Saturday, November 10, 2007

Week 43: I think "the Rand" would be proud.

Only two runs this week; 7.5 and 10 miles. I'm not running tomorrow. I raced a 10 miler today...and WON the Master's division (people over 40) in 1:02:52. It was cold. I ran hard the whole way. And I hurled on the finish line. God it was just like the good old days! The woman at the finish line asked "What's your number?" "One sixty FOOUURRuuh.. uh..uh..HUH.. puht-tu..."

Sweet.

(It wasn't too graphic because I hadn't eaten solid food today.)

A 10 miler is an interesting race. Being just a touch over an hour of running, you can actually run it at a pretty hard pace. More like a really long 10k than a half marathon. Funny thing, though, because it is not a very common distance, the pace I ran today ~6:17 per mile, is not a pace I really ever run. If I went out and settled into a hard training pace, I can guarantee it wouldn't be a 6:17. And you know what, I didn't really run any 6:17s today. Instead I vacillated between 6:08s and 6:25-6:30, also known as my 10k pace and my 1/2 marathon pace. The most significant mile was mile 6. At about 4.25 miles into the race I took the lead in the division, but I didn't break anybody. However, rather than run tactically and try and sit on someone and then outkick them, I opted to front run, a tactic which I seldom have the opportunity to employ. Crossing the 5 mile mark I still only had about a 10-15 second lead over three more people in my age group, so I surged. I'll admit I was paranoid the whole day about the gorilla jumping on my back because there might be some lingering fatigue from the marathon 3 weeks ago. Nonetheless I put in a 6:08 (after only running 6:33 the previous mile) and opened my lead to ~30 seconds. Then the course started winding some and I was able to stay out of sight for a bit. Mile 8 was another 6:08 and I think that pretty much sealed it. The last two miles had long straights so you could see everything going on, and frankly I was now confident the others could not put in 6:00 miles. If anyone had that in them they would have matched my surges. True by the end the next guy closed to 26 seconds back, but I was cruising the final 1/2 mile. If I needed to really kick I had it in me. I did sprint the last couple hundred yards to preserve my overall place (and thus the hurl), but I didn't kill myself to the line. I was right as rain once I got my breath back.

I'm droning on about this because I hadn't won a straight running race since high school. I've had 2nds and 3rds, but no 1sts in 22 years. Feels pretty good...good enough that I'm not running tomorrow.

Runs: 115
Mileage: 17.5
YTD Mileage: 825.25