I've done the 5/3 River Bank Run now for the last 3 years. My first year I did the 25k and last year I did the 5k, so I figured I might as well round out all the races and run the 10k this year! For some reason though, this race didn't really feel like a race. Maybe because I was just coming off running the Boston Marathon, or maybe because it was just a 10k and normally the only time I run a 10k is after swimming 1 and biking 25 miles!
Regardless, I still went into the race trying to run as fast as I could and set a PR (which shouldn't be hard since I don't know if I've ever raced a 10k on it's own!) I was hoping for at least a sub-33 minute (5:19/mile) race since my previous 10k PR was a 33:30 (5:24/mile) set at last year's USAT Age Group National Championship.
I wanted to start the race conservatively so that I didn't blow up later on. I have a tendency to go out too fast in shorter races and then have it bite me in the butt as I crawl across the finish line! So I tucked in behind a few other runners for the first 1/2 mile or so, but they started falling off the pace so I took the lead.
And by "took the lead" I mean that I took the lead of the 2nd pack. The lead pack went out REALLY fast and there was no way I was going to stay with them. I went through mile 1 in 5:16.8 which was right on pace. I was basically running by myself for the next few miles and just tried to keep the pace consistent. I ran 5:18, 5:16, 5:15, and 5:16 for miles 2-5. Throughout these miles though, I remember having the clarity of mind to think, "Okay don't push too hard. Stay in the rhythm. Keep your form." Normally, I would say this is a good thing. In hindsight, I may have gone out a little too conservatively, though. Mile 6 I clearly had a lot left because I was able to turn on the jets and run a 5:08.
I saw mom and dad with a little more than 1/4 mile to go and that gave me a nice boost, but with the 180 degree turn and another 200 yards until the finish, it was tough to get back up to full speed.
Dad told me to look at the clock, but I thought I was going to be fine because I made the turn with the clock reading just under 32 so I thought I would be fine. As I was getting closer to the finish, I realized that it was going to be a lot closer than I originally thought. I quickly made my way to the finish line and crossed in 5th place with a time of 32:51 (5:17.9/mile); just faster than my goal time of 33:00 so I was pleased with that.
It's weird though because my 10k after swimming and biking at USAT AGNC was 33:30. So I can only run 6 seconds/mile faster in an open 10k than I can in a tri? That's a little disappointing when looking at it from an open standpoint, but appointing (the opposite of disappoint must be appointing, right?? haha.) when looking at it from a tri standpoint.
My quad had been bothering me for a few days leading up to the race so that may have limited me a bit. It started to tighten up around the halfway point, but no excuses because the winner of the 10k won the 5k too and 3 of the 4 guys who beat me ran in the 5k! Nuts...
Immediately after the race, I jogged/power walked (my quad was really tightening up now!) to the start of the 25k because my friend and fellow MSU PhD student, Tayo, was running his first 25k (and his longest run ever!) I wanted to find him and wish him luck and somehow I found him amidst the throng of 4500+ runners! We had gotten a picture before my race, but I wanted to get one of us in our matching neon before his race too. We snapped our annual pic, I wished him luck, and he was off to the races (literally!)
After seeing Tayo off and meeting back up with mom and dad, I got to enjoy another scrumptious treat made by Nick at Rise Grand Rapids. These things were so good, I think only 1 made it back to East Lansing with me! You continue to outdo yourself Nick!
Next up is another straight up road race; no swimming or biking before the run! I will be back in Boston for a conference and will be shooting for another PR in their 5k "fun" run. I say fun in quotations because rarely do the other guys in the race make it so!
Thanks to the guys at MojoFIt for the sweet singlet. Of course, thanks to Nick for those cupcakes; seriously scrumptious. And thanks to my parents as always for coming to watch me run :)
I feel like I need a sign off phrase to end my posts with. You know, something to let you know it's over instead of just ending abruptly. Meb Keflezighi has "Run to Win", Ricky Bobby has "If you ain't first, you're last", even Porky Pig has "That's all folks!"
So if you have any ideas for a killer sign off phrase, I'd be happy to hear it! Until then...