Monday, September 19, 2011

Turkey Day 10K Race Report

First, I want to say thanks for all the kind words and support for my sleeping troubles.  I am happy to report that I got a couple decent nights sleep this week.  The last couple nights I've had trouble again, but at least I had a couple good nights and I feel like I was able to bank some energy for this week. 

Now on to the race report...

I was all ready to wuss out on this one.  Looking at the weather that morning, it was in the 40's and the wind was at 12mph (when we left and it was getting worse).  I had to run with Liam in the stroller if I was going to run.  I first worried that he would be cold, but when we went outside to get in the car, the temperature actually wasn't too bad.  My next problem was running with a jogging stroller in that wind!  I half hoped that I would get to town to pick up my Dad and he would have decided not to run, therefore giving me license to not run as well.  That didn't happen.

Neither one of us said much on the drive to the race.  I think we were both pretty nervous about what was to come.  Dad had originally planned on pushing the stroller the whole way.  I told him I'd run with them and he said that would be okay, that we could take turns pushing the stroller.  What Dad didn't know was that I didn't intend on letting him push the stroller at all.  Dad has a bone marrow condition that has really affected his running ability over the past few years.  He gets tired far easier and at a much slower pace than he would like.  I knew that pushing the stroller on a good day would be hard for him so I decided that I would take it the whole way.  At least I'm used to running with it. 

The race started a few minutes late (it always does) and we were on our way!  I had asked Dad on the way over what pace he hoped to run without the stroller and he had said 10:30-11 minute miles.  (He also walks a minute every mile so this pace includes the walk break.)  I had a run a 5.5 mile run earlier in the week with the stroller at 11-minute pace so I thought that sounded pretty good.  I knew we would run the first mile a little faster, race day adrenaline and all, but I was surprised when we neared the first mile marker to see that my Garmin said we were headed for a 9:45 first mile!  I asked Dad if he was okay with the pace before I told him how fast it was and he said it was fine. 

We did our planned walk at the first mile marker, then resumed running at our previous pace.  We walked for one minute at each mile marker and were able  to maintain  a pace (including the walking) of just over 10:00 per mile.

At our 4-mile break, I told Dad that if I could maintain at least a 10:30 pace for the rest of the race, I would break my PR even with the stroller.  He told me that if he couldn't keep up that I should just go.  At the 5 mile marker he told me to do just that and I did. 

Just after the 5-mile point, the race route turned onto the bike path.  I was going along at a pretty good clip, passing quite a few people, until I got blocked by a group of three people running abreast.  They weren't necessarily running together, they were just all running approximately the same speed and no one was getting ahead very fast.  After about a minute, they parted enough that I had an opening and darted through.  My sixth mile ended up being my second fastest even though I had been slowed down on the path, a 9:50 mile. 

The last couple turns take you away from the lake and into downtown for the finish.  I always hate this finish.  It always seems to be windy, even if the rest of the course wasn't.  And that day, the 15mph winds were coming straight down the street.  Until I hit that corner, I had passing people.  Once I turned into the wind, people started to pull away.  Even as I cranked out my hardest effort, I could only maintain a 10:37 pace. 

Finishing time: 1:02:42. 

Actual distance run according to my Garmin: 6.3 miles.  Assuming this is correct, I was able to maintain under 10-minute miles with the stroller for over 6 miles!  That is definitely my best stroller-running effort yet!

My dad ended up finishing about 20 seconds behind me.  He said he could see me ahead and caught up when I got blocked on the path.  I was glad I hadn't beaten him by too much.  I know he is disappointed in his running speed these days, but I think the fact that he's still out running 10Ks and half-marathons is really impressive! 

Next on the docket?  IronGirl duathlon in Bloomington, MN this weekend.  Should be interesting.  I haven't been on my bike since my last triathlon in July!  

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