Monday, April 23, 2007

Race Report: GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler

Sunday was my first long race of the season, the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler. The weather couldn't have been nicer - 60F by the start, 70F by the end, and sunny all day. In fact, I got my first farmer's tan of the season!

Woke up at 5:00 am, drank a glass of water, followed by a big bowl of oatmeal (approx 200 calories). Drank another glass of water and was out the door by 5:45 with a banana in hand. TT and I got to the race site by 6:00 am and got on the buses, which take you to the starts of both the 5k and the 10 Miler. Unfortunately, the buses were only taking people for either race, so TT and I had to wish each other luck. Got to Mount Vernon by 6:45 and had a long wait for the 8:00 am start. Did a little warm up, ate my banana, and drank some more water to pass the time. People started getting organized by the start line about 15 minutes before the start. At that point, they announced the race would be delayed by 5-10 minutes, as another series of buses rolled in at about 7:55. All of the sudden, the gun goes off and everyone was wondering if that was the start. Apparently it was, but there was no heads up announcement. Fortunately, I was about 30 seconds back, so I had plenty of time to ready to get moving toward the start line.

Once I finally got to the start line, I was in the usual predicament for a mass start. It appears that people still do not understand that slower paced runners should line up toward the back. In order to break away from the masses, I ran up onto the curbs and grass to make my way around everyone until there was enough room to navigate. Mile 1 passed with a split of 7:02. I knew it was a bit fast and figured I would settle into a pace once I broke free from the crowd. The one aspect that worried me was that my heart rate was hanging in the low 170s. I tried to slow my pace down a little bit to see if it would lower, but it didn't change, so I kept the pace since I felt good. Below are my mile splits, average hr (top line), and altitude (curvy bottom line) for the race:

Total: 1 hour 13 minutes 50 seconds
Average Pace: 7:26/mile
Average HR: 174

All was great until right around mile 7-8. I started getting some lower back pain and it was really putting a strain on my running. I think all the standing around for the race to start took its toll on my back. I should have used some of the time while waiting for the race to start, to sit down and rest my back. Other than that, it was a perfect race that led to a 7 minute PR!

Preliminary results have me placing 255/2538 and 58/209 in my age group. However, these results are based on gun time, not net time. I may move up or down, because I see quite a few people with times all over the place. They state they will post them by new time later this week, so hopefully, I'll have an update later.

Post Race
Once the race was over, we went over to get some food. I grabbed a bagel and some water and we were off on our way home, because we had planned to go for a nice bike ride to get TT acclimated to her new ride. Grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out on the road for a 30 minute ride. The weather was so nice, I could care less that my legs were dead. Once our easy ride was over, we came back and had a nice bbq to celebrate our collective PRs.

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