Friday, September 5, 2014

That sweet finisher's jacket AKA Annapolis 10-miler race report

Let's talk about my Annapolis 10-miler before I forget! This was on the agenda back when I was focusing on a fast marathon at the Wineglass Marathon in October, along with the next road race, the Air Force Navy Half Marathon. These would be 6 and 3 weeks prior to the marathon, respectively, which I thought would be a great build-up. Of course, since then, I've gotten back into triathlon training, signed up for the B2B half ironman 3 weeks after Wineglass, and as of last weekend (phew!) was able to switch from the full marathon to the half marathon.

But I digress...the first reason I signed up was as prep for the Wineglass Marathon, but as soon I started the registration process, the REAL reason I signed up was that instead of a medal and/or t-shirt, you got a FINISHER'S JACKET WITH ZIP-OFF SLEEVES SO IT TURNS INTO A VEST!!! I could hardly contain my excitement and did what any respectable person with a jacket fetish would do...recruit more friends!

Within a few days (this was back in May...over 3 months before this race), we had over 25 RWB Eagles signed up so we could get this sweet jacket. Yes, I was the instigator. And let me tell you (spoiler alert!), the jacket did not disappoint. There was a specific women's version and THEY HAD THUMBHOLES!!!

Some of the RWB Eagles suckered by the sweet finisher's jacket
But of course we had to run 10 miles first.

So as I write this, I'm trying to find my race report from my 10-miler PR, which would be the Turkey Burnoff 10 in Gaithersburg last Thanksgiving. Sorry, but I must've been on blogging hiatus then; all I can get you is the official results that peg me at 1:14:17 gun time. I also did the Army 10-miler a month prior to that at an easier clip, as you may recall my 2013 season was plagued with strange injuries, inconsistent training and general apathy. 10-milers seem to be a popular distance on the East Coast, as I don't recall ever racing these elsewhere. I was actually pretty shocked and impressed while running that Thanksgiving 10-miler last year at how fast I was going! I held a 7:26 pace and was hoping to hold 8's. It was also BUTT COLD.

All that said, I've been feeling much fitter than I did last Thanksgiving, so my goal was to break 1:10. 7:00 pace per mile. A bit ambitious, but I figured I was fat and slow last Thanksgiving, so I should go way faster right? Of course I'd already forgotten that it was just a little over TWO MONTHS AGO, I was just hoping to hold 7-minute pace for a 5k. Yeah. 3.1 miles. And I barely did it, averaging 6:56 at that Lockheed Martin 5k mid-June.

Then I averaged 6:49 at the Firecracker 5k on July 4th, and then 7:01 in my triathlon 10k just the weekend before Annapolis. So, um, obviously I could hold 7-minute pace for an open 10-miler, right?

Well, I didn't account for the hills. And when Nevie posted up the elevation profile on her blog, I was a little freaked out, then looked at the scale, and was kind of like "oh, don't worry the scale is only 120 feet!"

Interestingly enough, my mile splits look very similar to the elevation profile!

And because I am clever and nerdy with these computer things, I actually overlayed the two graphs:

I know! I'm such a nerd! But look how nicely they match up! It's amazing!

Amazing nerdyness aside, I guess I already gave the story away. I didn't average 7:00 miles. But if you still want the blow-by-blow, here's how it went down:

Mile 1. 6:53. Hold back, hold back, but not too much back. Whew, sub-7! Good pace! We got this!

Mile 2. 7:01. A little bit tougher, still feeling speedy, ok, just a second over 7:00, we got this.

Mile 3. 7:04 (21:00 split). Just another touch tougher, oh no, 4 seconds over. Crap, did I go out too fast again?!

Mile 4. 7:30. OH IT'S A HILL!

Chugga chugga choo choo

Mile 5. 7:12. Some uphill and downhill, make up for that lost time! Ugh, not quite!

35:42 5-mile split. Well, I could still go 1:10 if I negative split.

Mile 6. 7:27. Negative split my ass! There be more hills to climb! Wah, I think I ate too much for breakfast.

Mile 7. 7:54. Cramps?! What, c'mon, I haven't had running cramps since I was in high school! Totally ate too much for breakfast. Just jog super duper easy and let the cramps go away.

Looking worried here.

Mile 8. 7:25. Still another hill. Sigh. Did I just screw up my whole race because I ate too much and went out too fast?

Mile 9. 7:03. It's still salvageable! Pick it up, slowpoke!

Downhill! We have some downhill!

Mile 10. 6:59. It's not too late! Make like that awesome French track chick who anchored the 4x400 relay and came from way, way behind to win!

Final time: 1:12:29 chip time.

Last hill OMG I'm gonna die
Whew. So, I was kind of disappointed at first that I couldn't hold 7-minute pace, but was also happy I beat my PR by almost 2 minutes. On a much hillier course. And realized that another reason I run just as fast in triathlons is because I'm already warmed up and awake and don't eat so much prior to the run that I get stomach cramps.

My mild disappointment was short-lived as I picked up THAT SWEET FINISHER'S JACKET, caught up with running friends, and cheered on the other Eagles as they came through the finish!

All in all, a great way to spend a Sunday morning! I was proud of our RWB showing in Annapolis as we had some first-time 10-miler finishers and others that PR'd. Whoop whoop!

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