Friday, July 15, 2011

10K race report; other stuff

Finally I'm going to put up my 10K race report! We've been busy since then, having fun, so no time to blog properly. Now the details are fading a bit but hopefully I can still come up with a good report.

The weather was about as perfect as it gets in Sacramento in the summer. That's not to say it was perfect for racing; it was in the upper 60s to start, and maybe mid-70s at the finish. I dumped water over my head and used the sponges for the last 3-4 laps, and I was definitely hot, but I don't think it affected my time very much.

The race started a bit late, but I just relaxed and listened to some music (U2) to calm myself after I warmed up. I felt good on the warm-up, which was about 1.5km with some strides. The 10km is my least favorite distance - it's not all-out like a 3k or 5k, but you still have to race very hard for quite a long time. The 5km is faster and harder, but it's over in less than 30 min. The 10K? Yeah, it hurts for a long time! The 20K is better because you have to start out conservatively, and you don't go as hard. Yeah, it's longer, but I think I'm a bit better at endurance races. Actually, I have never done a 20K before - but it's essentially the same as a half marathon, which is 21.1K, and I've done a lot of those, so I know what to expect. Anyway, because I don't like the 10K much, I really had to steel myself for what was to come.

The gun went off and I started out pretty fast, but felt well within myself. The first 0.62km were at a 5:31/km pace, according to my Garmin. Oops! Too fast! I settled in quickly, though, and felt quite good for the first 2 laps of the course. Becky Klein, who is in charge of the course, judges, etc. told me that each lap was 0.96 miles (1.544km). I did the first full lap in 8:59 and followed that up with a consistent 8:59. Good. The only thing that was worrisome to me was that my heart rate was a bit high (ave 167 and 169 for the first 2 full laps). However, I FELT good, so I went with how I was feeling and kept pushing. I knew it might be hard at the finish, but I though I would have what it took.

The next two laps were just in cruising mode, working hard but trying not to push too hard so that I'd have something left. Nyle was quite a bit ahead of me (150m?) and she looked strong. I put that out of my mind and just tried to walk my own race. The middle of a race is tough - you know you have to stay strong and not lose ground, yet you also want to save something for the end. I did a good job of pacing myself, doing laps 3 and 4 in 9:03 and 9:00. My ave HR was creeping up, though, at 170 and 173 for laps 3 and 4. Whoa...that was high...but I felt OK. I think maybe race day adrenaline was contributing to the high HR.

With 2 laps to go, I figured this was where the race really kicked in. I tried to pick up the pace a bit, but wanted to stay within myself. I ended up doing my slowest lap, at 9:07, with ave HR 174. I was really starting to struggle but knew I had 1 lap left, and it looked like I'd be sub-58:00 for sure, as the clock said 51:35 when I heard the bell for the last lap. I also saw that I was catching up with Nyle - she was only maybe 100m in front of me now. I pushed as hard as I could, and managed 8:59 for the last lap (average HR was a whopping 176! Whoa!), finishing in 57:35, a new 10K PR! My previous PR was 57:57 on a downhill course (which this was NOT - it was flat with very slight rises - maybe 2m?), and 58:43 on a flat road course in Spokane in 2008 (judged). So, I beat my judged 10K PR by over a minute :)! Awesome!!!

Nyle had finished in 57:03, and so she got the gold medal. I was pleased that I had come as close as I did to catching her, given the fact that I haven't been able to train as hard as I wanted to this spring. It gave me hope that maybe we could have a close race in the 20K; however, she had GI issues during the 10K and so if she feels good it might be a different story.

Team USA had 3 women in my age group, and we finished the fastest (Team Russia also fielded 3 people, bringing some down from an older age group) getting the team gold. It was fantastic to hear the national anthem played for us :).

Garmin connect data here.


This morning Nyle, David, and I all did 20 min easy with some strides. It was lovely weather, and SO very very nice to be racewalking with 2 friends the same speed. We all agreed that we SO wish we could train together all the time. I'll really miss Nyle and David when they leave.

We did a 6:02/km pace, and it felt nice and easy. We were all a bit stiff to start off, and began at a 6:30/km pace, but picked it up and we just cruised for 10 min. We threw in 4 nice hard strides in the last 10 min, for 3.31km total in the 20 min.

Garmin connect data here.


The rest of the day we have done nothing but relax. We did go to the Fleet Feet running store here in Davis, and I picked up a pair of New Balance 1400 racing flats. I love them! I wish I could have trained in them so I could race in them...but I will wear my trusty NB 205s tomorrow. Never do anything new for a race! I got a good nap this afternoon and soon I'll hit the sack for some good zzzzzs before the race :). I feel relaxed and as ready as I'm going to be. As much as I love racing, I'll be glad when these races are over - it's a lot of racing in a short time. However, I'm going to be really sad to say goodbye to my racewalking friends. It's such a great, supportive community.


I have posted lots more pictures of things on Facebook, so go check them out there. I will post more on my blog, but I need my rest now for the 20K.

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