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.



Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Way to go Joe! I am so glad this race went so well for you. I know what it's like to have that IT pain and then to run without it! What a blessing. Iam glad that you have hope to run the longer distances. Hope makes all the difference. Congratulations!

teacherwoman said...

Wonderful job on the race! You have made great gains with your IT injury! Congrats! ~ Stacy

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great job ,Joe!!! It's great to hear that you felt good. Those are some nice splits. I'm glad things are working out.

Sarah said...

That's awesome! I'm so glad you had a great race. There are many more in your future, no doubt! : )

susie said...

Excellent Joe. He's BACK!! I am so happy for you--
That's a great pace, too. Your patience, focus, and dedication made this work for you. Well done:)

Anne K. said...

Woo-hoo!!! Way to go, Joe! What a wonderful and highly significant milestone to reach!

Love you!

Your sister,

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Joe! This is great to read about... I almost cried for you!!

Love, your sister Karen
(the one who cries at almost anything!)

Backofpack said...

Glad to hear you are back in the swing and doing so well. Your times are a good advertisement for the run/walk method - it really can pay off!

Wes said...

That's what I'm talkin about!! Way to go, Joe! I'm not surprised you did so well on the R3/W1. I was surprised my time was so well when I experimented with it, but you carried it through a 10K. Simply awesome...

Faithful Soles said...

Joe, great job overcoming adversity. I have been battling a very sore and swollen left shin splint that I ran with in the Austin Marathon last weekend. Now I am resting it for a month and hoping to be back to 100% in no time. Good luck in your future training and races.

robtherunner said...

Great to hear about the race, Joe. I hope the running keeps heading in the right direction. You'll reach that first goal in 2007.

Darrell said...

Yes!!! I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear reading this. I imagine you had a little grin of your own going on during, after and recalling this "simple, no frills", yet monumental 10K.