Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old Reliable Run (My First 10k): 11-14

I ran the Old Reliable Run today.  It was my first stab at a 10k and couldn't have picked a better event.  Everything was done very well from the registration system to the course layout.  I have nothing but compliments for the organizers, event staff, volunteers, and my fellow runners.  The last two races that I ran in were plagued with issues, so I was really nice to take part in an event that was done right. 

The course was deceptively challenging with many long slow hills that you don't give much thought to when you are driving but are difficult to run.  Also, I prefer courses with a lot of twists and turns because they force me to think about the section that is right in front of me and not look at how far I need to go.  Today's course had a two long straight stretches that forced me to stay focused mentally.  Also, this race is special for me because last year I watched it being run from the window of the YMCA where I workout.  I remember that I just stood there looking out the window watching as to runners were passing and thinking how I wished that I could be one of them, but at that time, I was tilting the scales at around 300 lbs couldn't imagine running around the block let alone 6.2 miles.  However, one year later here I am running in the race that a year before I could only stand and watch.

Nash Square where the race began and finished.
 We could not have asked for better weather for today's race.  Nice and sunny with a high of around 68 degrees.  Hiro and I got to Nash Square at around 11:45am for a 1pm start time.  I am the type of person that hates to be late.  We hung around the park while I warmed up and stretched a little.  Hiro wasn't running to day, so she got photographer and stuff holder duty, which is why she is wearing my Raiders Toboggan, which I think looks damn good on her!

workin' out the kinks in my pesky left leg

Hiro wearing my Raiders hat and looking just too cute!
 I once again got pretty amped up by the start of the race.  This was my first afternoon race, so I didn't really know what to expect and kind of worried about when I should eat and how much, but I just tried to do things like I would on any day when I went for an afternoon run, and I didn't have any problems.  The start of the race didn't seem to have any problems from my vantage point.  I did however run my first mile way too fast at something close to 8 minute mile pace.  And, I paid for it a bit in the second mile, which was my worst of the race.  Starting the race too fast didn't seem to hurt me as much this time as it did at the Autism 5k.  I think that since it was a longer distance I felt more comfortable backing down from the pace than I did at the 5k.  At the Autism race, I tried to maintain the pace into the second mile and got crushed in mile 3.  Today, I backed off from my first mile pace during mile two and was able to recover.  At no point in today's race did I think that I might need to walk.  I was able to run the entire race.

Near the 1 mile mark and going too fast.
 Even though I ran the first mile too fast, I did not waste a lot of energy weaving in and out of the pack.  I stayed fairly close to the inside edge or the middle of the road and didn't really get tangled up with anyone.  The second and third miles were the most difficult of the race for me.  they were a series of long straight stretches and slow rises.  But by the  of the third mile, I had things sorted out for the most part and felt like I was running pretty strong. 

Mile 4 was really good for me.  It had a few hills in it and I was able to use them to pass a lot of people by following Bart Yasso's advice about hills from runners world.  I got into a cadence right before the hill then shortened my stride and maintained the cadence as I went up the hill.  Most of the people around me charged up the hills or just fell off at the start of the hill.  By the time, I reached the top the people that had charged their way up were fading while I felt fine and was able to open up my stride and pick up my pace.  This hill strategy was probably what made this distance a reality for me.  I have run this area before as part of my first 5k, and it took the wind right out of me.  I know that I am much stronger now, but I didn't feel these hills hardly at all. 

Mile 5 had two more hills then it was back on the straight stretch.  Along this part of the race I remembered that I had watched the end of last years race from one of the restaurants after my workout, but this year I was running it.  That memory really gave me and extra boost for the last half of the mile 5.  At the end of mile 5, the gun time was around 48 minutes if I remember right. 

Mile 6 was another long straightaway and was the most difficult mentally because I kept looking ahead for the last turn.  At this point my pace was picking up a little and I was trying to figure out just how much I had left in the tank for the home stretch.  As it turned out, I had a lot left and I used most of it.  Right at the 6 mile mark two ladies went by and I picked up my pace a the turn and went past them and another lady.  The third woman called out to me to "get after it!"  I turned and said, "I don't know about that." 

The woman in bib 1025 and I legging it out
 One of the two ladies picked up her pace and pulled even with me and the race was on!  I am not sure how many times we passed each other, but at one point she spoke to me and said, "your going to make me go faster?" or something like that, and I replied, "Come on you push me and I'll push you. " We both legged out the entire last .2 miles of the race, people were cheering us on.  Most of them were yelling at her to not let me beat her, and she pulled out a late burst to pull ahead of me right at the finish line. 
After we crossed she came back and gave me a high five and I was really glad that we were able to help each other shave off sometime from our race.  I wish that I had gotten a chance to speak with her more, but that wasn't a real option because. . .
After legging it out with 1025
 was crushed!  I really don't know how I stayed on my feet long enough for someone to take off my chip and hand me a bottle of water.  I knew that I should keep moving, but it just wasn't happening.  I was able to get up after a few minute or two and take some pictures with Hiro.
Dazed and sweaty but really happy!
enjoying some post race grapes and bagels
Overall, I can't see how this race could have gone any better!  I am just thrilled with everything about it.  I would like to give a shout out to Miss 1025, who really pushed me to finish this race the way that all races should be finished! 

My times for this race were 58:05 by gun and 57:25 by my racing chip, which gives me 9 min. 16 sec.miles by my chip time. 


  1. Excellent!
    We haven't decided where we are going to run next.
    Glad you had great weather for it.
    What do you do in the winter? How cold does it get in Raleigh these days?

  2. AWESOME recap!! I was hanging on every word until the end! While I could put myself in 1025's shoes (and have also beat a guy into the chutes) I almost thought you were going to say you gave her an elbow to the throat and beat her into the finish line chutes. Lol!!


  3. Bryan, it can get below freezing, but right now my plan is just to wear winter gear and stay warm by running. We'll see how that works out.