This 10K was my first 10K just last year...so...of course I had to do it again. Last year I finished 48th overall and 6th in my age group with a respectable time of 44:29. This year my goal was to break 40 minutes. There have been three other 10K's...two in the spring with times of 41:59 and 42:13...and one just last week of 41:37. It seems as though I am stuck in the 41:30-42 range. So this week I trained hard for this race. Sunday I ran 14.5 miles, Tuesday 7.1 miles and Thursday 7 miles. Tuesday and Thursday I worked on speed with fast tempo runs after warming up on the elliptical or cycle and the other days I did 1.5-2 hours of cross training on the elliptical, cycle and stair stepper.
The race takes place on Fort Story...a place I have run a few races and am quite familiar with. Most of it is flat with a few undulations and towards the end are two hills...one just after mile 4 and the last between miles 5 and 6. The hills...although not big by most standards...make for a somewhat challenging but fun race for those of us that run races on mostly flat areas of lower Hampton Roads. It is also next to the beach so we get these 'wonderful" winds off the ocean.
Today's weather was forecast to be in the 40's with 14-19 mph wind gusting to 26 mph...makes for a chilly, windy run...but the race starts at 9:00...so a chance it will get warmer for the race-Right?...Yeah I wish! But I do like to run in the cold...just not when it's very windy and cold. When I go out to get the paper in the morning, the cold and wind makes me want to go back and crawl back into the warm bed but after breakfast, I throw on some warm-ups and a hoody over my running shorts and running t-shirt and head out for the Beach.
It is very warm in the MWR building where I go to get my race bib but I head back out to my truck to put my number on and wait for a few minutes before the start of the race. About 10 minutes before the start I take my warm hoody and warm-up pants off and do a warm up lap around a block for about half a mile. The wind is very brisk and cold...especially heading into it and I wish I had brought my gloves and something warm for my head.
I get to the start line and try to get as close to the front...a row back from the start line since this is a gun timed race and not a chip timed race...and complete my stretches. At 9:00 the starting horn sounds and we are off. I don't want to jack rabbit the start like I did for the Turkey Trot and set off on what seems like a nice pace. The first mile comes in at 6:13...a bit fast but it feels comfortable and now we are heading directly into a head wind for a while. Mile 2 comes in at 12:33 which is about where I want to be. At this time I am chasing down runners...even though out near the front there are very few runners to chase down and the total field of runners are small...there are a few that I know I can reel in over the next 2-3 miles. Mile 3 comes in at 19:14...still on a pretty good pace but I'm losing some ground, time wise but I have passed two of the runners that were ahead of me and ready to catch the third. The third runner is caught as we near mile 4 and it comes in at 25:57...a few more seconds lost and here comes the first hill. I try to maintain my pace on the hill and soon we are going downhill and make a sharp...almost 180 turn and head to mile 5. When we make the sharp turn I notice there is a runner hot on my heels and he overtakes me before the 5 mile marker. 5 miles comes in at 32:33. We head for a turn around in the road before we head up the final hill. I can see most of the runners up front...that I'm definitely not going to catch and at the turn around I can see who else is chasing me. The closest runner is a woman...who ends up winning the female overall...who is about a hundred yards back and charging hard, but I don't see anybody that I know in my age group as we head up the final hill. This one seems a bit longer and steeper and into a stiff wind but we get up and over and down the other side to another near 180 turn. At mile 6, my time reads 39:18 and I know I can't make the .2 miles in 41 seconds but I charge on and hit the finish in 40:34...A PR of over one minute. I came in 14th overall and 2nd in the age group of 50-59...the AG winner came in at 36:29 and is only a year younger than I am...Something to train real hard for. So the 40 minute mark eludes me again, but it is 1:03 closer than it was at the Turkey Trot and only 34 seconds away...that's like 6 seconds per mile...I know I can do this, but the next 10K will probable be in the spring...a whole winter to train to get faster. It was nice talking with Steve over a bowl of warm soup just before the awards were announced. He had a very nice race...Congrats on your 6th place overall and 1st in your age group!
Being this was an Army/Navy race, there was a special catagory for Army against Navy runners...overall for male and female and as a group...Navy prevailed in all catagories and I like to think I helped some with a 5th place overall Navy finish!
Got home just in time to watch the Navy football team beat Army...24-3...but it was a close game if it were not for some costly Army mistakes.
There were 12 finishers in the Male 50 to 59 age group and 152 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 14 of 152
Age group finish place was 2 of 12
Time: 40:34 for an overall pace of 6:31 per mile
Next week I want to do the VA Runner Blue/Grey Half Marathon in Fredericksburg.
Everyone have a wonderful weekend. Go Navy...Beat Army!