Hail my running brothers and sisters! I considered renaming this race report to "How to Burn Up Your Quads and Your Calves If You Hate Them," but I decided that was really just too long. Today I returned to PWP to run in the Race Judicata 5K and 10K. Clearly not one of my brightest moves because of the course difficulty, but I was feeling froggy from watching so much Olympics that I said, "What the heck...I'll go for it (Remember, no cussing during Lent. Sigh.)" It was a sunny but cold day at 31 degrees, but it warmed up pretty quickly.
Pre-race I went through my normal ritual of downing a PBJ sandwich and as much caffeine as I could handle, then it was off to the portapotty line, and then a quick warm-up at the starting line. I met my friends/co-workers, Matt and Tiffany, and we whined and bellyached about how hard this race would be. The 5K started out with a bit of rolling hills causing me to speed up a bit too fast for the first mile. Garmin said I averaged 7:11 on the first mile, but I know that I saw some 6:30's on the downslopes. Around mile 1.5, the course's major hill slapped most everyone around to a crawl (other than those blessed elites. I really hate those guys. Keep in mind, it's pure jealousy for what they can do and what I can't, but still, the hate burns bright) and I was no exception. While I slowed down to a HARD and painful 7:54/mile (thank goodness for the downslope on the back of the hill), I still managed a decent time through mile 2. Mile 3.1 was mostly downhill, so I leaned forward, kept my feet moving under me, and let gravity take over as I blasted through the last mile with a 6:45 and the last .1 of a mile at a 6:26/mile pace. It burned so bad that I could swear that I smelled the smoky remains of my quads as a staggered across the finishline. Earlier in the week, I decided to go out hard on the 5K. I figured an average pace of 7:30/mile would be pretty good for me, so I was extremely pleased with my time of 22:40, which is 7:19/mile! After I settled my guts down and caught my breath, I quickly switched numbers for the 10K, grabbed a quick bite and a drink, and waited for my friends to finish. Matt and Tiffany both finished strong, and I was pretty happy for them (It's easy to be happy for my friends as long as they don't beat me. I'm shallow enough to admit it).
After the 5K was over, they showed quite a bit more sanity than me and left; leaving me to try to survive the 10K. I got in line to use the portapotty again, but I quickly realized I wouldn't make it to the john before the race started. So I found a break in the woods and used Nature's outhouse. Then I caught up to my old college buddy, Pat, who was also running the 10k, so I hung with him for a a little bit before pressing the pace. He's completed an Ironman, which totally amazes me. Not by the fact that he could do it; the guy is a workout, health machine. I'm just shocked that I know someone that badass (Does that count as cussing? Crap!). Essentially the end of mile 1 and the beginning of mile 2 was just a mile long climb. A really long, brutal, torturous climb that only a sadist could love and masochist could survive. Mile 1, I did at 7:55/mile and mile 2, I did at 8:35/mile. Mile 3, 4 and 5 were better with a 7:15. 7:49. and 7:48. Nothing spectacular to note about those miles except that my leg started to cramp at mile 3 and I was sure that I would be on the news for having to be airliftted out of PWP. There was another short climb at mile 5.5, which stopped me dead in my tracks and I found myself walking/dragging up the remainder of the hill. I managed to finish the race with an 8:30 mile on mile 6, and a 7:09/mile pace on the last .2 miles of the race. I had hoped to finish the 10K in 8:00 miles, so I was glad that I held on and finished in 49:29, 7:59/mile. It was a close one with all the walking breaks that I had to take just to survive the race, but I still finished under my goal!
This year for running both the 5K and the 10K, runners got a towel with the race logo on it along with the technical shirt that all the runners received. Not bad swag, even though I was hoping for arm warmers like last year. I finished 8th and 14th in the 5K and 10K respectively in my age group. Just another reminder that there are a lot of very fast people out there and a lot of them are in my age group, darnnit! Still I'm pretty happy with the results for my first races of 2010. Thanks to the Nashville Striders and all the great sponsors for putting on another great (if not ridiculously hard) race! Run hard and have fun, kids!