A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 3; 2nd Edition
32.4 miles raced in 2008
Race: Winter Running Series 2008 - 10k
Place: Great Salt Lake State Park, UT
Miles from home: 16 (first race from new home area)
Course Difficulty: 2.5 out of 10
Course Enjoyability: 4.5 out of 10
Weather: 30s. Overcast
Finishers' Medal: N/A
Earlier this week, I wanted to check out a slightly different running route. Given my moving in, starting a new job and all that entails, I haven't had the energy to search out a new running route just yet. As I chronicled earlier, Good Ole Liberty Park has been my trusty go-to when it came to mileage.
So, I decided to check out some of the local running stores and thought I would start with the Salt Lake Running Company. I figured a run down there, check out the store and a run back would be good for the night. Well, it wasn't the easiest place to get to given where I live (and some road construction going on on the road it is located), but I made it. Not a bad store really. It is rather expansive and there seemed to be more space than goods (which if you know anything about shopping means you usually will be paying more for a product than you should have to) but the prices were decent. Not really in the market for anything, I saw some books were on sale. So I bought two to keep up with my need to read a book a week this year, got some running gloves and chatted up the attendant as he rang up my sale. Asking about the local running clubs, he handed me a flyer for the Salt Lake City Track Club.
I lugged my books home (yep, I carried two books in a bag with my older running gloves for 4 miles) and grabbed a shower. All squeaky clean, I checked out the flyer for the SLC Track Club. I noticed they had a winter series of running consisting of a 5k, 10k, and 15k. Well, I had missed the 5k, and was going to be out of town for the 15k, which was quite a bummer. When I lived in DC, they had a number of these series where you earn points by competing, but I always seemed to be out of town or running another more important race during the same days. As such, I never competed. I knew if I did well in one race but couldn't run the others I would have been angry.
However, I checked the prices on this race and was dumbfounded. $20 for a 10k AND a long-sleeve technical shirt? Holy crap! There was no way I could pass that up. So, even though I have only done one other 10k in the past 3 years, and I would hardly think I was in 10k shape right now, I figured I had to give it a shot (even though I was unsure what the 4400 feet elevation would do to me once I tried to sprint).
A 10:00 AM start time was later than I expected but appreciated. I was not 100% sure how to get where I needed to go, had a late night before the race and was just tuckered out from all the events of the past week plus. I showed up, decided to both sign-up for the race and the club at the same time ($15 for the year-long fee knocked $5 off the price of the race) and was ready to go. Too bad I still had about 45 minutes until gun time.
So I milled around the Saltair Pavilion where the registration was and took it all in. It was really quite a nice place. Set right up against the lake with the mountains on one side and what looked like some sort of paper mill off in the distance, it was definitely clear to me I was no longer on the East Coast.
I went out for a small jog, remembering I did not have 6 miles to warm my legs up and better do it now. The weather actually was not too shabby so I went back to the Pavilion and transferred my bib number from the jacket I had on (and intended to run in) to the long sleeve shirt I had on underneath. One last potty break and back out I went.
I could see for sure there were handful of people at least that were going to clean my clock. No matter. I was just here to test out the legs. The countdown started and we were off.
Mile 1: 5:53
I had designs to stay behind and not make a move to the front at the beginning but when I darn near tripped over a girl at the start who obviously was not supposed to be that close to the front, all bets were off. The course looked like it was going to just be a flat stretch of road adjacent to Route 80. Flat as a pancake and with a few twists and turns. I was quite pleased with my first mile time.
Mile 2: 6:07
Hoping the second mile would be under 6 as well, I was a little bummed. Oh well. By now there were three packs of people in front of me: two front runners, a pack of four about 100 yards behind them and a pack of 4 about 100 yards behind them. I was in 11th.
Mile 3: 6:18
The only wind to speak of hit us during this mile. Nothing too bad but you knew it was there.
Mile 4: 6:12
At the turn-around people were a little closer than I expected, but the girl I had tripped over, and who looked quite fit and fast, was forever back. I wonder if she was just out for a jog or if her physique came from pilates and not running.
I heard footsteps and a guy fell in right behind me for about 50 yards. I picked it up to make him work for it and the 4 mile sign appeared on the side of the road. I figured he was going to pass me but not until 4 miles.
Mile 5: 6:09
Passing me at 4 miles and like 3 inches, I now got on his tail for about a quarter of a mile. I was hoping that when I hit mile 5 it would be a 6:05 split. I knew I had a pretty darn good chance to PR but I wanted even more.
Mile 6: 6:04
A tad slower than I was hoping for, I had fallen behind the only guy who had passed me, but I undoubtedly had used him to pull me along. I needed a 1:12 in the last .2 of a mile to break 38 minutes .
I gave it all I had and crossed in 37:57, a new PR by 40 seconds. I almost immediately dry-heaved. Thank goodness I had nothing to eat before the race.
Having set a PR at altitude (although not the highest of altitude that is for sure), I was quite pleased. That lasted about 5 seconds until I heard the winner's time. Well, I heard the first part and then my brain shut out the rest with an "Are you effin kidding me?!" While I had placed a respectable 12th (out of an unknown amount at this time; I say 110), the winner had come home in 31:xx. Dang. Like I have said many times, the faster I get, the slower I realize I really am.
But I will take a new PR (even if I was 3rd in my age group; damn I hate this age group!) any day of the week.