Monday, April 26, 2010

Pike's Peek 10K Race Report/ and 1/3 of 2010 Year in Review

Despite feeling awful all last week, I had a great race this past Sunday at the Pike's Peek 10K. This race was my debut for the Potomac River Racing Team, and I saw my former GRC teamates Jake and Joe jokingly calling me the "enemy" nearly an hour before the race. I ended up warming up with them for a couple of miles. I felt pretty good on the warm-up and knew it was going to be a good day. Thankfully, the rain had started to let up as we warmed up. I was hoping for a drizzle at the most. I don't like racing in the rain(although one could easily argue the greatest marathon race I have ever run was in Frederick almost exactly 1 year ago to date in a drenching downpour and high winds-Dickson who I was 2nd to can tell you all about that one). Anyway, after seeing many familiar faces before the start, I lined up ready to go. I found my PR teamates Ray Pugsley and Aaron Church(whom I met for the first time-very nice fellow) grouped together at the line.

There were a few minutes of crowded people and then almost immediately everyone rushed to the line to get ready for the race. I was already waiting at the line ready to go. I knew I was ready for this. I felt it. I felt my body eager to get out there and pound the shit out of my legs. Twenty or so African-looking men lined up right next to me. Gulp. This race looked to be pretty damn deep, much deeper than in recent years...

On your mark...set, GO!!

I took off right next to Jake Klim and saw a SURGE of africans immediately go in front. Good lord. I was easily in 25-30th place. We made the turn onto 355 and I had to make sure to dodge the big puddles of water in the potholes. Straight ahead now. Very quickly Jake and Joe surged ahead to where they belonged. Where's Pugsley and Aaron? I wondered. About 1/2 mile into the race, I heard some breathing behind me and found Ray and Aaron pulling up next to me and we ran together for a while. As Aaron pulled right next to me he said, "come on, let's go." Easier said than done. This guy was easily a sub 31:00 10K guy who had plenty more racing experience as well as years on me. He and Ray chatted briefly as if they were just going for a run. Ray said back to me, "How you feeling Chris?" I muttered, (out and short of breath) "good!" Soon after mile 1(5:07) he and Aaron pulled ahead. I was not ready to match their pace. At least yet.

I concentrated on my own race and tried to keep Ray in sight. He had pulled ahead with Aaron who seemed to be pulling ahead from Ray. He wasn't that far ahead actually. Mile 2 was 10:20(a 5:13 split) and I knew I had to just focus on catching the next runner. Then one runner came up on me and we ended up running together for much of the race. We traded back and forth at times but seemed to work well with eachother-I had no clue who this guy was-he was tall and wearing a grey jersey. The hill came at mile 3 which I knew was coming. I nearly laughed when I looked at my watch crossing the 5K mark-16:12..a PR by 5 seconds. My 5K PR has got to be the softest of all my PRs. The second half of the race is kind of a blur to me. I could still see Puglsey. I know the grey jersey runner still hung on. My 4 mile split was 21:02 or something around there, and I went through Mile 5 in 26:30(ANOTHER PR). This was to be expected, so I wasn't at all surprised to see new PRs already during the race. The last mile the grey jersey runner and I were duking it out. At this point I could not see Pugsley anymore.

I began to really kick it in. Battling back and forth, the grey jersey runner and I fought hard but worked together to dip under 33. Gotta break 33. Gotta break 33. Dammit I am going to sprint the last mile if I have to!! I surged the last half mile. The grey jersey runner did not respond at first, but then he came back on me and we were once again neck and neck the last 1/2 mile! Then, out of nowhere(right around the 6Mile mark, the lead woman passed me and went right in front of me and SLOWED DOWN. I cursed, JESUS CHRIST!!!, and ran AROUND her and sprinted ahead. The grey jersey runner did not catch me, but the lead woman made a final pass right at the end, and some other guy out of NOWHERE sprinted by full speed. But as I crossed the line I was happy to see the clock read: 32:54.

SPLITS: 5:07 5:13 5:19 5:23 5:28 5:19 1:05

I stopped, groaned, put my hands on my legs and gagged as I finished. UHHHH. My heel was killing me from the downhill during the last 385 yards of the race. I greeted Puglsey and Aaron after the race as well as Jake and Joe(who both ran PRs as well!!).

I am now looking at the first 1/3 of 2010 year in review. I've really put the hammer down this spring. The year is not even half over and I have already PRed in 5K, 8K, 10K, 10Miles, and 13.1Miles. In comparison to last year, I am improving a lot this year:

2009/2010 best times:

My Spring racing season is officially done. I would say 4/5 races went very well, and 3 of them PRs. The Marathon of course didn't go as planned, and it does loom in the back of my mind. I still have the mindset of a marathoner and have worked my way through cracking down my PRs in shorter distances. I think I am coming to the point where I can really put it all together now. I mean, seriously, how can I expect to run 5:30's in a marathon if my 10K race pace is 5:30? Taking down my 10K pace to 5:17s is an improvement and I would like to run even faster(low 32s) at Lawyers Have Heart 10K on June 13.

Ultimately, everything leads to the ultimate performance in marathoning. But I have to make sure I really am ready to run Chicago and peak for it-make sure it isn't a false race...and not think about doing any other races around October, and make sure not to overrace in the summer-I will do the Rockville Twilighter 8K, and maybe a 5K in the beginning of July...but that's IT....I would love to do Philly Distance Run in Sept but I do not think it would be a good idea(for me)-if I really want to perform well. There is a 1/2 marathon in August that I MAY do...but again it's tentative...I would love to get some feedback by anyone as well(Dickson I do need to talk to you)... But I need to plan ahead and make sure I am not trying to do everything at the same time. I am eager to train with the GRC for the Chicago Marathon Plan and think it's going to be great for everyone. Looking foward to many more things in 2010!

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