Sunday, January 28, 2007

Slow Leak

At least the kids' race went well

6th place and a 34:48 or so for the 10K today, more than half a minute slower than last year. As I feared, the second half of the race really bit me hard. I felt like a car pushing ahead with the same power, but getting slower and slower as more air leaked out of the tires. My hopes of finding and holding a good group towards the start rewarded me with a stupidly fast 5:13 first mile, which certainly contributed to the suffering later on in the race. I was still behind Lucas and Shane at this point, both of whom I had pegged for running 5:20-5:30 for the first mile. By mile two Lucas had dropped back, and I found myself fighting into a headwind to gain on places three through five, who were just a bit out of reach. Mile two passed in 5:37, and now I was gaining on the three in front of me. Somewhere during the third mile I passed number five and started gaining on four, but after perhaps a minute the runner I had just gone by quickly surged ahead again. When he passed the runner in front of me the two of them started to power away with a sense of purpose. At this point I was stuck in the gear I was in, though I desperately wanted to tag along, and the 5:39 for the third mile started putting me into oxygen debt. From here we finally turned out of the wind, but while I was still chasing the legs started to fill up and the breathing got very shallow. A 5:35 for the fourth mile found the runners in front of me still gaining, and any hope of making top three evaporated. A turn back into the wind and a gradual uphill had me suffering for 5:48 for the fifth mile, and while the lights began to dim I really didn't want to go over 35 minutes. The runners ahead were still strung out in a line with everyone slowing down, but I still couldn't gain as we turned onto a curving street in a small neighborhood to finish the 6th mile. When I finally turned out of the subdivision I was greeted with a 5:47 split for the final mile and a tough last straightaway into the wind and then finally the finishing chute.

While the cool-down was delayed when the kids discovered the post-race spread included pancakes, I was able to get in two miles with Lucas, Blax, Shane and Logan. It seemed no one had their best day today, but given the circumstances of the last two weeks I'm not that upset.

I do need to cultivate a better sense of pace early on in these races, as the first mile definitely cost me. In hindsight I should have taken the coach's advice and gone out at 5:35 pace, though the thought of being so far back in the pack honestly frightened me.

It was great having the race be a family affair with Kiera and the kids, and I was lucky enough to help pace both Haiden and Finn in their respective races after the main event. Both finished second to last, though Haiden did win a tube of play-doh and a bag of m&m's for her efforts. Finn only ended up with a scraped knee, but like his dad he's defiantly shaking his fist and crying out "Wait until next year!"

Well, he was thinking it at least.


Eric said...

Sorry it didn't go as well as you hoped it would. There's a big gap between your opening mile and your overall pace, so that was likely the difference.

Nice run, though. It will give you a nice fitness boost and get you feeling better at speed in a few days.

Mark said...

That's too bad it didn't rock as you wanted but still a respecatble race run with heart.

Those first miles can be a killer with all the adrenaline pushing and everyone else moving so fast. Just think if it was only 5K!

Dallen said...

A little time gained in mile 1 will cost a lot of time in the later miles. I am an expert at the subject.

Of course, sometimes it is better to put it all on the line and see what happens.

Next time things will go better.

Thomas said...

Ah well, after your sickness I guess that was the best you could expect. It leaves room for improvement.

Finn is really starting to grow up. He's already lost the baby features and starting to look like a big boy now.

Marc said...

Sorry to hear that the race wasn't all you had hoped for, but very respectable for what you've recently been through with sickness and such.

M&M's and Play-doh? Sign me up!

Abadabajev said...

In hindsight I should have taken the coach's advice and gone out at 5:35 pace, though the thought of being so far back in the pack honestly frightened me.

You did good.

Yes your 1st mile should have been 5:35 but you got excited. It's nice to see someone get excited.

Now if you have time, please explain what frightens you. I'm lost here.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Abadabajev, I don't like leaving myself too much ground to make up on runners I feel I'm competitive with. I find that if I'm too far back I can lose my motivation to chase, but by putting myself in a good position early on I'm more motivated to not fall off the pace.

I guess I'd rather be on the bus fighting for a seat than chasing the bus.

Train said...

Mike-you're giving me too much credit. I still haven't run a cool down from the Sun Run--maybe on Thursday.