 or around there that I ran many years ago.  Today, I ran a 43:38, and was pretty pleased.  I went into it just hoping to break 45 minutes.  

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