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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Race Recap: Scioto Miles #2

Hanging out with a deer statue post race.
Race #2 in the Scioto Miles Spring Training Series took place Sunday, April 11 at 8:00am. The series includes two races (#1 took place in March) across three distances: 5k, 10k, and 15k. I ran the 10k. (My recap is late because I went to Dallas last week for work. Luckily, I remember enough to do the race justice.) [Race Information]

Pre Race
Once again, we were lazy and did packet pickup the morning of. This is the our new favorite method. We have to wake up earlier than we normally would, but it gives us time to eat, wake up, and we can get a great parking spot. We grabbed our bibs and tech shirts (this time lime green instead of blue) and sat in the car for a while til race line up. Alex and I felt lightyears better vs. race #1. The weather was lovely: 43 and sunny. I overdressed a bit and really wanted to take off my long sleeve shirt during lap two. Unfortunately, my bib was on the long sleeve and I was only wearing a tank top below... so I suffered through.

After the race. So warm.
A note about the distance
Three days before the race I switched the the 15k. I told myself it would get me mentally prepared for the Cap City Half (11 days from now), but kept waffling between PRing a 10k and running a 15k in preparation for a longer run. Ultimately Alex convinced me to switch. Well, things went a little differently during the run, so I stopped at the 10k. Because of this, my placement results aren't actually online, so the results below are a guesstimate based on the 10k finishers. Why did I stop? Keep reading...

The Race
I lined up between the 1:30 and 1:35 pace groups. I had some A and B goals for the 15k, but ultimately I wanted to finish faster than my first 15k (Hot Chocolate last November). I knew this course was long (9.75) and I'd have to go a bit faster to finish under 1:34. I aimed for better than a 9:30 pace. If it was anything like race #1 (where I felt terrible, but was able to maintain a decent pace), I'd be able to do it.

I felt really good during mile one. Maybe too good: 8:43 pace. Rein it in, lady. I slowed down going into mile two. Just like last time, I found it hard not to get caught up with the speedy folks, many of whom could have been running the 5k. The 1:30 pace group was out of sight pretty early on. I don't really understand how they were running the correct pace (technically 9:05), but perhaps they were compensating for the long course?

There was a big slow down during mile two. I've recently changed my Garmin display to show current pace and I got down to 9:40 at one point. The same thing happened on lap two. There wasn't a hill, so I'm not sure what happened. As I passed the water stop I saw mile two was 9:05. Not bad. During race #1 I wanted to stop after the first lap, but I knew I needed to complete my 10k. I didn't have that feeling this time. Mile three is full of rolling baby hills. They were tough, but this time I ran my third mile a few seconds faster.

When I crossed the start/finish line to begin my second lap of the course, I tossed my gloves to Alex. This time I didn't moan about wanting to die. I was feeling ok. In fact, I crossed the line a few seconds faster than race #1. I was supposed to be going slower for the 15k, but I was on pace for a 10k PR. I needed to slow down...

Well, I did a little bit. Even trying to go slower, mile 4 was 9:10...  in race #1 the same mile was 9:26. I don't know when I changed my mind about the distance, but it must have happened after I saw my mile 5 time (9:08 vs. 9:16 last time). I knew I was going to PR the 10k. I had energy left from trying (and failing) to go slower (what a problem to have!) and I knew I could almost sprint in at the finish. Somewhere during mile 5 to 6 I decided to stop at the 10k. I mentally prepared what I was going to say to Alex and tried to gauge how bad I'd feel for not continuing on.

Almost sprinting.
I had reasons that seemed decent for stopping:
  1. This is the only race where I can change my distance mid-race and not feel like a failure
  2. Heck, I was originally signed up for the 10k anyway! I was going to PR and achieve my A-goal from Race #1.
  3. I was overheating. Too many layers!
  4. At the beginning of 2015, one of my running goals was to improve my time on repeat courses
  5. Laps suck! 
I sped up, finished with an 8:42 mile and PR'd the 10k! Alex was near the finish line, but across the way. He looked a little confused, but he figured it out when I grabbed a medal. I told him that I PR'd and that I was overheating. He was super supportive as we sat down and I ate my post race banana. But I kept asking, "Is it lame that I stopped? I just felt so good. I knew I was going to PR." Every time he assured me he did not think it was lame. But there was a nagging feeling in the back of my brain.

And then, I started to regret my decision! Guess what? Even if I ran a significantly slower last lap, I would have PR'd the 15k. Even on the longer course, I would have PR'd. AND I would have been more mentally prepared for running a long distance by myself at Cap City. Oh well. A week later I still kind of regret it, but ultimately it was a good day and a lovely race. We're not sure if we'll sign up for the Scioto Miles next year (I'm still not a fan of laps), but I would recommend the series to anyone. They put on a good run and the swag is incredible.

Race #2 was pink instead of blue.
Final stats and thoughts
If I have another day like this I know I could run a 10k under 55 minutes. I was trying to go a little slower to conserve energy for the 15k and wonder what would have happened if I didn't rein it in.

Mile Splits (Race 2 vs. Race 1) 
Mile 1     8:46 vs 9:02
Mile 2     9:05 vs 9:03
Mile 3     9:01 vs 9:04
Mile 4     9:10 vs 9:26
Mile 5     9:08 vs 9:16
Mile 6     8:42 vs 9:19
Mile 6.4  8:21 vs 8:49

Official Time: 57:08 vs 58:27
Garmin 10k time55:37 (!!) vs 56:57
(Garmin Connect and Map My Run measure the full course as 6.4 miles.)

Overall (10k finishers): 56/305 (18%)
Gender: 22/220 (10%)
Age Group: 12/90 (13%)
Remember: My overall rankings are guesstimates. My times were reported for 5k and 10k, but no overall place was awarded since my registration was under the 15k. I could have emailed the race director to switch me back to the 10k, but I felt silly since I'd changed the distance via email three days before!

Up next: Cap City Half Marathon. AHHHHH! First long race of the year and it will mark my one year half marathon anniversary. I know I'll freak out mid-race about the distance and how ridiculous running is, but as long as I beat last year's time I'm cool. A PR would be nice, but I haven't been training for it. 

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