Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweet & Sour or Aaaaarrrrggghhhh (the story of the Rock N River 10k) 2010

I started to prep for my 2nd local race in a row a couple nights ahead of time by soaking in a freezing cold ice bath...followed by a hot soak the night before. The former seemed to work to recharge my legs, which are starting to feel the effects (both good and bad) of heavier mileage over the last monthandahalf. The latter served to loosen me up a bit so I woke up Sunday morning ready to go. Kirk & I had run the course the morning before, which isn't something I usually get to do, but Doug (the RD) gave me really good course direction via email, and as you guys know, I can get lost on a track. So that, combined with the fact that last year's courses were not so obvious to the runners (so I've heard) & it served to settle the mind to know the course. I also got to map it on to check the mileage (6.24).
It was cool on race morning, but the wind had died, so it ended up being just a little colder than perfect. I slow jogged and walked around a bit, and caught up with Turi & Dave before their half started at 7:00. I actually ran a mile of their race before pulling a 180 and running back to my car to shed some clothes and change shoes. I was trying the updated* (*=heavier) Nike Lunaracer 2 . The original Lunaracer was (IMHO) the best racing flat ever made, so I have NO idea why they felt the need to add almost 30% to the weight and change the upper material. Heavier or not, the cushioning is soooooo comfortable. I didn't get away with going barefoot in these like I could in the last model, though. My shoes looked a little like Curt Schilling's World Series sock by the time I got back to my car after the race. Outside of that, though, they're awesome. Maybe I'll be able to break em in a little more or wear some moleskin and still leave the socks in the car. I just love the feeling of the shoe and road beneath my feet when I'm racing. If socks aren't necessary, I'd just rather not wear em.
Anyway, back to the action. I got in a couple of strides and stretched a block from the start, and made my way to the line with a couple minutes to go. There were many familiar faces (Fred, Kirk, Scott, Mike Weller...Skip Houk was even the emcee). We took off exactly at 7:30, headed south from the Reno arch and took a right on 1st Street. I led briefly for a couple blocks after the first and eventually settled in behing Aggies runner Tim Koepsell. The last time we'd raced (in the dark) I didn't stay with him past half way and was a ways behind after 5k, but that wasn't a day I ever used as an example of my fitness level. This time we stuck together like white on rice...for most of the race. Mile one went by in 5:18. What a difference from the 5:09 I ran in the wind in Sacramento in my last 10k. I felt good this time as opposed to redlining too early. We headed into Idelwild Park and by the time we left the park, it was down to the two of us. I don't know who had been in 3rd, but judging by the shadow present for a mile and a half, it was either Fred or Scott. Anywho, we reached the turn, which was juuust over the halfway mark, in 16:39-16:40. There were a couple times on the return trip where I thought he was going to drop me, only to keep contact. Mile 3-5 was ever so slightly downhill (maybe 40 ft.?) so these two were actually a touch faster than mile 1-3 going out. When we reached the backside of the 1 mile sign, Tim made another move. Subtle, but one I couldn't match. He was 5-6 seconds ahead when we hit the homestretch, and finished in 32:54...7 seconds in front of my 33:01 (5:19 per mile). Fred came in 3rd in 34:24, Kirk was 4th in 34:42, and Scott 5th in 34:48. Of course, everybody in the top 5 would have won last year's race, where nobody broke 35. That's just been my luck. Not to mention the fastest time in the half was 1:19. 1:19! Oh well, the huge one race winning streak's over. It was easy to deal with, though, as this was the fastest 10k I've run (off the treadmill) since surgery in 2001. It comes out to a 81.96 age graded, which is almost where my 5k/8k/10k pr's are from my 20's. Almost. It's 27 seconds off my pr from when I was 23.
Anywho. I got some more miles in on the course, and got to run Turi & Amber down the homestretch. 77.3 for the week, which is close to my best for the year as well. All in all, a very good week. It's amazing how one good day can blend into another, too. I ran 13.1 trail miles today. Nothing fast, but no dead legs either, and that's possibly the longest run I've ever done the day after a race. We got to hang out for most of the morning too, starting with a coffee stout of course, and eventually progressing to a solid breakfast. The next race for me is only a few days away. I'll be partnering with Kirk for a midday obstacle relay on Saturday. I'm hoping their sponsorship has not dwndled since last year the prizes were amazing!! And the food & beer will be waiting for us at the line. Can't beat that. The next TLD race will likely be the Fitch Mountain Footrace in Healdburg, CA on June 13th. I'll be probably be the short one there too, as the rest of TLD probably run the 10k, while I'd like to take 10 seconds off last year's 3k. Till then...happy running.


SnowLeopard said...

Congrats on your super fast 10K, since 2001! That's awesome! It's good to run as a team, and you're a very dedicated teammate, running us in to the finish- thanks for that last little push there at the end (did I surprise you with my tremendous burst of speed there? :). I was nicely sore after that race~

slowrunner77 said...

nicely sore. well said!