Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other? ~ Gloria
1:04:48, 17th overall, 1st in age group, PR
2011 racing has started off well with a solid effort this past weekend resulting in a PR for the 10-mile, 17th place overall and 1st in my age group. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this one as I didn’t taper at all nor have I really done much speed work to speak of. Plus my mileage over the last couple of weeks has been less than stellar. So I picked a fairly aggressive target time and just went out to see what I could do and to provide a measure of my relative fitness this early in the season. Apparently, it is not too shabby.
The weather was on the cool side at the 10:15 start and I only warmed up a little while (mostly because I was running a little late and didn’t have much time to warm up). That probably played to my advantage anyway. The first couple miles were, as usual, a bit too fast. The lead group pulled ahead fairly quickly and I tucked in behind two guys who were running a bit faster than I had hoped but I was trying to avoid getting stuck in no-man’s land all day and hung with them until I deemed it prudent to just go back to my original plan of running mid-6s. So stuck I was.
After dropping off the pace a bit, I pretty much matched their tempo for the next few miles. Seemed like whenever I surged a bit to try to catch up, they did as well so I pretty much resigned myself to running solo for a bit and just ticking off steady times for the middle portion of the race. I picked off a couple people leading up to the turn around (moving up to 20th place overall at 32:58) and then was met with a slight headwind after the turn. Ugh. I picked up the pace a bit to try to catch the two guys who were still running just ahead of me and quickly closed the gap. I sat on for about 1/4 of a mile but they seemed to be fading a bit so moved around them and set my sights on the next competitor up the road.
I was now sitting comfortably in 18th place and passed the 10K mark in a solid 39:40. Kickass. Still stuck in the zone between potential running partners, I did make progress on two guys in front of me and caught one competitor with about 2 miles to go. He was fading fast so I was only provide brief respite as I tucked in behind him then surged past in hot pursuit of another two runners.
Though I tried to step it up in the last couple of miles, the solo effort into the wind had tapped my reserves to the point where my kick was relatively non-existent. I did pick it up as best I could and closed the gap on the remaining two runners within striking distance but they both had a bit more in the tank over the closing 1/4 mile and I was only able to hold the gap to finish in 17th at 1:04:48 – and 1st in my age group. Sweet!
This result bodes really well for my fitness this time of year and puts me in a good position to hit my target of a sub-3 marathon later this year. Just need to keep up the hard work and stay focused. Still figuring out my racing schedule for the year but am planning to run more of these shorter-distance races as tune-ups and test-drives. Good stuff.