Monday, May 16, 2011

Cleveland 10k

The last time I ran a 10k was 2008 when I had done the Jim Klett run, my PR was on that course of 49:21.  It was a very soft PR, because I had run faster than that in half marathons and 10 milers in the 3 years between now and then.   I wasn't sure if I would be able to get off work and with everything else at Cleveland sold-out I decided a nice hard 10k would be just the thing. 

My last few days of work going into the race had been exhausting with a particular patient breaking our hearts and fighting for his life.  I needed a break and some stress relief.

The temp was perfect for me, but the air was a little humid at the start and I never run well with heat.  I chatted with some friends at the CTC tent, opting not to run a warm-up or really do much of anything before the race.  I wasn't too into the race itself, but I wanted to see my friends and Cleveland is kind of a tradition.  The new start was extremely crowded and when the gun went off I was still standing in the grass chatting with MD and LM.  When LM and I finally stepped off the curb to stat I asked her what she was going to run and maybe run with her, but she was estimating 9:30's and I knew I wanted to put out faster splits.  I wished her luck and took off. 

The first mile was uphill and extremely crowded.  I should not have waited so long to get strarted, but the old me always started way in the back and I still fail to seed myself appropriately at times these days.  I ran around a lot of people.  Mile 1 was 7:50.

My goal was 7:30-7:40 pace.  I just have not been where I was last winter-spring with my running and it has bummed me out, a little.  I feel older and slower.  The weight is harder to manage and the hours on my feet at work, have been knocking the wind out of my training sails by the time the weekends come around. 

Mile 2 was flat as a pancake and I started thinking about my patient at work and wondering if he would ever feel the wind on his face as we headed east.  It was a mild headwind and I just kept running and thinking about him.  I continued to pass a lot of people and it was much easier as the street opened up.  I was only a little uncomfortable and mile 2 ticked by in 7:23. 

Mile 3 continued on the long straightaway.  Hell, I am almost at work.  I could just go up there and see what needs to be done for the day.  Mile 3 7:41. 

I had my mom's garmin on (I don't have one). I planned to run a few extra miles and help a friend out in the half and wanted to track my total mileage for the day, so it was beeping about a tenth before each mile marker, which was fine.  I probably ran wide somewhere or the weaving between people caused it.

We turned left shortly after mile 3 and ran down a short side street and made another left back toward the finish.  The wind was now at our backs and it was warmer than I liked coming back into the heart of Cleveland.  I skipped the 2 water stops on the course as it was only 6.2 miles and I was on the left side of the road as per my usual race tactics.  I only run in the middle if there is a strong headwind, otherwise I like my space.  Mile 4 came and went in 7:43. 

I was having a hard time keeping up the intensity of the run.  I am not used to running uncomfortable for 6 miles.  I am trying to increase my speed with track workouts and tempos these days, but it still hasn't taken hold.  I was still able to pass a significant amount of people and that helped bolster my confidence.  I counted three traffic lights ahead and tried to stay focused.  Mile 5 also 7:43. 

I wasn't looking at my watch, but I could tell I was starting to slouch and my arms were getting tighter, my feet were not coming off the ground as high and I was going into "hang on" mode.  My body was getting tired and since my mind was already half out of it from the start I was starting to struggle.  As we ran for the 6th mile marker one guy suggested we try and close this thing out with a 7 minute mile.  It sounded like a great, but unrealistic plan.  He pulled ahead and while 7:00 minutes seemed impossible, going a little faster didn't.  I pushed a little harder trying to get to the next stop light and then the next.  We made a right turn onto E. 9th where we would finally get some downhill payback for the uphill in the beginning. I didn't feel like I was runing it too well though.  The only indiator I had was again that I was passsing people on it.  Mile 6 7:35.

We made the final left turn to head Marginal (or whatever the hell the name of the road is in this section) and I picked it up, trying to pretend like I was running a 200 on the track in Solon.  I could feel people coming up on me as we came off one final last soft right curve at which point I could finally see the clock and I gunned it.  The least I could do was keep myself from getting run down at the line!

I closed at 48:10 with 6.34 miles on my garmin with a 7:36 pace, but at 6.2 miles it is 7:46 pace.  Now here is the silly part of it all that kind of frustrates me.  This was a PR for me and I know it is still soft, but a PR none-the-less however, Cleveland somehow messed up my time and gave me 49:49 which is 8:02 pace yesterday and then as of today I ran a 1:13:09 and was 2nd overall in the women's half.  I wasn't going to even bother emailing them yesterday about the wrong 10k time, but after seeing the mess up in the half today I did send them an email regarding correction of my time.  Who knows if they will get it right? 

On the flip side a lot of my girlfriends competed yesterday and while some had rough races they still came off with PR's and outstanding performances.  Salty got a PR!  TriSaraTops struggled and fought her way through a full marathon, never giving up and hamming it up for all to see.  CV for nearly besting her marathon PR with stomach issues, KZ finished her first marathon....EVER, GP did a half without training and E-speed was all over the course as a spectator and racer that day making sure we never gave up and did our best.

But without a doubt the greatest performance yesterday had to be my meatball NC, not only winning the marathon for the 2nd year in a row, but qualifying for the olympic trials in a phenomenal time of 2:43: 47!!

While, I am sitting here playing the last few days in my head, I realize it has been a teeter-totter of emotions.  NC and all my friends reminded me that for all the heartbreak we go through with loss and failures, there are always moments of greatness out there, and even a few miracles sprinkled in along the way.

Just checked the results and the Cleveland marathon fixed them, so I got my 48:10 and a PR to boot!  It's not significantly faster, but I will take it!!!

1 comment:

Janet Edwards said... turtle award for you!

Miss you and hope we can get together soon!