Friday, July 24, 2009

Deseret News 10k race report

Important stuff:
Time: 35:08
Splits: HORRIBLE...
Mile 1: 5:04
Mile 2: 10:15 (granted the first 2 miles were pretty downhill compared to the rest)
5k (3.107 miles): 16:35 (a major uphill in here + intentionally slowing down)
Mile 4: 21:35 (starting to hurt a LOT)
Mile 5: 27:35 (totally dying)
10k: 35:08 (HR of 194 ever since mile 5, couldn't go any faster than 6:17/mile pace for last 1.2)

So, this morning, I ran in the Deseret News 10k. I'd been feeling like absolute crap after spending too much time in the 185 degree sauna over the last week, so I wasn't even sure that I was going to race, but I decided to just go for it last night. No, they don't normally have 10ks on Friday mornings in Utah, but today is Pioneer Day, a state-wide holiday that commemorates the day that Brigham Young and other Mormons made it in to the valley after a very long walk from halfway across the country in Illinois. I'm obviously not Mormon myself, but the perilous 1300 mile trek they made is definitely a pretty cool story and one worthy of remembrance. Anyway, some Mormon newspaper puts on a big 10k and marathon every year on Pioneer Day and while i didn't feel like doing a marathon at this point in the summer, this seemed like the one good opportunity to run a 10k comparable to sea level running due to a net downhill on the course that roughly evens out the elevation factor, according to the Jack Daniels calculator, which I've used quite a bit lately just to compare runs in Baltimore and Minnesota to runs here. Anyway, I've only ever done one 10k previously, which I felt went extremely poorly, probably mostly due to me having run it the weekend immediately after the Boston Marathon, a Monday race that I wasn't yet recovered from. My previous time was a 35:30 and I was hoping to run about a 34 flat here today. Unfortunately, I seem to really suck at pacing for a 10k. I went out too fast and didn't really contemplate my mistake until I hit the 2 mile split in 10:15 and my heart rate was already at something like 192. I backed off the pace in mile 3, but by that point it was already too late. I hit the 5k split in 16:35, 1 second off my official PR that I ran back in Minnesota recently and despite trying to back off, my heart rate was up 1 BPM more, at 193. At this point, I just mentally convinced myself to keep the effort as high as possible until the finish no matter how bad it hurt, and believe me, it was already starting to feel pretty painful by the 5k. I hit mile 4 in 21:35, which meant that I didn't fall off pace too horribly in the 4th mile, but the 5th mile took 6 minutes of misery, putting me up to 27:35. Funny enough, this was still faster than my 5 mile time I ran at Celtic Solstice in December (27:55), though I'd unofficially run a 26:59 on a treadmill previously under perfect pacing conditions (although treadmills are supposedly slightly easier than running on roads when you have them at a flat). Anyway, my heart rate hit 194 beats per minute around mile 5 and I'm not sure how, but I managed to keep it there for the entire last 1.2 miles, the agony of which was literally completely indescribable. Assuming my max is still 200 (and honestly, it's very possibly a beat or 2 lower than that since I haven't tested in 2 years or so), I was running at 97% of max for 1.2 miles, something which is usually saved for maybe a quarter mile, or at most, half mile sprint at the very end of a grueling race. Despite the net downhill, the last mile was entirely uphill and my body was completely trashed, so the last 1.2 miles took me 7:33, a pace of 6:17/mile, despite my dangerously high heart rate. Due to my piss-poor pacing job, I finished in 35:08, a far cry from the 34 flat I was looking for, but my ridiculous splits (16:35, 18:33) make it obvious that I'm capable of faster if I could just pace a little better. Officially, this is a PR, but I'm going to still consider myself to not have a 10K PR because I'm embarassed by this stupid of a performance. Lessons learned: 1. Do NOT race so fast in the first half of a 10k next time I attempt the distance. A more reasonable way to do it would be to keep my HR below 185 in the first half and then let it climb as the going gets tough int he 2nd half. 2. I apparently have an incredibly high tolerance for pain. Apparently, very few people can withstand having their HR that high for that long, so that's good to know that I'm able to take it like that and keep pushing when I feel like quitting, even if my pace goes to crap. I don't know when I'll try another 10k, but I think I should be a lot faster next time...

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