Monday, July 27, 2009

Heart of the Hills 10K Race Report

Now I remember why I make a point of looking for races that say they have a flat course. I do not enjoy hills!

On Saturday, David and I ran the Heart of the Hills 10K. Let me start out by saying that my performance was abysmal. I think I came in 283 out of 306. Hills suck and I'm not good at them, which I'm sure means that I should do more hill work but let's never forget that I'm fundamentally lazy.

The start and finish were at a local high school. The race started at 8am so we showed up at 7 for packet pick-up. Nothing in the goody bag except our t-shirts (cotton) and a few advertising flyers. What, no lip balm? No key chains? No snacks? Well, it's a small race so it doesn't matter.

Running buddy Vicki was doing this one, too. Since we're in marathon training and needed longer than 10K today, we set out for a little warm-up run. Just did 15 minutes, nothing major. Normally I don't warm up at all so this was a change for me.

A few minutes before 8am we lined up at the start. We had D-tags but strangely there was no timing mat at the start. Oh well, guess they measure everyone's start time based on the gun time. Not a big deal considering it took all of five seconds to get across the start. Plus, as mentioned above I suck at hills so I don't think five seconds is really going to make or break my performance.

It was raining a little bit throughout the race but I didn't mind. Felt pretty good, actually. The heavy stuff didn't start coming down until after we were done.

I set out too fast for the first mile. Once we started hitting some hills I slowed right down. I realized this race was going to be a rough one for me so I told myself if I finished with an 11:30 pace I'd feel successful. So, by that measure it was a success, even though I've run a much faster pace for a half marathon.

Here are my times mile by mile:

Mile 1: 9:50
Mile 2: 11:33 (yep, hills!)
Mile 3: 11:16
Mile 4: 11:20
Mile 5: 10:28 (nice gentle decline right after we passed mile 4 so it made me feel like continuing even though earlier I felt like giving up)
Mile 6: 11:12
last 0.2: 9:44 (can you tell I was excited to be near the end of those fricking hills?)

Along the way, I was passed by an old man who was all hunched over and he pounded his feet more loudly than anyone I've ever heard. You would think that would have spurred me on to go faster, but I'm sorry to say that I couldn't catch him. I don't know how old he was. There was a 74 year old who finished ahead of me AND a 91 year old. Yeah, embarrassing. Hope I can still run when I'm their age.

During the final mile, a guy just in front of me asked a volunteer how much more there was to go. She wasn't sure so I gave him the distance from my Garmin and we started chatting a little bit. Turns out he has atrial fibrillation so he has to keep a close eye on his heart rate while he runs. If it goes above a certain point (140 something, I think) he has to take a walk break until his heart rate goes down. He was glad still to be able to run even though it took his pace way down from what it used to be in his younger days. He had to stop to walk then so I trudged on along to the finish.

I was so happy to hear the loudspeaker. The race finished on the high school track and I was relieved that they didn't make us run the whole way around. Would have seemed endless to me at that point. Then it was off to the concession stand where Whole Foods was supplying cookies and bananas. Waited a couple of minutes to see Vicki cross the finish line. David finished before me so I found him and we headed back to the car.

Lesson learned: Hills suck

But I bet I'll do this race again next year and maybe even train on some hills so I can at least beat the 70+ crowd. :)


Black Bear! said...

That's GREAT!!! 91 years old???? NFW! The guy next to me is wondering what I'm laughing at out loud at when you said "I was relieved I didn't have to run the entire track loop..." LMAO

Yeah, it was humid Sunday, and it's not a good idea to warm up for 15 minutes before a short race. Maybe a couple 10 second sprints to get the blood flowing, but 15 minutes before a 10k will rear it's ugly head in the last 2 miles. (And, Yes, I'm a know-it-all non-runner. LOL)

Cathy said...

Well, it turns out the 91 year old wasn't. I looked him up on the race pictures and he looks to be in his 30s. He must have goofed something up on his registration. But that 74 year old really was that old - saw him myself when he passed me!

One of the reasons I did a warm-up was because my training schedule called for more than 6 miles that day. I figured I wouldn't feel like running extra after the race. :)