Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Miner's Ravine 10k


...about 4-5 minutes in (while it was still flat)
...right after the last uphill

Another week, another 10k. I'm trying to race myself back into shape, and I think it's working...sloooooowly. This course was a touch easier than the Friendship Run last week, but still hilly. Even had an uphill finish! I'd only decided to do this race a week or so before after getting an email from Capitol Road Race Management (CCRM). They put on tons of quality races in the greater Sacramento area, so I figured, why not. On top of the race, last week was actually my highest mileage week (51.6) of the year (even though the overall quality was a tad better in May). I've only averaged about 23-24 a week for the year as a whole, so it was a good one.
This race had the distinction of starting the 10k & 5k at different times, which was great. No chasing after 20-year-old 5k runners who are of no consequence. Abby & Hannah joined me for this one, but Hannah missed the start. There were 2 bounce houses and a child care area that she enjoyed for quite some time before and after the races. What an awesome idea!
Anyway, back to the action. We started in the Roseville auto mall, eventually dropped down in Miner's Ravine, and finished near the top of the ravine, in Sculpture Park (where the giant rose is off I-80). I don't have all my splits, but I ran from the front, having a motorcycle pacer for the first 2+ miles, as well as the last 1.2. I hit the 2 mile in 11:20 and would slow for the next three, thinking this was going to be a repeat of the late race struggles the week before, but I had a good finish, and took 92 seconds off my Friendship time, winning the race by 2:13 in 36:26 (5:53). The 5k was won by a 19 year old in 17:57 by just over a minute. There were 138 in the 10k and 152 in the 5k. They had snacks after the race, while waiting for awards, and as usual for them, had no timing issues of any kind - something runners should never take for granted. There was a 24 Hour Fitness next door, so I even got to shower before coming home. My goals for this one were "A" sub-36, "B" sub-37, so I was closer to the A goal than last week.
Once again, as is becoming tradition, we headed to a brewery for lunch. This time in Auburn, after picking up some hilarious pictures from our white water rafting trip 2 weeks ago...I'll post some of those soon as well.
Tonight, Dave, Ben & I are off to New York and Deleware, for baseball, beer, & running (4k). Lots to share next week I'm sure...

Run For Friendship 5k/10k

gotta love downhill finishes. why can't the whole thing be like that?
so much beer, we broke the cart!

This is a bit of a late post, but better late than never, right?
The Friendship Run 10k was actually my first (and maybe only) Gold Country Grand Prix race of 2009, after running most of them in '06, '07, & '08. It was a pretty safe bet that it would be hilly, being in Nevada City, and it was...right from the beginning! After that first hill, the first quarter of the race was pretty easy. It touched on a bit of the Run Through the Colors course, and went for a little ways on the trail/road that the Spring Run follows. I'd gone out comfortably since I have only been doing speedwork for shorter races, but I should've known better than to hold back. I had a bit of a side stitch right after the turn and still tired badly. I hit the 5k turn in 17:59, with Larry a minute or so behind and Neel a few seconds behind him. I'd struggle for the next 2 1/2 miles or so, almost til the finish was in sight, before a downhill "kick" that was needed just to get under 38. Final time, 37:58, with 5k splits of 17:59/19:59. My "A" goal was a high 36...not quite there, but not slow enough to be upset about it. I felt a little better when the other leaders were equally as slow coming back up the hills. Neel finished 2nd, about 2:20 back, and Larry was #3.
Over in the 5k, Robert Warner, newly in the 50-59 age group collected his first overall grand prix title running a 19:59 to in by 3 seconds. Now that's the way to celebrate a birthday. Coach Dave had joined me on this trip, and we hung out for a bit with some friends. Jill & Troy Vahidi both ran, and it was great to see them and many others. RD Shawn Riley put on a great race, and even though I'm currently in a love-hate relationship with hills right now (they're still kicking my a**) the course was great...very well marked, and easy to follow, even for a directionally challenged runner such as myself. Way to go with a seamless race Shawn. Keep up the good work, and this 2nd annual run will be around for a long time.
Dave and I also had another agenda...beer! We found our new favorite store in Roseville (Total Wine & Spirits) which had an amazing selection and even better prices. Then we enjoyed lunch at the Sacramento Brewing Co. which had a ridiculous amount of high quality guest beers as well as their own, before coming back over the hill. 8 days later, another 10k...