Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Race Report: Reedy River Run 10K

Results based on Guntime:
57:48 - 9:19 min per mile average
Overall 764/1290

Chip Time: 56:57 (PR)

Once again, there were no results per gender and age group published, so according to my (magic) Excel spreadsheet:
Female 260/594
Age Group 62/134 (30-34)

What a beautiful day for race, only that I didn't feel like racing at all. I didn't have a goal for this one and I didn't have an idea how my running is going these days. But since I was already registered, I got up at 7AM and had a pita bread with jelly (my new favorite pre-race food) and we headed out the door a little after 8AM for the short drive to downtown Greenville.

In front of Soby's we met up with several members of the DNR All Stars and friends and chatted the time away until the gun went off. This chit-chat stuff was entertaining (for us and the people around us!) and it certainly helped to distracted me, so I didn't even develop my race jitters! Even before that, I was out and about with Katie (not coach Katie) to make a little pit stop before we would get going. I told her that I really didn't feel like racing at all and she said, that on those days, your best races happen... And she would be right.

I started out in the back third of the runners lining up. I prefer that, since it's not like I am competing for awards and it also helps me not to go out too fast, because it takes a little while until the masses have stringed out. A 0.1 into the race, I heard the Garmin beeping at me and then I remember that I forgot to take out the programmed max pace from last Wednesday's run. CRAP! I can't handle the Garmin beeping at me for an hour... So I spend the next quarter mile to take the Garmin of my wrist and disable the max pace and put it back on. Then I saw Chris, our DNR team captain, and ran with him for a little before taking off on my own and try to figure out what I am going to do with this race.

Can you spot me in the crowd? ;-)

And while I kept plucking along, I checked in on how things felt and found that I actually felt pretty good. I also noticed that I enjoyed to run and the course and the weather. The first mile splits came up and the good feeling I had, was also reflected in those... Heck... I hardly run a sub 9 minute mile at a 5K and here all of a sudden I clocked two of them... Yes, they were mostly downhill miles, but still. I reached mile three in around 28 minutes and then I started thinking about the possibility that I could PR... And the thought became a mantra... I am going to PR, I am going to PR.

In Cleveland Park, the course gets pretty flat and I was just cruising along. I thought that I can push it some more, but I also remembered that I have two hills left. One around mile 5 that is not too bad and then a really nasty one at mile six. I skipped the second aid station shortly before mile 5, because I knew the end was near and things got a little congested around the station. There was the hill at mile 5 and then a little downhill and then another little hill... Hmmmm... I completely forgot this one. At mile 5.2 on my Garmin I had a time of 47 minutes and change. Right there I realized that I could run the last mile with a 10 minute/ mile pace and would still PR. Goody goody...

Then the course flattened out before the big finale... The hill up McDaniel. When we turned the corner and got our first glimpse at that hill, a girl in front of me turned around and said: "Do you see that hill?" I know exactly how she felt, because that's what I thought last year. I just said: "It's the last hill and then it's downhill to the finish! WE CAN DO THIS!"... She said thanks and took off!

All through the race, I took it easy on the uphill and then really picked it up on the downhills. It worked... But at McDaniel.... I attacked... Too much... When I was on top of the hill I felt nauseous and actually wasn't able to pick up my pace right away, but had to lower my HR a little first. This is probably the only thing that I would do different... And maybe wear less clothing... I completely over dressed. But before long the nauseous feeling passed and I picked up my feet again for a strong finish.

After the race the DNR All Stars gathered for a little recap before we went over the Liberty Bridge to get something to eat and drink. In our little group, there were several PR's and several goons** that ran this distance for the first time and just tore it up. SWEET! I am SOOO looking forward to run the Palmetto200 with these guys and gals!

**Our captain's pet name for the team members - I don't even know if that's offensive... Sometimes it sucks not to be a native speaker and not to have grown up in the same country... Some jokes are just completely lost on me!

I am a very happy camper about this PR... Two minutes at this distance is pretty awesome. Also, it really shows the progress that I made in the last 4 months*... I didn't get a chance to run a half marathon... But I had a successful 10 mile race two weeks ago and now I shaved off ALMOST TWO MINUTES of my previous time at the 10K. THANKS, COACH KATIE!

*My average pace at this 10K is faster than my average pace at the 5K back in November! Crazy stuff!

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