Sunday, February 24, 2013

You Don't Spit...or Run Fast...Into The Wind

Yesterday my friend Dan and I made the drive up to the quaint, artsy town of La Conner, WA...

Boy, that sentence didn't quite sound the way I intended it to. Let's try again, this time with more testosterone:

Yesterday, Dan and I kissed our wives goodbye and drove his massive SUV to the rustic seaside fishing village of La Conner, while drinking our strong, black coffees and discussing the ins and outs of home-brewing beer.

Trying too hard now, I know.

So...we ran a 10k there (the Smelt Run 5k/10k). We arrived with plenty of time to get our race bibs, use the facilities, and run a little over 2 warmup miles in the sprinkles and wind. By race time, the rain had stopped, but the wind had increased.

The course was nice and flat. The first three miles flew by. I held back and was running at a very comfortable and sustainable pace, but just past the 5k mark, the wind became an issue. It was a very persistent side wind which, after the turnaround, suddenly became a frustrating headwind. I intentionally backed off the pace during mile four, but by mile five, it wasn't so intentional any more. The course turned a couple of times, still either into the wind, or with the wind coming from the side. There were a couple of stretches where I had to lean while running so as not to get blown over.

Not great conditions for a fast race.

The final mile was brutal. Most of it was directly into what I would estimate to be a 20-25 mph constant wind. By the time I reached the last turn that lead to the finish, I was beat. I had very little kick left.

By the numbers:
Final time - 44:39
Splits: 7:04, 7:08, 7:07, 7:12, 7:17, 7:16, 1:32 (for final .2)
5k splits: 22:10/22:29
Average pace: 7:11

I was hoping to break 44 minutes. Minus the wind, I think I would have had a pretty good chance of doing so.

I haven't seen the official results yet, but I'm pretty sure I finished 32nd overall and 8th or 9th in my very tough age group (40-49).

My aforementioned friend Dan ran an amazing PR of 39:29 (his first sub-40 10k) to win our age group.

Next up will be a 5k PR attempt in Arlington, on March 23rd. Guess I better keep doing some speed work.


  1. For a graphic artist you're missing a great opportunity to capture and paste some clip art to enliven your dramatic race report! As I posted on DM considering the headwind on the second half from a wind-adjusted perspective you certainly negative split. Great job!

    1. Thanks Mark. BTW, "clip art" is a dirty phrase among professional illustrators ;-)