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Race Result

Racer: David Orton
Race: Friends of the W&OD 10K
Date: Saturday, July 28, 2007
Location: Vienna, VA
Race Type: Run - 10 km
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 0:46:30
Overall Place: 42 / 342
Age Group Place: 5 / 28
Comment: Good first half considering...

Race Report:

I signed up for this race to test my running speed and see if I could improve my time from the Sallie Mae 10k in May. The plan was to train through the event but still put in a good effort. My plans went awry on Tuesday when I came down with a nasty flu/cold bug. I was completely shocked to get sick in the middle of the summer. It sidelined me from a number of workouts during the week and I felt my worst on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I wasn't convinced I could race, but by mid day my head congestion cleared and I thought...why not? My new plan was to start strong and stay comfortable during the race and throttle back if I started to feel bad.

The race was unique with a 6:30 PM start time. The course was very simple, run the W&OD trail from Vienna to Hunter Mill and back (with a little out-n-back into a neighbourhood). Karolina and I arrived about 45 min before the race start. Reid came with us to cheer us on which was awesome. K and I warmed up about 20 min before the start and it was HOT! I took a Hammer Gel, sipped my Cytomax and made my way to the start.

I started out feeling very good and settled into my stride. I decided not to look at my watch during the race and focus on the way I felt, not my time or HR. The first two miles felt great and I held my position in the race with two other racers. My breathing was even and my stride was long and smooth. This was my first race in my Newtons and can say these shoes are awesome. We left the trail for the out-n-back section that had a couple hills and was able to see Karolina. She was running great and looked strong. We re-entered the trail and hit the 3 mile mark. I went through 3 miles in 20:02 (analyzing the data after the race) which was my goal pace for a 5k tri-split. Shortly before the turnaround, the heat started to affect me and I started to feel my efforts. I throttled back and tried to maintain myself for the second half. Even though I slowed down, I still hurt and went into survival/cruise mode. I don't know whether it was being sick, the heat, going out too fast, or a combination of all three, but running back to Vienna wasn't a good experience. I maintain my breathing and tried to stay focused despite the pain. My stomach cramped up a little during mile 4 but that passed after a few burps. As I passed the 6 mile mark, I realized I had no kick for the last .2 to the line. I just ran my pace through the line and went straight to the Gatorade table. My final time of 46:30 was 12 seconds slower than my Sallie Mae time. Karolina finished strong with a PR of 49:13. She ran a smart race and beat her goal of a sub-50 min 10k!

After walking a bit and high-5ing Karolina, I sat down and felt terrible for about 30 min while Reid brought me more water/Gatorade. It took a while to get myself back together and start walking without feeling light-headed. I saw a bunch of the Reston Masters swimmers after the race and they all had a great time racing 'on land'. We got changed by the car and were about to leave when we decided to stay for the awards. It was the right decision because Karolina finished 3rd in her age group and collected her prize!

We scratched our original plan to get ChiliDogs at the Vienna Inn and went back home to Reston. Reid came over and we reviewed our race data over a few beers. The most striking observation from my Garmin was my high heart rate. I average 176 bpm for 10k which is well beyond my threshold with a max of 184. Even though I slowed down after mile 3, my heart stayed very high. I've had a couple cases where I'd been dehydrated and couldn't get my heart rate down after hard efforts. I was well hydrated going into the 10k, but I also sweat more than normal both during and after the race. Whether my high HR was from the heat or my flu/cold I don't know. In hind sight, I probably should have taken this race easy and not pushed the first 5k that hard. Although I was please with my good run speed during the first 3 miles, I need to stay focused on longer efforts and smarter racing for my upcoming events.