Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Race Report: Winter Park Road Race 10K

Digging Deep for Final Sprint - Winter Park Road Race 10K
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I ran my 3rd race of 2011 on Saturday, which was my 5th 10K. I finished in 1:06:50 with a new PR by 1:45 from last year's attempt at this same race! Here are the rest of the stats:
  • clock - 1:07:53 
  • chip - 1:06:50 
  • pace - 10:45.4
  • overall - 1466 / 2053 
  • ag - 128 / 210 
  • gender - 711 / 1149
  • splits - 11:32 - 11:10 - 10:56 - 10:53 - 10:05 - 10:25 - 9:05 (.2 in 01:49)
  • intervals - 2/1 until mile 4, then 3/1
The best thing about this race is that the start is within biking distance of my apartment, which makes for a great warm up, and I don't have to deal with parking. Jason and I rode 6 miles to the start after a little detour because Mead Garden wasn't open yet and we had to double back. It was a little cool when we left the house, so I wore windbreaker pants and jacket over my race outfit and was nice and warm by the time we got to the start. I didn't have time for a warm up run, but I walked around a bit to make sure my legs were loose after the bike ride. I found my place at the start line, connected with a few friends, and before I knew it we were off!

The race itself is a bit of a blur to me right now, perhaps because I was digging deep and also because the route is familiar (I run these roads with my training group weekly, and I also did the race last year). The weather was perfect for a PR, and I gave it my all. I wore a short sleeved shirt, a running skirt and knee high socks, and was never too cold or too hot.

The first mile was really crowded and I ran it a bit slower than I planned for my initial goal of 1:05 but I knew that shaving almost 3 minutes was a tall order and that I'd be happy with any kind of PR. I picked up the pace a little after that and was cruising along at 2/1 intervals, walking through the water stops to eat -- I ate a few shot blocks before the start, then 1 more at mile 2 and a gu at mile 4. At some point I started only walking for 30s, jogging slowly for the next 30s and then pushing it for 2 minutes. After mile 4, I switched my intervals to 3/1 and pushed really hard for the last 2 miles.

I kept giving myself pet talks, telling myself to dig deep and push it, and that it would be over soon. It's amazing what a little positive affirmation can do :) When I rounded the corner just before mile 6 and saw the finish line clock under 1:08 (my previous PR was 1:08:35), I realized I could PR even by the clock so I dug deeper. I was so in the zone and pushing hard that I missed Jason entirely at the finish line.

Digging Deep for Final Sprint - Winter Park Road Race 10KJason came along to be my paparazzi and followed my progress on facebook via Runmeter updates. It's great hearing his comments of encouragement throughout the race. I took manual splits with my watch, and I wonder if the mile 6 marker was in the wrong place because I was pushing hard at the end and don't understand how I could have run mile 6 slower than mile 5. This was a great race, and one of the few 10Ks in Orlando. I really like the 10K distance and wish there were more nearby instead of the plethora of 5Ks.

After I crossed the finish line, I found Jason and rehydrated while we watched the rest of the finishers and waited for Shannon to finish her first 10K. She did amazing! By the time I made it over to the post-race food, the smoothies were gone so I grabbed a banana before we got on our bikes for the ride home. The weather was still amazing and we had a nice 5 mile bike ride home. My legs were not as tired on the ride back as I expected; maybe I didn't push hard enough on the run =P After showering and refueling, I took a nap before heading over to meet my new nephew and a going away party. I was a bit sore the next day, but wearing the calf sleeves on Saturday helped a ton. I can't wait to do this race again next year :)

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