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Race Result

Racer: Steve Smith
Race: Rotary Resolution 10K
Date: Saturday, January 1, 2005
Location: Leesburg, VA
Race Type: Run - 10 km
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 0:36:05
Overall Place: 8

Race Report:

I've been running quite a bit over the last five weeks, to the exclusion of swimming and biking. I PR'd the 10K distance just two weeks ago after two solid weeks of running & then turned out one of my highest weekly run volumes (over the holiday week no doubt) ... it didn't seem like it at the time for the lack of biking and swimming. Anyway, after a quick spike in running I wanted an easy week; conveniently, I had the Resolution 10k to prepare for as well.

I really enjoy this race. It's very challening, but just on the right side of sane (which side is that? :) Said another way, it's hilly but not too hilly. It is definitely NOT a course for PR's (even though it was my 10K PR for many years, but that is more of a statement of how few 10Ks I run). The day was perfect for running--sunny and high 50s--maybe just a wee bit too warm since most folks were acclimated to colder temps.

I saw fellow Rats Steve G, Amanda, Gwen, and Adam B. Amanda I were talking about the race when they moved people into the starting chute. Uh oh, I had to scurry down quickly to work my way to the front.

In the hub-bub of the pre-race chatter I heard someone mention Michael Wardian, one of the local speedsters that had recently set a world record for the marathon on a treadmill ... I made a point to not chase the lead male; I didn't know what Michael Wardian looked like, but I figured he'd be in the lead and if he's running a 2:23 marathon on a treadmill ... well, he ain't a triathlete :)

So the GO word goes and I'm four rows back. I have to bridge to the front pack, but that's easy enough on the 100m or so of downhill that starts this race. There's a sizeable pack at the front of the race, maybe 8 or 9 guys. About 3/4-mile into the race three guys pull just barely ahead (I would latter learn one of them was Aaron Church, another of the local Olympic marathon trialists). Two other guys were strung out from the leading three, and the main pack consisted of three Reston Runners--me, Chuck, and Mark--and a few other guys. I felt pretty comfortable with the pace, but overall I was unsure where my race is going. My HR for my weekly runs was running higher than it had for the previous week, when I'd been doing more mileage. I wasn't terribly concerned about this; I would expect that after 5 weeks of solid running my body would take some time to do damage control, but I was hoping it'd be done by now (some times it only takes 2-3 days for rest to sink in, some times it takes 2-3 weeks).

When we hit the first downhill I let gravity do the work for me and found myself ahead of our little pack. When I hit the bottom of the hill I checked my HR and it was right about what I would expect for a 10K; I didn't hear anyone behind me and the number 5 guy wasn't too far ahead of me so I decided to bridge up. One thing I can do well is surge and recover, and I bridged the 30 or 40 meters to number 5 pretty quickly. I wasn't sure where my day was going, but if it was going good this would be smart move.

Not so smart. The surge itself wasn't a mistake; my mistake was misjuding the pace of number 5; I just couldn't hold his pace, so I settled into my own pace and held that. A few minutes later one of the guys from the pack called my bluff and passed me strongly. Right at the turn-around Chuck passed me to put me in eighth place. And that is where I would stay. I would gain a bit on Chuck and then lose a bit. Looking at the results it's interesting to see a solid spread of 30s from me down to 11th place or so.

Looking at my HR data, I ran a very solid race, almost exactly what I had hoped to do effort wise, and only about 30s slower than I thought possible. I ran nearly two minutes faster than last year and PR'd the course by more than a minute. Best of all, the day was young, my bike was in the car, and some RATS were biking West from Reston so we could start the New Year off proper.