Saturday, November 3, 2012
2012 Vulcan 10K RR
I really felt like I did everything right. I averaged 50 MPW for the previous 5 weeks since the debacle in Denver and squeezed in plenty of quality as well including a 4 Mile tempo faster than race pace. Yes, I pushed myself to the limit but I tapered properly and felt plenty fresh on race day.
Again, I woke up feeling fine (after taking 2 pills) and felt strong on the warm up. I really believed that this was my day. The weather was perfect (50s, sunny with no wind) so I went with a tank top and shorts. As planned, I met up with Rebecca and we chatted a bit before the start.
Good clean start and settled into a solid pace early. Slightly over 6, which was a hair fast but much of the first half mile was slightly downhill. A couple of slower buddies were out there ahead of me but I would pass them just before the mile marker, which I hit just ahead of schedule. We turned up a slight uphill early in Mile 2 and I was still holding the pace well but later in the Mile, things began to go downhill. Sub-40 was starting to slip away and I knew that I would fall off pace on the hills ahead but if I could avoid a meltdown, sub-41 was looking like a good bet, which actually was the realistic goal coming in. This course seemed tougher than I remembered. Mile 3 began with a very slight uphill that was barely noticeable before we made the turn into Highland Park. I still felt okay here (maybe 6:30s pace) but after about a quarter mile, running up that steady climb, I was shot. Unofficially, I was still under 20:30 at 5K but fading fast. With the worst of the hills over, I expected my pace to improve a bit in Mile 4 but it actually got slightly worse. Normally, I make my move on the steep downhill near the end of Mile 5 but that didn't happen today. I was merely struggling to stay with my pack. Ed passed me and Rebecca soon followed. She encouraged me to keep pushing and stay on her shoulder. If not for her support, I would have probably just jogged it in. In the end, I managed a semi-respectable finish and I believe that I managed to CR (course PR from '09). Gun time was 41:44. Watch time was 41:42. Chip was 41:32, not sure why.
Course was measured at 6.32 so I'll add 4 ticks to each mile and cut off 24 from the last:
6:15- 6:15 feel pretty good
6:28- 12:43 I won't break 40
6:56- 19:39 -uphill. won't break 41.
7:00- 26:39- may be over 42
6:47- 33:26- downhill, not much of a recovery
6:41- 40:07- should be done by now.
CHOKED! No other word. 4 shots at the sub-40 barrier this year and I did not even come close despite the fact that BOTH my half marathon and 5K times predict it according to McMillan. True, it was not realistic to expect to do on this course but I certainly was not expecting this either. Even on a track, I don't think I could have done 41:15. I was clearly off form with the pills and I knew it after the race (not before). The tell tale sign is lack of flexibility when touching my toes. I was about 3 inches above my shoe top when I normally can hit my toes. I also got diarrhea and had to cut short my cool down. At least I avoided it during the race so it could have been worse. I've been nailing my workouts in the evenings but often do not feel my best until afternoon. I need to divide the doses differently if I want to run well in the mornings. Let's hope that this was merely a 1 day hiccup and not another relapse.
A time between 41:30-41:59 for a 10K goes in the books as a "B" grade, which seems too lenient. This was not an "above average" performance but it stands. Perhaps I should tighten the scale to increments of 20 seconds.