Since the race was being held in the middle of December and during my marathon training (i.e. no taper), I decided that I should not expect a wicked fast finish time. I did, however, want to break 40 minutes. Breaking 40 is something I have only done twice before, and I should be in sub-40 shape at the moment. Another reason to not expect a fast time: Looking at the weather the night before, I noticed that it would be raining and that the winds would be blowing out of the south at 20 mph at race time.
|Pre-Race in front of the Nature Museum|
And we were off!
Mile 1: This was a 5k and 10k combined start so everyone sprinted out too fast, including me. I tried to reel myself in, but I noticed that I was running effortlessly. Then I remembered that there was a 20 mph wind coming from the south and we were heading north! 6:23/mile
Mile 2: This pace was so easy with the tailwind. I knew that I might regret running this fast once we turned around and headed back south. We lost the 5k runners and it was just me running stride for stride along a fast female runner. 6:14/mile
Mile 3: We looped around Cricket Hill, home of the place I should be doing some Boston hill training someday in the near future. I started to pull away ever so slightly from the fast female runner. I thought to myself "What place am I in? Am I winning this thing?" I spotted some runners way ahead, but they may have just be running the trail for fun. We approached an aid station and I got a sip of Gatorade. Fastest mile of the day 6:09/mile.
Mile 4: I completed the turnaround and started heading back home. The 20 mph tailwind became a 20 mph headwind and my lungs really felt it. I had run on this part of the Lakefront Trail a hundred times before with these type of headwinds, just not in a race situation. So, at this point I realized that I would have to back off of my blistering pace or else I would fade dramatically in the final mile. I passed by the runners still heading north. They weren't cheering for me, so I could safely assume the 10k leaders have gone by and I was not one of them! 6:18/mile
Mile 5: My lungs were maxed out as I passed by the 5k turn around, a mile and a half from the finish line. Due to the many many 5k walkers, I had to run through the puddles of water on the gravel "shoulder" of the paved trail. At certain points I even had to run on the grass because the trail was overflowing with 5k walkers. I don't like these combo 5k/10ks for this reason. I really was feeling the "push-back" of the headwind. 6:31/mile
Mile 6: The trail was bursting with 5k walkers and I had to shout so walkers would know I was approaching, although it did not make a bit of difference. Not one walker moved out of the way! Shouting just ended up using up more of my already maxed out lung capacity! I had to narrowly avoid running over a homeless man sleeping under a bridge that goes under LSD. 6:36/mile
Mile 6.2: As I neared the end of 6.2 on my Garmin, I still couldn't see the finish line. I shouted at a volunteer, "Which way? Which way?" and they told me to turnaround! Yes, the finish line was about 100 yards after a hairpin turn around! Not the best way to finish, but at least I got 100 yards of tailwind! 6:03/mile
- Total Time: 39:58
- Overall Place: 5th out of 143*
- Age Group Place: 1st out of 11
*Since I was 5th, I made the leaderboard on Active.com!
|Post race at the finish line|
I was ready to go home at 9:45am. However, the race emcee mentioned that the medals were to be given out at 10am. So I decided to wait. However, I did not actually get my medal until almost 11am. They had a delay in getting the results, held a costume contest, a raffle, the 5k awards then another 5 minute wait, then finally the 10k awards. There were only a few of us 10k medal winners waiting around to the bitter end. I should have just gone home when I finished the race like most of the others and saved an hour and 15 minutes!
Race Takeaway: Only 3rd time in my life to go sub-40 for a 10k! However, I need to remember to pull back even more in the first half of the race if there will be a headwind on the 2nd half. Also, this reminds me again that I don't like races where the last 1.5 miles is weaving through walkers!
F^3 Lake Half Marathon in January. Some of the same trail sections I ran today will be used for that one.