Friday, April 25, 2014

10 Miler race re-cap

Last weekend I raced the St. Albert 10 miler, which was the start to my 2014 season.  My run training has been going very well since January and I was looking forward to getting out there and seeing it translate to a good race.  My main goal coming in was to beat my personal best (on this course) from last year - which was a 1:14.  I had run a 1:11 back in October at the Fall Classic race, but that is a pancake flat course and the St. Albert course is quite hilly and challenging in comparison.

My week leading into the race was pretty sub-par, I ended up missing a bunch of workouts due to increased work hours/schedule, and although I hadn't planned on really tapering, this is how it ended up.  The weather turned crappy in the days leading into the race, cooling off significantly.

Race morning was chilly, below zero, but the sun was shining and so I opted for my Lulu capri's, with a long sleeve top + t-shirt, gloves, and headband to cover my ears. I got in about a 10 minute warm-up but didn't feel overly great.  Race start was 9:30am sharp, and in typical fashion, everyone around me and ahead of me started out very fast.  Not sure what it is about this race, maybe it's the slight downhill start, but the majority of people go balls out from the very beginning.  It's not a short race, and I've learned the hard way to hold myself back during the first couple miles, be patient, and just let everyone go.

This ended up probably one of my best run races ever. My first mile was easy, and somewhere around 7:25.  Just after the first mile, I spotted Stephen Murley from STARRT up ahead a bit, and I made it my goal to catch up to him and run with him.  I caught him around mile 2, and we proceeded to run the entire rest of the race together, pushing each other along.  It was awesome! We kept targeting people ahead of us, picking them off, and putting them in our dust.  When one of us started to fall back a bit, the other would provide encouragement until you were back on the pace.  We passed a LOT of people from about 3 or 4 miles until the last mile.

I only looked at my watch twice during the race, once at the halfway point (5 miles), and at the 10K marker.  Our 5 mile split was 36:15, and I remember saying to Stephen, "We should hopefully be able to make it into the 12's still".  I wasn't entirely sure, though, as I knew all the bigger hills were in the last half.  Stephen had a Garmin watch on and occasionally would let me know a split, and some of our mile splits were around 6:50, which was faster than I had ever run in a 10mile race (and maybe even in a 10k)!  Somehow, I kept getting stronger and stronger throughout the race, and by the time we reached the last mile where they have the time clock running, I started to realize we hadn't really slowed down at all!

Lots of STARRT peeps post-race - Tari, Stephen M., Nicole, Dave (back), Larry, me, and Steeven J.

The last mile was super speedy, and super painful.  My finishing time was 1:11.37, and Steve finished 3 seconds ahead of me.  This was a great time for both of us!  A PB by almost 3 minutes, and a negative split by almost a minute! Definitely surprised myself with that.  All that speedwork seems to be paying off.  Next goal will be sub-70min for this distance, it's within reach...

There's plenty more work to be done, but this is a great start to the year.  Next race will be the Mother's Day 10km on May 11.  Looks like the course and location have changed, so hopefully it won't be 10.5 or 11km like it usually is!  LOL!

Happy training!

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