Sunday, February 22, 2009

5 Race Report: RRCA 10M Challenge


I'll spare you the blow-by-blow minutiae of the road race & for now, (since I'm still fairly exhausted!), will just reprint here what I wrote at :)

"This was my very first 10M race. Whoa, they aren't kidding when they call this race the 'RRCA 10M Challenge.' This course puts the "challenge" in "RRCA 10M Challenge." :)

While I can usually easily sustain a 10:00 pace for 10M, this extremely hilly course challenged every fiber of my being & not surprisingly, made it very difficult to sustain this normally "very easy" pace!

I went out at a decent pace & was able to keep up with one of the girls in our running clinic's 9:15 pace group for about 6 miles of the race or so (although I have no idea what our actual pace was!), & then dropped back. By the 9 mi marker (?), some of the people from our program's 10:00 pace group caught up to me & then passed me! Oops. :)

And here I thought I was so strong & tough & full of stamina. That certainly taught me a lesson in humility. I later caught up to chat with these ladies from our club's 10:00 pace group & found out that most of them had done at least three 10M races or more, so that helped put things in perspective. (I bet they also had a lot more weekly mileage under their belts too!)

Temperature at the beginning of the race started out around 34°F, & then warmed up to around around 37 or 38°F or so. Towards the end, it definitely got colder & windier as it began to snow. The snow felt refreshing, especially as I was starting to fatigue. Wish I'd have brought my waterproof running hat because the flakes falling in my eyes made it difficult to see on the final stretch.

All in all, this was a very tough race. Right now, I'm just glad I survived the experience. Hehehehe. :)

After the race, I napped like a baby for several hours this afternoon. In fact, I just woke up. It's now 7:30 pm. :)"


Frankly, I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but then again, I didn't know what to expect, other than I'd heard people from our club mention how hilly this course was. It was one hill after another. I was certainly really thankfully that we were done with most of the hills by Mile 8!

Seems like these longer races really bring out the more well seasoned runners, & the competition was fierce! Normally, I can place in at least the top half, but here, in this race, I was closer to the bottom! I placed 555/603. However, at least there were twenty seconds between me & the next finisher. :)

Race results: I ran 1:43:36.43, or about a 10:21 pace. For a complete listing of race results, please see this link.

Yikes. Oh well. Hopefully I'll do better next time. It was a tough course (lots of steep hills!), & also my very first 10M race.

Well, what can I expect?! Guess I shouldn't be too surprised at the outcome. It seems that the only miracles one can expect in running are those accomplished with lots of hard work! :)

Frankly, I need to put in more weekly mileage, as I'm just barely scratching the surface of what I need to be doing. I'm averaging closer to 25-26 mpw these days. Need to significantly bump that up to 30-35 mi at a bare minimum!

OK, I'm not going to overanalyze or beat myself up over my performance. What's done is done.

What does feel good is to say that I completed my very 10M race. And it'll certainly help to get a few more of these longer distance races under my belt this year in order to build stamina & train for my upcoming first marathon this November. :)


Blaine Moore said...

Great job on your first 10 miler!

You might be disappointed with your time, but considering the course and conditions and the fact that your weekly mileage is nowhere near where it should be for a 10 mile race, I think you did pretty well.

And the longer races do tend to bring out the more seasoned runners, especially this time of year when the less dedicated runners aren't out there doing anything in the first place.

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Blaine! You raise some excellent points.

My goal time was originally 1:37:30, but after experiencing the course, I now see that this time was way off from where it probably should’ve been. :)

Today's race was a great test race/proving ground for the upcoming Cherry Blossom 10M, even though that race is supposed to be flat as a pancake!

It’ll be exciting to see what another month of speed work will bring!

Dane said...

"Frankly, I need to put in more weekly mileage..."

I beg you that you don't get caught in the mileage game. It is what you do with your miles, not necessarily how many you run, that will give you the most improvement.

kchealy said...

Congratulations on your first 10 mile race! Now that you've raced the distance, you'll be able to pace yourself better next time.

cyberpenguin said...

Dane, thanks for your concern but there's no need to worry about me getting caught up in that game! ;-) I was only thinking of increasing to about 30-35 mpw, which isn't such a drastic increase.

I do realize that it's quality versus quantity when it comes to mileage, but even so, 25 quality miles per week still really isn't enough to prepare me for the upcoming half-marathons & a marathon I'll be doing this year. :)

After finishing the current running clinic, I plan to gradually step up the long slow weekend runs to 15-20 miles. That should help greatly to build stamina! ;-)

To improve overall running/racing performance, I plan to continue with my current multi-speed approach to running -- combining long slow distance runs with anaerobic threshold runs, interval training runs, short repetition runs, & easy recovery runs. There'll be plenty of speed work of varying types!


Thanks, Kristen! Each racing experience can only help us improve, eh?!

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