St Leo’s 10K – Winston Salem, NC – 3-16-13

This was my second time running the St Leo’s Roadraces and my first time repeating a race (not counting back to back times I walked the Autism Ribbon Run in Raleigh).  I knew what to expect this time, and knew to temper my expectations based on my performance and injuries of late.  I just wanted to finish this without issues and make it through.

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They made a change to the race this year that I wasn’t totally thrilled about, they started the 10K a full 45 minutes after the 5K (even when it was only 10 minutes after I’ve always contended they should start the 10K first) under the idea that people could run both the 5K and 10K, and as far as I know only 2 or 3 people did it, so was it really worth it? The back of the pack 5K finishers were still coming in when it was time to start the 10K so that delayed the 10K start for a few minutes while they set out cones to funnel the 5K people into the finish while we were getting started, so it was really an impediment to both groups.   Also, the guys who finished 1st and 2nd in the 5K also finished first and second in the 10K, which kudos to them, but is that really fair to the other runners? Not that I will EVER sniff first overall, but the guy who was 3rd in the 10K could have been first if those other two were dueling it out for the 5K win and not in the 10K.

The race started out pretty crowded, which was fine with me since I was committed to take it slow and easy.  I wasn’t 100% sure how my knee was going to handle this and hurting my quad on Tuesday was just another complication. At least the long wait for the start gave me plenty of time to stretch out and do some warm up jogging.

The group thinned out pretty quickly as we move out onto the course and the faster guys took off.  I stayed with the same people most of the time and there was one guy who was with me pretty much step for step.  He was doing run walk intervals and it seemed like he would get right up beside me and his watch would beep to walk and then he would drift back as I kept going with my slow pace and then he would catch up to me again and then walk and so on and so forth.  He ended up finishing a couple seconds before me as either he was on a run interval or he was dashing to the finish and ignoring the intervals.

The weather was gorgeous, you couldn’t have asked for better.  High 40′s to wake up to, mid-50′s by race start. It was a little bit chilly at the start, but warm enough for shorts and short sleeves and warmed up a lot by the time the race was over, but not hot.  (Last year was ROASTING).  Worked up a good sweat but didn’t feel like I was going to die.  Perfect.

The whole time I kept monitoring my knee and was constantly surprised when it felt just fine.  I tried not to think about what “could” happen later in the race, and just keep going and deal with that if and when it happened.  Around mile 4.5 I started getting a sharp pain in my right foot but it wasn’t muscular so I wasn’t sure what it was. To be honest, I thought I had a rock in my shoe and debated on whether I should stop and dig it out.  It was annoying but not excruciating so I decided to keep going.  When I got to the finish I found a place to sit down and when I took my shoe I discovered it was not a rock but rather a pretty nasty blister.  I’m not sure what caused that since I’ve never gotten a blister from running before.  It was pretty gnarly though.

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I have to say though, if that’s my only “injury” I’ll take that all day long.

I didn’t have any kind of time or pace goal for this race, really only wanting to “finish”, or as I thought might be the case to “survive”.  I ended up with a faster pace than I anticipated and felt good doing it so that’s always great.  I finished in 1:13:20 for an overall pace of 11:44 per mile and splits of 12:14, 11:51, 11:37, 11:42, 11:44 and 11:37 plus 0.25 miles at 10:40 pace to the finish.  That’s not a PR, but it’s not far off (Rural Hall 10K – 1:08:29).  I’m very pleased with this result! And I’m also very very glad that I didn’t get hurt again.  That would have been very discouraging.  This state of constant injury since about December is really wearing on me.  It just seems like it’s one thing after another.

Highlight of the Race: Early on, a little boy, about three years old, gave me a high five so hard it stung my hand.  He swung at the shoulders and put his whole body into it.  That how ya do it!

Next race will probably be the Susan Komen 5K in May.

St. Leo’s School Road Races 10K – March 17, 2012

This blog post is a little late since I had a shortage of internet at home which is now thankfully rectified.

On March 17 I participated in the St Leo’s Road Race with my good running buddy Jennifer.  This was to be her first 10K, and her first race longer than a 5K (the slightly longer 5.5K from New Years doesn’t really count).  Ironically this was also my first 10K, although it’s coming 2 weeks after my first half marathon, so I have covered this distance, both in training and in a race.

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Jennifer has got on her green for St Paddy’s day and she is ready to rock!

So there was a little bit of confusion at the start and a little bit of mismanagement, so I was a little worried, but it turned out to be OK.  The races consisted of both a 5K and a 10K with the 5K starting 10 minutes before the 10K (personally I think it would have made more sense to start the longer race first, but the 5K was a much larger crowd, so maybe that was the reason).  The start line was a chalk line on the pavement, and although our bibs had tags on them, there was no timing mat at the start, only readers at the finish.  The 5K was off and then we got lined up to start the 10K.

The gun goes off and we are off and running.  We start out at a slow but steady pace, neither one of us wanting to burn our too quickly.  We slowly fade to the back of the pack, which is fine with me.  The course is very hilly and while well marked, there is some confusion about where the turns are. It’s a 3.1 mile out and back course, so there are arrows pointing in both directions and also places where the 10K and the 5K split off from each other, but we manage to stay on course.  It seems to take a long time to get to the turnaround point, although we bested Jennifer’s best 5K time in the process, and I don’t remember the exact time.  By this point we have realized we are in fact the last two people in the 10K group.   Somewhere after the turn around we pick up a police motorcycle riding behind us to keep traffic off of us as there were a few cars on the course (thank you winston salem PD).  Jennifer is struggling a little bit at this point, but she is determined to finish and so we soldier on.  With about a half mile to go to the finish the policeman and then a race official told us we would have to finish on the sidewalk, but that there would still be someone waiting at the finish line for us.  I didn’t realize we were under a time limit, but apparently it was around an hour and a half.  We finished up the race, and the people at the finish line were as happy as if we were the first two and not the last two.  I backed off the last couple steps and let Jennifer cross the finish line before me so she wouldn’t be dead last (she didn’t notice this until I told her later).

We did it.  We finished.  We survived.  I knew we would, I had no doubts, I think Jennifer was just happy to still be alive.  (Admittedly the race was harder than both of us anticipated).  As a reward for surviving, we managed to both win door prizes.  There weren’t too many people left at the after party and they had a bunch of prizes to give away, so they kept calling names until someone who was in attendance could claim it.  I won a 25$ gift card to Fleet Feet Sports, which will certainly go to good use, and Jennifer won a 30$ giftcard to Dick’s Sporting Goods which should also come in handy.  We missed out on the big 100$ grocery prize or free dinner at such and such place, but we both got something that will help us in our running so that’s good.

Our finishing time (by my Garmin, ironically ours were not the same) was 1:38:10.  Just a little bit over a 15:00/mile pace.  Jennifer was hoping to finish in under 1:45, so despite being last to finish we still beat her time goal.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.

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