Monday, September 25, 2017

Another 10k Race Report

My second 10k race in as many weeks happened yesterday (Sunday, Sept. 24th). The ValleyFest 10k, which also included a 5k and a duathlon, started at Plante's Ferry park, in Spokane Valley, WA at 8:00am. It was clear and chilly, but not unpleasantly so. No gloves needed this week. There were several members of the Spokane Valley Running Club there (my club, although I haven't run with them much lately), all but me running the 5k.

After starting in the park, the race was run entirely on the Centennial Trail (a paved walking/running/cycling trail, mostly along the Spokane River). It was an out-and-back course, both for the 5k and the 10k. The turnaround for the 5k was spot-on, distance-wise, but the 10k turnaround point was a bit short. According to my Garmin, the race was 5.83 miles long, rather than 6.2 (or, 6.21, to be precise!)

Due to some downhills in the first mile, I went out a bit quick (7:20), then settled into my current 10k race pace (between 7:30 and 7:45/mile). After the 5k turnaround, the amount of racers ahead of me dwindled to two. The leader had a significant lead, but the person ahead of me—a youngish gal—was only 10-20 feet ahead. After the turnaround, I let her have that lead, but I gradually closed the gap (she was slowing), so at about 3.5 miles, I picked up the pace to "pass with authority," as I was taught by my high school cross-country coach. After another half mile, I backed off the pace a tad. Once I reached the last mile, I knew I had to climb back up the hills that helped my pace at the start of the race. There were two of them, and I wanted to walk on both of them. But I chugged ahead and finally spotted the finish. Originally, I was given third place, but as of the edited results posted today, I was officially second (as I thought, when I finished). Even though my time wasn't fast enough to even place in my age group in a large race, I'll gladly take a medal for a rare 2nd overall finish in a small race.

Time: 44:35 (although they gave me a 44:40 officially)
Pace: 7:39 (based on a 5.83 mile race)
Place: 2nd of 47
AG: no results
Gender: no results

Young guy: 2nd in the 5k. Old guy (yours truly): 2nd in the 10k

It was a fun little race. I may do it again next year.

So the short, "speedy" races are over for the year. Now, it's time to get ready for my 'A' race, the Spokane Half Marathon, in less than 2 weeks.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Another 10k, Then Another...

Last Sunday (Sept. 17th), I ran my third 10k of the year. It was in beautiful, scenic Sandpoint, Idaho. It was called, coincidentally, the Scenic Half & 10k. My speedy friend Dan drove to my place in Spokane Valley, spent the night, then we arose at o-dark-thirty for the 75 minute drive up to Sandpoint. It was a fairly small race, with the 10k field being 128 runners, and the half with 308 finishers. There was still some smoke lingering in the very cool air (under 40°f at race time), but it was a sunny, dry day.

Dan and the rest of the half marathoners started at 8:00am, and us wimpy 10k runners at 8:15. The 10k course was a pretty flat (my Garmin gave it 107' of elevation) out-and-back affair, mostly on the bridge extending over lake Pend Orielle (pronounced "Pond O-Ray" for you non-locals). My watch said I was running at about 7:10 pace for the first few hundred feet, so I dialed it down and settled into about a 7:45-7:50 per mile pace.

I've been fighting a cold or some kind of chest congestion, which—combined with the smoke—made it harder than usual to breathe. Who knows how much that affected my time, but I'm pretty sure I could have clipped several seconds off my finish time without those issues.

I ran the first couple of miles with two other guys who looked to be in my age group (one of them was, I verified later), but I gradually pulled away from them. At mile 4, another middle-aged guy pulled even with me, not breathing as hard as I was, then gradually left me behind. After finishing, I asked him his age. "44" he said, to which I responded with a sigh of relief (hey, I covet age group wins, even in small races!)

My friend Dan finished 3rd overall in the half marathon, with a time of 1:28!

My official time was 47:08 (7:37 pace). Slower than my Santa Monica 10k in June, but faster than my Chelanman 10k in July.

I'm running yet a fourth 10k in 3 days, as of this post. The ValleyFest 10k will start just a 20 minute drive from my house. Historically, the field has been very small (basically, a group run), so I'm not sure how motivated I'll be to push for a fast time, nor sure if I'll ever ditch this pesky cold.

Here are my official numbers (and some photos) from the Sandpoint Scenic 10k

TIME: 47:08
PACE: 7:37/mi
MEN: 5 of 41
AGE GROUP: 1 of 3

Yes, compression socks. I'm old. And it was cold.
Pretty nice medal for a small 10k!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August Numbers

Time marches on! August 2017 has come and gone, which means I have the usual ever-so-fascinating monthly numbers to post:

Runs:     15
Miles:    84.5
Long Run:    13.1
Races: 0
Bike Rides: 3
Miles:     60.2
Long Ride: 20.2

A vacation to Florida detracted from my numbers in July. In the heat and humidity, I managed only one 6-mile run while there (and zero bike rides, as I didn't bring my bike, nor did I have time or the inclination to rent one). The more re-focused on running I've become, the more cycling has taken a backseat in my training program, for better or worse. I'm hoping to keep one recovery ride per week in my schedule, but I've even sacrificed that in my tentative training schedule leading up to my half marathon in early October. I believe I only have two rides penciled in for September.

As I've been building my running base, I feel like I've actually gotten a bit slower. On an 8-mile easy run yesterday morning, I ran one of the miles at hopeful half marathon pace, and it didn't feel sustainable at all for a half. I'm hoping to pace it at 8:00 miles (I ran this one a bit fast, at 7:52). Granted, this was my third day in a row of running, starting with a hard mile time trial on a track.

Oh, tangent—I did finally satisfy my curiosity last Thursday, by running a mile on our local high school track. It was in the afternoon, so the temps were in the mid-80's, it was windy and smoky, from regional fires. Not the best conditions, but my patience finally ran out, and I just HAD to see where I'm at, speed-wise. Well, I wasn't where I was hoping to be. I ran a 6:36. I went out WAY too fast (1:30), then tried to hold on. I had no juice the last lap. I'll probably run another mile TT in a month or two, just to see if I've progressed.


My left knee and surgically repaired right hip are still holding up, even though I feel them from time to time. What's concerning me lately is my left hip. It has been quite sore between runs. I need to step up my game with the rolling, stretching and ice.


I've got two tune-up races this month, before my half in October. Both are 10k's (Sandpoint and ValleyFest). Neither are "A" races for me, so I don't have any solid time goals. I would like to run better than I did at the Chelanman 10k, back in July, so I guess sub-48 would be my goal.

All for now. Onward, running peeps!