Race day. Last year the Striders 10 mile was one of my 3 great races of the year (2nd place, 59:53). With my reduced training and being sick a few weeks ago, I knew I wouldn't be near that time. I was 2:38 slower in the 10k a few weeks ago then last year, so I figured reducing that gap would be a good goal for this race. It is a very hilly course (931 feet climbing!), which would help me on the downs but my lack of training would reveal itself on the ups. See Walter's blog for a great description on the difficulty of the course.
At the start I saw Fiddy, Walter, Trever Ball (who was running easy), Tim, Jeff, and Paul Pilkington. Temp was about 25-30 deg, with no ice on the roads. Here are my splits:
Mile 1 and 2- 11:37 (no mile 1 split)- running easy. Walter, James, Paul, and Tim take off. I am in a good group with Jeff and Trever for most of the race.
Mile 3- 5:58- rolling downhill
Mile 4- 6:14- rolling uphill
Mile 5- 6:50- big uphill- 12 seconds ahead of my 10k time from 3 weeks ago
Mile 6- 6:50
Mile 7- 7:26- finally the end of uphill. Last year I ran a 6:58 on this mile.
Mile 8- 5:18- downhill. Last year was 5:02.
Mile 9- 5:57- at the start of this mile, my chest really tightened up for some reason and I really had trouble breathing. After slowing down a hair and relaxing for a few minutes, it loosened up.
Mile 10- 6:13- the last uphill on this mile is painful.
Trever pulled away on the uphill at mile 5. Jeff pulled away on the ups and I passed him on the downs, up until my chest tightened when he caught me. We were even at mile 9, but he pulled away and beat me by about 15 seconds. But it was very nice being able to run near/with him for most the race. I finished in 7th place overall (and didn't get chicked). My time was 2:35 slower than last year, so I did close the gap by 3 seconds like I wanted, and on a longer course. I am ok with this race, but it is hard knowing I was in so much better shape last year. However, I got sick before the 1/2 marathon last year, so it will even out.
Tim Wight took 2 wrong turns (his brain tumor has reduced his visual ability) but still beat me by a bit. Trever is planning to do the whole series, as are Walter and Jeff. They are all 3-7 minutes ahead of me, so my top 3 goal for the series will be very difficult. But I will keep working hard and see what happens- 31 miles of racing left.
Good job to everyone today!
2 miles warmup and 4 miles cooldown with Walter, James, Twinkie (Matt) and others. And in some good news, my hamstring didn't hurt. Finally. Now I get to spend the day painting my house.