Dropped off Jessica and Kate at my parent’s house around 7:00am and headed over to the starting line at Central Ave. and 3rd Street. Not many people there, so I had time to jog a little and get loose. I made the same mistake as last year and drank way too much water last night and this morning. I port-a-potty stop around 7:30am wasn’t good enough…as I stood there at 7:55am waiting for the gun to fire, I had to go again…but it was too close to race time…so I ran the whole 10 miles with a full bladder!
Here’s link to the route: Papa John’s 10 Miler Course
Race started and I got into a good rhythm quickly. I felt like I was running a good pace. Once I got to the Mile 1 marker, I realized I was running way too fast. First mile was 7:02! I knew that I needed to slow down…a lot!! I have a very hard time determining how fast I am running. I often have no clue what my pace was for a training run until I get done and see my time. I really need to figure out how to do this. Running this fast out of the gate could be disastrous!
Second mile was more at the pace I planned. Goal pace was 7:48 per mile, and I did this one in 7:41. I now knew what pace I needed to hold. Saw Jessica, Kate and my parents along the route during the second mile. It’s awesome having a family that comes out to support me!
Third mile was the last flat mile before heading into the park. Time for mile 3 was 7:53. Now I had slowed down too much. I already knew that keeping a steady pace was going to be an issue!
By the time we hit Iroquois Park, the crowd had thinned out and most of the people around me were running at the same pace(s) as me. The first hill in the park seemed pretty hard – not to mention that all of the sudden the wind showed up – and it was right in our faces has we climbed the hill. I ducked in behind some tall dude and did a little drafting. Who knows if it helped, but I thought I was smart for thinking of it! I took some water at the Mile 4 marker and saw a time of 8:01 for the 4th mile. I was going to have to step it up to finish under my goal of 1 hours, 18 minutes…and 8 minute miles wasn’t going to cut it!
Mile 5 consisted of the hills on the back side of the park. I know the park well so none of this was any surprise to me. I knew what lie ahead and I kept telling myself to increase my cadence going up hill. I did a few cadence checks throughout the race and I was always in the 29-30 range for 20 seconds…which is good. Mile 5 time was 7:54.
First half of the race was done in 38:34 (7:42 min/mile). I was on pace for a time of 1:17:08 – but I knew this was not accurate considering how fast my first mile was. Throw that out and my pace was 7:53 min/mile. It was time to push it.
Mile 6 is probably the toughest of the race. It consists of the last (and largest) hill in the park. Your legs are spent, but you know that once you make it to the top of this hill, it’s
all almost all downhill to the finish. I ran mile 6 in 7:54. Pretty good time for this monster hill!
Mile 7 was fun. I was relieved to get out of the park and seeing all the people cheering along Southern Parkway gave me a boost. I ran a blistering 7:37 for mile 7, and I was feeling good about beating my goal time.
Mile 8 was flat and mostly downhill. I was feeling good and was doing the math in my head to determine what I needed to run these last few miles in to finish under 1:18:00. I also saw Jessica, Kate and my parents again cheering me on. I had to run all the way across Southern Parkway to get close enough for Kate to see me, so I figure that cost me 5 or 6 seconds (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). Time for mile 8 was 7:50.
By mile 9, I felt like I had it in the bag, but I knew that my pace was slowing. I was kind of gauging what I had left. I knew that I still had to conquer that Central Avenue overpass and I wanted to have a kick left at the end, so I held back a little. Mile 9 time was done in 7:52.
Turning onto Central for the start of the 10th and final mile was crazy! There were tons of people there cheering and it started to rain as soon as I made my way up the ramp. By the time I got to the top it was raining pretty hard and I swear the wind gusts were 30 miles an hour up there! It was all I could do to stay upright! Headed down the other side of the ramp and decided to empty the tank. I picked up my pace to a level that I knew I couldn’t maintain very long, but there was only around a half mile left. I checked my watch as I entered the stadium and saw that it was 1:16:30. I had a minute and a half to finish…relief…I was going to beat my goal time! Sprinted to the finish for a mile 10 time of 7:46 and an overall time of 1:17:35.
I still had to pee, so I found the nearest port-a-potty!!
I cut 5:48 off of my best time for this race, which was last year. So far, all three of my races this year have resulted in PR’s. Pretty good start to 2010!!