Saturday, November 10, 2007

YMCA Fall Fitness Festival 10K Race Report


Like I said, it was hilly. It's hard to find a flat spot in Bloomington. But this course was hilly even for Bloomington. Here's how it went:

It was COLD this morning. I briefly entertained the idea of wearing shorts, but after shivering through Mark's 5K (right before my race), I opted for tights. It was a good decision. I felt comfortable throughout the race, although I probably could have gotten away with no gloves. Still, it was no big deal to carry them and them fling them at Mark later in the race. I started out, and concentrated on running comfortably and letting people pass me. Still the first mile was 7:07. Crap! But I still felt good. I kept pushing up the hills and cruising back down. Miles 2-3-4 were 7:43, 7:40, and 7:43. I knew I could beat my A goal, and that my B goal was well within reach. In fact, I had a good shot at my dream goal of breaking 48, but I also knew the worst hills were in the last two miles, so I put my head down and concentrated on working up them.

Rounding the corner from Graham Drive to Henderson, I had a guy in a red shirt in sight and tried to reel him in. He was at least a minute ahead of me though, so I couldn't get close to him. There were two or three guys right behind me and I tried to work on staying ahead of them. The hill going up Henderson past Bloomington High School South and the ice arena is notorious. This hill comes around mile 9 or so in the IU Mini and it is just killer. It's not steep, but it's loooong. It's more than a quarter mile, but not quite as long as a half mile. I knew this mile would be slower, and it was: 8:07. Boo! The last mile consists of a bunch of turns and smaller, steeper hills, and here a guy passed me. I don't think it was one of the ones who had been right behind me the whole time though. I could feel one of them getting closer.

Finally I made it out of the last loop and flew down Miller towards Highland, rounded the corner there and dug into one last climb up to the Y. One of the guys breathing down my neck passed me, but he was the last to do so. The 6-mile mark was around here somewhere: 7:58. Whoo! Under 8. I'll take it. I heard them say 46:17 and tried to make my legs move. I was thinking that I still had a shot at low 48s. I believe that last part might have been a bit long, because my split for the last 0.2 was 2:11 and although I ran out of gas a little bit, I don't think I was going THAT slow. I measured the course to come up with the elevation profile and came up with 6.33 miles. But even so, I finished in 48:32, a new post-college PR by 44 seconds. My time was good for second in my age group. Post-race food was first-rate; they had bananas, oranges, bagels, and fruit salad consisting of red seedless grapes and sliced up apples with caramel...mmmm...

Excellent race; I'm so glad I got out of bed this morning. :)

*Edit: Fooling around with my splits some more, I realized that I probably ran a post-college 5K PR during this race (but no way to be sure, since it wasn't marked). But what I do know is that my 4-mile split, 30:14, betters my former post-college 4-mile PR by about a minute! And I'm counting it because 4-mile races are even harder to find than 10Ks. The 5-mile split probably is too, but since I'm racing a 5-miler in a couple of weeks I'll leave it until then. Whee!
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