Actually, I've just been a pretty busy puppy. Especially these past few days. Work has been a real bugger (but that's the joy of owning your own business right?). Add to that that school is starting up soon, so we've been doing all those things that parents do to make sure that your kids are ready. Even if they are college age. All you young 'uns out there reading my blog - you'll understand one day. I've had to prioritize. At least blogging is high enough on the list that it isn't getting *completely* ignored (like Facebook and Runner's World Forums have been).
Fortunately, I'm not burned out enough to sack running (although it's been real tempting). I put in a four mile recovery run on Friday afternoon. You know - it's been so long since doing a run that short. It was kind of invigorating to know that I wasn't going to be out on the trail for hours!
Then yesterday, I ran the Jet to Jetty 10K in Playa del Rey. For those who may not know where Playa del Rey is - if you've ever flown out of Los Angeles International Airport - you took off right over the top of where we ran. The race was a flat (for the most part) out, back, then out and back again course run on the streets next to the ocean. It was a *perfect* day for a race. Temps in the low 70's. Overcast. A slight headwind from the south - just enough to cool things down when running south, and provide a psychological tail wind boost heading north.
The race was a smallish affair (445 in the 5K and 345 in the 10K) with a local feel. Just like I like 'em! I arrived early to sign up and had a chance to wander around and get in a mile warm up run. I wandered up the hill to watch the start of the 5K. This was one thing that was a little awkward. The finish line was on the beach, but the start line was way up there on the bluff.
The 5K took off 30 minutes prior to the 10K. I settled in and watched the runners killing themselves (have I told you that 5K isn't my favorite distance?). They were impressive to watch. Let me tell you - they are moving! Here's a short video of the leaders as then ran past:
At that point, the 10K start was only about 15 minutes away, so I mulled around the start line. And then she appeared! Kathleen, who writes the Write Sizing blog! I really dig her blog because this is a person who has lost close to 100 pounds through diet and exercise. And when I say diet - I'm not talking Jenny Craig here. I am talking by some serious diet modification. And then having the strength to stick to it. I'm about half way to her weight loss, and whenever I feel my motivation waning, all I do is pop over to Write Sizing and get re-motivated!
On to the race. At this point, I am in the race preparation phase of training. I wasn't planning on running a PR , so I was taking things pretty low key. I wanted to run competitive with my past time, but didn't want to kill myself. I was going to use the same race plan that I had used in the past: (1) Go out a little faster than goal for the first 2 miles, (2) Fall into a group running at a comfortable pace in the middle three miles, (3) Reel in those in front of me at mile 5. Most importantly though, I wanted to avoid my now infamous mile six flameout. Based on my data, I was mostly successful:
Mile 1: 8:45
Mile 2: 8:43
Mile 3: 9:01 (The group I was running with was a little slower than I felt)
Mile 4: 8:58
Mile 5: 9:03
Mile 6: 8:37 (Turned it up just a tad)
Mile 6.2: 8:15 (No flameout!)
Final time: 55.06 official, 54:55 by my Garmin. The 55.06 is a little disappointing because my 10K PR is 55:00! The reason was there was no where in this race where I felt that I was pushing hard. If I had just kicked it up a notch I would have easily had a new PR. Oh well. Learn something new each day. The next time I fall into a group that is running at comfortable pace, I'll check my watch. All in all a nice day on the other side of town!
By the way - additional photos and videos are posted here on my Flickr site.