Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flashback - October 2006

In 2006, I raced the Army Ten Miler. It was a huge turning point in my running career. Since graduating college (2002) I struggled to get back to where I once was. Injuries, motivation and general apathy combated any serious improvement. During that four year lull I still did a lot or running and racing but my times never materialized to anything much. I set my eyes on ATM the previous spring and planned to give it my all. In the end, I crushed my goal time by 40 seconds and it gave me a new sense of confidence. It was a new beginning for me personally. Soon after, I donned the Georgetown Running Company singlet and I began a surge of PRs from 5k on up. I no longer needed to live in my collegiate shadow.
ATM was also the first time I decided to write a race report. I wanted to capture the moment in time so that I could review my achievement at a later date. I also decided to "spam" in-boxes with the reports as well! Now after every race I run I record my performance, good or bad, in the hopes of capturing my reflections and feelings. Below is my report from October 2006...
The Army 10 Miler is the largest 10 Miler in the country with some 24,000 runners. My goal was to break 54:00 and be in the top 25. This is the race I've been training for ALL summer! Perfect weather for a race!

The Kenyans/Ethiopians went out super fast and had almost 50 meters on me/the chase pack only 90 seconds into the race. The chase pack quickly formed losing and accumulating a handful of runners during the first 3 miles. Hit mile 1 in 5:13, a bit quick (wanted to stay around 5:20- 5:25 so that I could dip under 27 mins at 5 miles) but it felt fine. Hit 2 miles in 10:30 and 3 miles in 15:45 - fairly even. At this point I was around 15th place. I started to lose the chase pack and a few other people caught me by mile 4 (21:05). By mile 5 (26:26) I was sorta by myself chasing the string of people in front of me. I was definitely feeling winded and I started to cramp up a bit, but nothing too severe. My five mile time was obviously a lot faster than what I had hoped for, but I felt strong enough to power through it. I hit 6 miles around 32 minutes (5:20 pace on the dot) and 7 miles in 37:20 (another 5:20). Miles 5 thru 7 (10:54) seem to be my slowest miles. Hit 8 around 42:45 and this is when I started to kick. I wanted to finish this race with NOTHING left in my tank. I knew I had strength and now (2 miles to go) was the time to use it - I kept telling myself "10 minutes left of running". The last 2 miles slope uphill on I-395 leaving Washington DC then down to the Pentagon in VA. I passed two runners during my "long drive" and began to hammer the ups and downs hitting mile 9 in 48:05. I started to fade a bit around 50 minutes - my legs were cooked...right around this time a runner passed me (not one of the guys I had recently passed). As I rounded the turn for the finish I heard a bunch of people yelling my name and I kicked like hell to catch the guy who had passed me. I got him 2 meters before the finish line. I finished in 16th and ran 53:21, well under my goal. More importantly, my splits were very even. My take home point is "trust your fitness". Once you have done the work, the race seems to take care of itself. Some of my splits today were quicker than some of the races I've run in the last 4 months (16:15 5k in early June, 26:44 8k in late July).

1 - 5:13, 5:13
2 - 10:30, 5:17
3 - 15:45, 5:15
5k - 16:16
4 - 20:05, 5:20
5 - 26:26, 5:21 ~ 5:17 pace
6 - 32:00, 5:34
10K - 33:04
7 - 37:20, 5:20
8 - 42:45, 5:25
9 - 48:05, 5:20
10 - 53:21, 5:16 ~ 5:21 pace

I've been training from June to October with limited speed workouts. All I have done is run slow miles building to about 75 miles a week (about 1 month ago). I took a day off each week and also ran a long run (15-18) each Sunday. I ran 7 races during this time (16:15, 4:35, 26:44, 9:52, 15:45, 1:14:24) each race a little better than the last.

I am taking 4 days off and then a nice easy 10 days before I get back into anything serious. My next race might be the Veteran's Day 10k (also in DC). I hope to race another 1/2 marathon in early spring and some smaller cupcake races

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