Saturday, April 5, 2008

Race Report: Meteor 10K

Ah, sunrise. Heralding a new day full of fresh possibilities. In this case, my first 10K race. At 7:15 am we were driving east into the blinding sunrise, heading for the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the Meteor 10K.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare; I picked up my race number amidst the total chaos of the expo hall and then we strolled down to the start/finish line. I did a brief warmup, some stretches, and then joined the participant crowd.

Final adjustments

I was very pleased to see that the race was using start and finish timing mats for this chip-timed event, unlike several previous events I have participated in. This ensured that my time would be extremely accurate. When the DJ booth started blaring the Rocky theme I knew the big moment was at hand. I also knew I could not bolt out too fast at the start which would guarantee a quick fade later in the race. I decided to start with a slowish warmup first mile and then settle into a faster pace. The race started, everyone surged forward, and I was off!

Around mile 1 (photo from Run Michigan image gallery)

I did exactly what I had planned for the first mile: 8:41. OK. Feeling good. Breathing under control-- nice slow, deep breaths. Legs feel fresh. Stomach rock solid. Let's open things up a little.

Somewhere around mile 1.5, passing the start/finish line crowd again. Looking good!

I settled back into a nice groove and slowly upped my speed. The miles just seemed to fly by. I felt great, the best I've felt since I got sick two weeks ago. I had struggled somewhat with training this past week; I just felt like something was "off." I felt like I had lost my "running mojo." It came roaring back during this race. I was passing people right and left. I felt like I had wings on my feet! I passed the 5K mark just before 27:00. As we started up Hines Dr., (holy potholes, Batman!) which was a long out-and-back, the front of the field passed me on the opposite side. I love these races that double back on themselves, giving us middle-of-the-packers a chance to see elite runners in action. The turnaround point on Hines Dr. was shortly after the 4-mile mark. I decided to bear down and pick up my pace a little for the final two miles. I didn't really have any time goal for this race. I told John before the start I would finish in 55 minutes if I took things nice and easy and 50:00 if I worked for it. Soon enough mile 5 was behind me and I could hear the noise from the finish line area. I was undeniably tired and working harder than ever. Just a little bit more! After an unscheduled "water jump" (partially flooded driveway) right at mile 6 the path jogged a little to the right and then it was just one long straightaway to the finish. I pushed hard all the way to the line and finished in 51:22.

Immediately after the finish, still breathless, watching a race volunteer remove my timing chip from my shoe.

My splits were 8:41, 8:24, 8:13, 8:10, 8:04, 8:11, and the final 0.2 at a 7:20 pace for an average of 8:16. I finished 17/124 in my age group (30-39) and 181/617 overall. It was a great race; the weather was perfect (sunny, about 45 degrees at the start, no wind). I also got a bunch of stuff on sale at the race expo afterwards, and any time I can get an awesome blue Asics shirt for 50% off is a good day.

Talking with Erika and Victor after the race.


Unknown said...

Nice work. 8:14/mile works out to a 3:35 marathon!

Sun Runner said...

Oh man, there's no way I could keep up that 8:16 pace for an entire marathon...well, not right now, anyway. With proper training...who knows??

Unknown said...

Yay you! I've linked to your blog, and read most of your story, and am so inspired by what you have accomplished.

For lots of reasons, I am finally getting myself into shape. I want to run. Not just for weight loss, or to get a good time, but just to feel like this is something I can do. I want to be in control again. This is my 3rd week, and although it is going very slow, I am sticking with it, and am getting closer towards my goal of being able to run for the entire 30 minutes.

So, sorry for a sappy post, but you have accomplished so much - you should be proud.

Thanks for writing

E-Speed said...

great job out there! It was such a nice morning for it. I loved the crazy theme.

Glad you had such a good race!

jen said...

Whoo hoo!! Great race! You nailed your strategy and pulled off an awesome finish time. Congratulations!

Emil Von Runner said...

Congrats on the finish! I think I saw you at one point, you were a little ways past the water stop and I was running towards it still. I didn't see you afterwards though or else I'd have said hi.

chia said...

Brilliant race! I know it's 2 hours away and everything... but are you doing the 53rd RiverBank Run in GR?

I wish I would have done the martian... I slacked off on my training after my HM in march and am just starting to get my mojo back.

So very nice to "blog-meet" you!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Gosh you are fast! And, I love the new header on your blog. In your race pictuers, I see your huge ole Garmin. What is it like to run with? it looks like you're running with a deck of cards on your wrist -- does it make you crazy in the Summer when it's hot and muggy?

Sun Runner said...

The Garmin is surprisingly unobtrusive. It weighs less than 3 ounces (2.72 oz) and I've been running with it for so long I don't even notice it's there any more. I got it last fall so I don't know what it's going to feel like come the heat and humidity of summer. I did swap the somewhat annoying rubbery wrist buckle strap for a cloth-based Velcro strap, so that will probably decrease the stickiness factor.

That device changed the way I run. It's fantastic. I love it so much. Garmin is coming out with a newer, sleeker, smaller version of the Forerunner-- the 405-- due out sometime soon, which means all the 305s are going get cheaper. I'd hold out for a 405 if I were you, though!!

Martta said...

Congrats to you from a fellow runner and LJ friend (Royal Jelly). Awesome time!

Just did the MORE Half-Marathon this past Sunday in Central Park and finished with a time of 2:01:24. Not too bad, considering I just finished rehab. (Not the Amy Winehouse kind, the PT kind!) I had tendonitis in my glute which is a fancy way of saying pain in the ass. Good job!

Tina said...

Awesome job!:-) Sorry so late in posting, things have been a bit busy on this end and I haven't been online much.