Monday, December 14, 2009

A 10K on a Whim

I ran a 10K on Sunday. I had decided on Saturday that if I woke up on Sunday morning and there was no rain was falling, that I would mosey up the road a few miles and run a race. My practice pace has been falling lately, and I was pretty confident that I had a 10K PR in me. Well, when I looked out the window Sunday morning, the streets were wet, but there was nothing falling from the sky. Off to the Make Room for Santa 10K!

I ran this race last year and had a great time. It is a low key but well organized event on a neat course that runs as far north as civilization goes in the Irvine area. Normally, I like to be a planner and have everything figured out ahead of time, but Sunday I just went with the flow. Race start time was 7:45AM.I moseyed out the door at 6:30 for the 20 minute or so drive to the race site, boarded a bus and was the registration table with 20 minutes to spare.

It was a beautiful morning and a perfect day to run. The sky was filled with big, puffy clouds, the weather was cool but not cold (I actually took a layer off before the race) and the air was fresh following Saturday's rain.

There were a few changes to this race from last year. Instead of both the 5K and 10K events starting together, they were separate this year, with the 10Kers starting about 5 minutes after the 5K racers. Here's the 5K start:

With the 10K start seperated, there were a lot fewer people on the course at a time than last year which really cut two ways. The good? Less bobbing and weaving. The bad? I went out way too fast. Mile 1: 8:45. Uphill. Since I ran this last year, I should have known better. The uphill didn't stop until mile 2. Mile 2: 9:24. By mile 3 I was spent. I felt like my heart was about to explode so I had to take a walk break and gather myself. Guess it didn't help that I rowed 8 kilometers (5 miles) the night before. And I didn't get my usual prerace apple fritter! Gah! Mile 3: 9:14. On a net downhill mile. I ran into Barefoot Bob! Any barefoot runners out there?

By this time I was trying to salvage a race that wasn't going according to plan. I pushed again through mile 4, where, even with a rolling hill I sill put in an 8:45. But I was close to blowing up again during mile five, so had to pull in the reigns. It's pretty disappointing when the best that you can do on a downhill portion of the course is a 9:13.

I pulled through the final little (I mean little) uphill and hit the mile 5 sign. From there it is all downhill into the finish. Mile 6: 8:33. As I pulled into the final .2, I ran with an older fellow who had struggled to stay ahead of me the whole race. We looked at each other and I said to each other in unison, "Time to finish this bad boy." We pushed the final .2, digging down deep. My day was pretty well shot anyways, so as we entered the finish chute I pulled up just a tad to let him through the line one step ahead. Final 0.2 - 2:03. Garmin time: 55:44. Official time: 56:27. That's a whole minute and a half slower than last June.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my performance. Not because of the time. I mean heck - this was all done on a whim - a last minute decision. If I wanted to PR, then I should have rested on Saturday, fueled prerace (at least something other than a cup of coffee), and showed up in time to put in a little warm up. What I was disappointed in was my lack of execution. This isn't my first 10K. I know better than to go out too fast. I needed to pull in the reigns on mile 1 so I don't blow up a mile later. Geesh. Physical errors are going to happen, but mental mistakes are inexcusable.

Oh - on a positive note, I did confirm that my maximum heart rate is indeed 185!


  1. You know, those mental errors are always going to be there too. Hopefully we can learn enough to keep them at a minimum.

  2. Like the new look of the blog.

  3. Its ok Glenn! You did great even though it was a PR. Theres no reason to be disappointed in yourself! Just keep running! You are getting faster!

  4. YOu win some you lose some. And at least you got out there. That hill sounds pretty brutal so all in all, I think you did great!

  5. sounds like a hill-work, fartlek, tempo run, and VO2 max session all in one... I mean 185 BPM *Wow*...

  6. I am sorry you are disappointed with your 10K, but you made up with the awesome article. Keep it up buddy, and it wasnt planned so keep that in mind. Running on the whim. have a good one.

  7. bummer about going out too fast, but it looks like you ran a good race other than the one mental mistake early on.

  8. still a great race glenn! the should'ves and could'ves you listed at the end are all very true. what was your physical condition like this time vs last june? mostly meaning, was that a 120% all-out effort with a mini-taper, where as today was just a struggle with a tired (and fritter-less) body?

  9. You still had a great race! Don't beat yourself up over it. Great job!