IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Veterun Race Report

Well, I can't remember the last time I ran a 10K that wasn't part of a triathlon. It's not that I haven't run 10Ks before, but it has been a few years. That being said, I decided it was a little rough for me to determine exactly what pace I should have been running.

We arrived about an hour before the race start. It was a chilly morning, but there was little or no wind. The sky was overcast and I wondered if I had dressed properly for this race. See, for the last few years, my runs of 6 miles or less have either been much slower or in much warmer weather. Now, I know how to dress for an 18 or 20 miler, but with just 6 miles, I wasn't sure how quickly I was going to start sweating.

I saw many familiar faces before the race and tried to keep my mind occupied on catching up with friends rather than focus on the race we were about to run. I don't know why, but I was nervous. That familiar feeling of nausea and thoughts of "why did I sign up for this again?" wouldn't go away easily. Of course, I wanted to have a good race, but I try not to pressure myself. After all, it's difficult to do well at both the shorter distances (5 and 10K) and longer distances (half and full marathon). And right now, my focus is my upcoming marathon, not this little ol' 10K. Right?

The mayor of Westchester was lifted up over the crowd in a bucket truck at the starting line. He said a few words and without much hesitation, he pulled the trigger to the gun that started the race. Within the first 200 yards, we were already passing people. Now, for me, this is unfamiliar territory! Although there were many people I needed to move around to get passed, I was enjoying being the passer instead of the passee. For a split second, I wondered why I lined up that far back. At the time, it didn't seem like I was lined up all that far from the starting line...

The race started just in front of a park, wound through the neighborhood and before the first mile marker, we were already on the trails in the forest preserve. I was a bit shocked when I realized my first split was much quicker than I had anticipated. Was I taking this out too fast? I've never held this quick of a pace in a 10K before. But I tried to focus on my breathing and heart rate and decided that I felt pretty good, there should be no reason why I should slow down at this point.

The next mile, split was just a few seconds slower. OK, good. I was still passing people. Now we're back on residential streets and passing the first water stop. I decided that in this weather, I didn't need to stop for a drink in a race of this length, so I moved to the other side of the street, away from the volunteers. I was gaining some ground on the woman with the blue fleece on. At mile 3, I had the same split as mile 2. Sweet! Can I really keep up this pace?

Soon, I would realize I could not. As I checked my split for mile 4, I wasn't surprised as I saw this mile was almost 20 seconds slower than the last two. My blue fleece rabbit was slowly gaining ground on me. I passed a few guys here and there and just before mile 5, I overtook what looked to be a kid in his early 20s with a race singlet on. As soon as I passed him, I heard his footsteps quicken. I'm sure he didn't like being passed by an old lady!! And, of course, my competitive spirit would not give up so easily and I increased my leg turnover to get away from him. I just needed to get away from the sound of his footsteps.

Here we are now at mile 5, just a little quicker than the last mile. Blue fleece is still within my vision, but I was now very tired. I knew the end was near and I tried to stay focused and steady to finish up this race. Singlet-wearing 20 year old passed me with about a half mile to go. Punk. Another couple guys I had passed near mile 4 were now passing me. This was the scenario I was used to...being passed. And I sure don't like it. But I was now paying the price for taking this race out too quickly.

One last right turn and you could see the finish chutes up in the distance. I was busy calculating my projected finish time in my head and I kept getting confused. It's funny how your mind plays tricks on you when you're in the middle of a race. Now I knew I was going to PR, but I couldn't figure out by how much. "Forget it, just focus on finishing!" I thought. The closer I got to the finish line, the more tired I became. I heard some people yelling for me to finish strong, but there was honestly nothing "strong" left! I just hoped I wouldn't trip over my own two feet at this point. I just needed to get across that line.

Before I knew it, I was done with the best 10K race I've ever had. Then again, when you don't really run 10K races, I guess it's a little easier to break your own record!! The course was flat and fast. It was well marked with mile splits at every mile. What a great race! There was an awards ceremony and several raffle items. Winners needed to be present to win, which sometimes can take forever, but they did a good job of keeping things moving along. There were plenty of bananas, apples, oranges, yogurt parfaits and hot dogs for all participants. The best part was the hot chocolate! This race is definitely worth going back to.


Anonymous said...

What was the distance for this 10K?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I don't know the distance for the 10K, I am still trying to figure out how many miles are in the Chicago Marathon.

MJ said...

A 10K is 6.2 miles. Always was, always will be.