Sunday, April 18, 2010

Clear Lake Earth Day 10k

This weekend I decided to run a 10k. It was my first stand alone 10k in a couple of years so I was excited at the prospect of a possible PR. In addition it was going to be a pretty good indication of where my run fitness was at following an off season waylayed by injury.

It was a good day for a race. Upper 40's with a lot of sun, can't get much better than that. It was neat to be running in my hometown. After just recently discovering this whole racing thing it was fun to come back and do an event in the town I grew up in. We lined up at city park for the start and had to listen to my old econ teacher/football and baseball coach give out the pre race instructions in that same droll voice that put me asleep so many times back in high school. It's a good thing I had some pre-race adrenaline flowing otherwise it could have been lights out again.

Soon enough we're off. There seemed to be a pretty large contingent of high school age tracksters here so I let the young-uns go out ahead of me. We loop city park and then head out on south shore drive. It's been a while since I've been on this road. When did they put a bike lane in?

I settle into my pace and start picking off those that started off too fast. There's still a pretty decent size pack ahead of me, but we started out the same time as the 5kers so I didn't want to push too hard to catch up in case they were just running the 5k. About a mile in a guy passes me. I let him go by, but decide to keep him within striking distance. We get to the marina and there's a truck pulling a boat blocking the entire street and sidewalk so I had to resort to a little creative off road action to get around.

At the 5k turn around almost the entirety of the pack turns around. Holy carp! I think I'm in third! We cut through State Park and on the other side I catch the guy who had passed me heading up a hill. I tell him good job and continue on. The first place guy is on his way back already, well ahead of us. No chance of catching him so the goal is to just stay in second.

I hit the turnaround and tell myself that it's time to start running. There's a little wind on the way back, but nothing too bad. I push through it and once I hit the 5k turnaround point I really kick it into gear. Only a mile and half left. Can't hold back now.

The last bit went pretty quick. At one point I could hear the guy behind me and realized he was either catching up or had stayed with me for the last few miles. That was enough motivation to kick it up a notch. I got within a couple of blocks of city park and decided it was time for the final sprint. I cruised through the finish line in second place with a time that surprised the heck out of me. 37:27!!!! A huge PR!

Afterward I walked around a bit and hit up the post race cookies. I chatted with my sister a bit and few people that I had gone to high school with then cheered on some later finishers after that. Overall I thought the race was pretty well organized. We even had bike escorts at the front of the pack!

They might want to remeasure the course though. Not that I'm not happy with the time, but the garmin had it a 1/4 mile short. Almost don't want to count this as an official PR because I will never come close again.

I am still happy with the effort though. Coming back from the hip injury I have been very cautious and didn't have a real good idea where I was speed wise. I haven't done a lick of speedwork all year. I've just been putting in the mileage and making sure the hip is happy. Even so, I think I'm right back to where I was at the end of last season and that's an exciting prospect heading into the next two months.

I have one more hard week of work ahead and then I'll do a short 1 week taper for Alcatraz. I ship my bike out on Wednesday, so I'll try to get in a couple more rides before I send her away

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Neal!!!! Sorry we were in San Diego and not able to be there for support. Glad your sister was there to cheer you on tho'! You will get your chance in a couple of weeks to enjoy the Cali weather. But I better warn you, the water is VERY cold! Your #1 Fan!