Saturday, September 19, 2009


Also Titled:   Race Report:  Apple Popcorn Festival 10K
ORN:  6.2 miles, 1:00:16, 9:44/mile, which contained a 5K time trial at 26:02, 8:24/mile
One of the fascinating parts of having adult children is the stories which start to emerge, observations on their parents' sincere yet sometimes-bumbling attempts to raise them well.  The ones we've heard (so far) are mostly funny; I'm guessing there are a lot more which we may never hear.
A popular point is our (apparent) lack of spontaneity.  Yeah, we usually plan things out pretty well and don't just jump up and say "Hey, let's go to a movie this afternoon!" or "Hey, let's call Wilbur and Myrtle and go out to dinner in the next 6 minutes!"  Certainly, my approach to running might serve to bolster this perspective.  Planning races 8-18 months in advance; implementing training plans to target the chosen races; making charts for what to wear in various temperatures; figuring out how to remember my wallet when I travel; all might lead one, perhaps, to say I'm not one to do a lot on the spur of the moment. 
So, today's race stands as an anomaly. 
Friday night, we were out with some friends (event planned 4 weeks ago) and got home around 9:15pm.  I checked email, where our local running club had just notified us of a 5/10K race this morning at 8am, less than 11 hours from the time I saw the notice.  My seemingly-rusted wheels of action began to churn.
You see, I knew from my training plan (set out 3 months ago) called for a 5K time trial today.  I began to wonder, why not do it with some other folks rather than by myself?  The race was in Brookston, a small town just 15 minutes from our house and only cost $15.  So, how could I do it?? I figured I could enter the 10K, use the first 2 miles as a warm up, then, using my Garmin, run a hard 5K past the mile 5 marker, then jog it in for another mile as a cool down.  By 9:30pm, I had decided to enter a race in the morning.  Boy, what a free spirit I am.
I rolled out of the house at 7, cash in hand.   I was signed in by 7:25am, even had time to read part of the morning paper before walking to the start line about 7:55.  And, after some amiable discussion, some guy yelled "GO" and the 100 or so of us gathered took off. 
The course was a simple out and back on county blacktop.  We ran through corn so high and so close to the road that it actually blocked off my GPS signals at one point.  Yeah, it's fertile here in the prairie.  I could see at least 40 new wind turbines visible, kind of a cool image of progress here in the flat lands.  The temperature was in the low 60s and the sun felt good. 
I did a 3/1 to warm up and then took off at the Mile 2 marker.  My target, working off of several predictors for my target marathon time of 4:30, was 26:25.  I had programmed that into the Virtual Partner feature, which guided me.  I tried to focus on form, especially a more mid-foot strike than full heel strike.  It felt pretty good.  My splits were 8:27, 8:24, 8:19 and 0:52 (a 8:03 pace) for an aggregate of 26:02, an average of 8:24/mile.  The time was nice...the negative split was even more pleasing to me.  I then jogged the rest of the way.  I felt a slight twinge in the right Achilles as I I didn't push to get in under an hour (hey I have the Portland Marathon, (planned)  in just two weeks).  Total time for 10K was 1:00:16.  My slowest ever 10K.  And it was fine.  Because I had planned the workout and plunked it into a spontaneously-selected race.  
And maybe that's a good combination.
Mega-shout out to my nephew's wife Ginger who finished her first-ever 10K race this morning as part of the US Air Force Marathon events.  She ran a 1:03, so we were, figuratively speaking, running together.  Also, kudos to blog reader Mike who ran the full  Marathon at USAF today. 
Persevere.  Even on the spur of the moment.  


John said...

Great race! And so un-Joe-like to do the spur-of-the-moment thing.

I can only imagine how cool it would be to run through corn as high as the elephant's eye.. maybe some day.

Way to go, Joe, and welcome to the last-minute-planners club!!


Wes said...

Nice way to be spontaneous!! You do grow'em big up there :-)

Sarah said...

Yeah, you don't strike me as the spontaneous type. : ) Nice job on the race. That sounds really nice running by the corn fields.

Yes, I hope we can meet up at Portland. I'll be around at the start and will be cheering folks the first few miles as well as on the back end (mile 21ish) and the finish. Do you plan to wear your maniac colors?

IronWaddler said...

So cool, that is truly out of the box. Sometimes that'sthe best.

Darrell said...

I had a really good laugh reading this one. At least you know yourself well.

We should wait till August next year to plan the 2010 get together. Yikes, I don't even think I could do that.

Bob A said...

Of course, now that you know this race exists, you have to go ahead and put this time trial on your 2010 calendar. So much for spontaneity! :-D Just kidding. Some of my best runs have been those where, in mid-run, I ditched the well-thought-out route in favor of a street that I'd never been on.

David said...

Spontaneity has is virtues. Expectations can be low and easily exceeded, stands out as #1 to me.