Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Hills Are Alive 10K 2.0

Despite going to bed later than planned, I have no problems waking up when my alarm goes off at 6am. A quick glance outside is encouraging...the marine layer is present. Hopefully it will not burn off until after the race.

I have some cereal and coffee for breakfast. I am a little concerned that my stomach is upset. Yesterday, I ate a late and heavy lunch that had me feeling too full to eat much for dinner. I even ate dinner unusually late, a departure from my normal pre-race routine. And these are not the kind of runs I need to be doing right now. Crossing fingers I feel better as race time approaches.

I am out the door by 7:15. It is the perfect temperature for a nice warm up jog down to the course. I stop to take pictures along the way. Not having to stress over traffic or parking really helps me stay calm before a race. As I press the crosswalk button to cross Palos Verdes Drive North, I almost put my hand on a spider. Now I am a little stressed.

I arrive at Ernie Howlett Park with plenty of time to spare. My mile long warm up jog was faster than my race pace: 6:57. Didn't my 5:55 first mile on Thursday's workout serve as a warning to not go out too fast?

I meet up with John and his neighbor Sally (who I met at the PV Half) and hang out near the start. This is John and my second time running this 10K, but first time running it on the same day. He came close to catching me at the Palos Verdes Half Marathon, so I have a feeling he might be able to beat me.

I notice a lot of kids (PenHi's cross country team?) are running today. The announcer introduces a 91 year old who has run this race many times before and will be doing so again today. Broad age range.

The starting horn blows. Since we don't have timing chips, I start my Garmin watch before I cross the line...I hear John's Garmin beep at almost exactly the same time as mine.

As we come around the first bend, I feel that traffic is holding me back. I try to find space to advance along the right side of the trail, but lose my footing on the uneven path. Somehow I manage to stay on my feet without breaking my stride.

I check my pace. My watch is in "history" mode. I touch its bezel to toggle it back to "training". The timer reads 00:00:00! Crap! I press start, this time waiting to see the timer increment before looking back towards the course. Bummed that I will be unable to compare this data with my previous attempt, I briefly consider running back to the starting line.

The rest of the run is uneventful. The sky stays overcast, the course remains cool. The tunnels are darker than I remember...the trails dustier. I skip water from the first station (near mile 1), but grab a cup from the other three. I note my breathing is a bit heavy after the first sequence of hills, but I get it under control before entering the Botanical Gardens. The incline within and immediately following the exit from the Gardens remains a challenge. I smartly manage my pace on the long uphill gravel sweeper remembering that there's an additional climb I need to save myself for...though perhaps I could have pushed a little harder as I have plenty of energy left for a solid push down the last hill. During my sprint toward the finish line, I finally overtake a lady who had been slowly pulling away from me for much of the race...a minor victory.

I see my wife waiting for me at the finish line. I also see John. How did he get past me without me seeing him?

As I stop my Garmin, I realize I have absolutely no idea how fast I ran my race. I did not see the official clocks when I crossed the finish line. My watch reads 47:23 at 6.13 miles...less than a tenth of a mile short of a 10K, but I suspect I missed recording more mileage than that. My data from 2008 suggests this course is 6.4 miles long. John mentions recording a similar distance today.

John's time is in the 47's as well, but his watch has captured his whole race. He also does not recall passing me. Regardless, he ran a great race. I am not sure I could have run this course in the 47's...I rarely cover 10K distances in under 48 minutes even when there is little elevation change!

When the 10K results finally get posted, I am satisfied to see 49:05 by my name. 7:54 per mile. 7th in my division, 39th overall. Not bad. Better than my last race here by over a minute. And this is the first race I have run where I can directly compare my time with a previous event...this course has not changed.

John's 47:53 is good enough for 7th in his division.

Next year, I think I move into John's age division. We both plan to run it. In other words, I can't let him out of my sight.

My Garmin Data (edited)


Atbarnes said...

Hey there! I ran the PV 10k too. Just wondering where the results are I can;t seem to find them.

akira3d said...

Official results

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