Ran the Elizabeth River Run 10K yesterday. The forecast throughout the week varied from thunder showers, mild temps to warm weather. The day started in the mid 60's with a forecast high of 88 F...so...It ended up being a sunny and warm...well...very warm day...at least the humidity was only in the 50's and there was a small breeze.
I woke up early Saturday with my normal routine of a shower, breakfast and relaxing, reading the morning paper before heading out to the race site.
The course takes place in downtown Portsmouth which is across the water from Norfolk. The race starts by making a couple of loops in the 'Olde Towne' section of the city, then winding along the Portsmouth waterfront in downtown, looping around the Naval Hospital along the waterfront and then ending by winding back past the start line a couple of blocks. In all a very scenic course.
I got to Portsmouth and parking was not a problem. Even though it was downtown Portsmouth and probably over 700 runners and volunteers, there was ample parking to be had very near the start/finish line. I got my number, chip and goody bag and went back to my truck to drop things off and put my number on. I had thought the race started at 8:00 and headed to the start line a couple of blocks away. When I get there, there is nobody there and talking to another runner, find out the 1 mile kids run starts at 8 and our 10K starts at 8:30. So no problem, I wander back to watch the 1 mile race and then head back to the start line with 20 minutes to start time. I warm up by running up and down a side street a couple of times and then mingle with the starting line crowd facing north...but 5 minutes to start time they tell us we are facing wrong and we all turn the other way and backup. This race is chipped timed but we don't see any timing mats at the start line and find out at the end of the race that the chips are only used for the finish gun time and not for chip time. If I had known that I would have started nearer to the start line...but that wouldn't have helped me too much anyway.
The gun goes off at 8:30 and we are off for our first clockwise mile loop in Olde Towne ending up going across the start line again going now in the other direction. We make another loop in Olde Towne going counter-clockwise now and across the start line again and then along the waterfront. I planned my mile splits to be around 6:20...my first mile split was 6:16...a little fast but not bad. Second mile split was 12:40...right where I wanted it to be. The third mile split was 19:29 with the first 5K in 20:14...14 seconds too slow. By this time it was feeling warm and I seemed to be struggling but I tried to keep up with a couple of runners also going for under 40 minutes. The fourth mile came in at 26:34 which meant I had dropped a lot and at that point I just didn't care. The fifth mile came in at 33:58...up to a 7:24 mile...I was really struggling but tried to kick it in some. Mile six came in at 40:59...down to a 7:00 mile. The finish came in at 42:13...disappointing but not really...I had given up the quest for under 40 minutes a couple of miles ago and had cruised home still in a relative good time for me. Past 10Ks I had never had a need to drink at the water stops...this race, I seemed to take water at almost every water table...at first to only take a couple of swallows running full speed and at the end slowing to gulp down the majority of the cup...I was thirsty! At the finish, I was drinking fruit juice and water for the next half hour and then downed a banana and couple of slices of pizzas...I always get hungry after a run. I didn't stay for the post race ceremonies thinking I hadn't placed in anything since I had seen quite a few grey haired men finishing in front of me...later I find out I still placed 2nd in my age group.
The final race results:
There were 54 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 651 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 46
Age group finish place was 2
Time: 42:13 for an overall pace of 6:47 per mile
1st 5K time was 20:14 for a pace of 6:31 per mile
2nd 5K time was 21:59 for a pace of 7:05 per mile
I seem content with the results...I think maybe...I just happen to be a 42 minute 10K runner at this stage of life and training. I still want that under 40 minute 10K and will up my training pace for the fall races. I got home and did 18 laps in the pool...about 200 meters.
Last weeks running totals:
Monday: Weights and general strength
Tuesday: 8.65 miles in 1:06
Wednesday: Weights and general strength
Thursday: 8.6 miles in 1:05
Saturday: 10K in 42:13, 200 meters in the pool un-timed
Sunday: Weights and general strength
Total Miles: 23.45
Hope all have a wonderful Memorial Day!