Saturday, February 24, 2007
Race Report, YMCA 10K
ORN: 10km, 59:02, R3/W1, 9:30/mile
It felt good. It really, really felt good.
This morning, I finished my first race since the Portland Marathon on October 1. It’s been a long haul with the ITB injury. So many of your regular readers have been so helpful. And, in a simple way, it all came together this morning in a race in which its significance for me far outweighed the nature of the event itself.
Friday was a long, difficult day at work. Yet, there was this buoyancy that I usually have on a Friday before a race weekend. A level of excitement, a bit of extra bounce, an anticipation that is a little hard to explain. I was totally bushed by the time I got to bed around 10 and fell asleep immediately. Amazingly, though, the night was like the night before a marathon. Wake up at 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, then just get up. Since it was a local race, I rolled out of the garage at 7:30, with plenty of time for an 8:30 start.
The race was a wonderfully simple, no-frills event, which itself was refreshing. Two laps of a 5km course in the neighborhoods surrounding the local YMCA. $5 and a signature on the disclaimer form and I was in. The entire race field of maybe 50 people fit comfortably in the YMCA lobby for the starter’s instructions. We walked out into the sharp, cold east wind and started. With a gun, no less…perhaps less PC than a whistle or horn, but a nice throwback to tradition.
The race was fine and uneventful. Even though I’ve lived here for 30 years, I got on some streets I’ve never seen. Saw a couple of really dilapidated homes and one huge mansion that were new to me.
I decided to do a run/walk ratio of 3/1 and determined to switch to a 3/2 if I felt any twangs in my ITB. I never did…amazingly. So I stayed strictly with a 3/1 until the end of my last walk stage around 5.5 miles, at which point I ran it on in.
My splits were interesting:
2:17 (at 7:57 pace)
I suppose the actual placement of the walk breaks drove some of this variation. Overall, though, I’m astonished I could average 9:30 miles overall while using a 3/1 ratio. My Garmin told me most of the running segments were around 9:10 or so. And I didn’t feel like I was pushing. I pushed a bit over the last half mile, but comfortably. And that last segment rolled in under 8. And I was even wearing tights. Go figure.
I ran through the chute, walked about .75 miles (also a new strategy to cool down better) and grabbed some fluids. For a no-frills race, there was sure some good eating inside the Y. Besides the expected bananas were homemade brownies and cookies. What a way to carbo load!
To most observers, this was a tiny race of crazy people running in the cold. It will probably be forgotten fairly quickly by most. But for me, it represented far more. In early January, I wondered if I’d ever be able to run 10K, let alone do so pain-free. But the run/walk strategy, new motion control shoes, patience and gradual buildup of mileage seems to be working. I have not yet come close to my first goal of 2007; consecutive weekends running the half-marathon distance pain free. But now there is hope. And hope does not disappoint. Thanks for the encouragement of all of you, it means more than you can imagine.