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The Dream Mile 10k - Run10k

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Mountain View, California
United States
Vibha Bay Area
Total Time = 53m 7s
Overall Rank = 17/88
Age Group = 18-35
Age Group Rank = 12/54
Pre-race routine:

I got up at 6:30 a.m. and called Shizu to ask if she was planning to race the 5k. She said no and asked if I wanted her to come along and heckle me, and I told her to go back to sleep. She did.

I was dressed and out of the apartment by 6:45. I ate a Clif Bar and drank a bunch of water on the drive down and got to the race by about 7:45. I'm glad I got there early, because there was almost no wait to register then, but by 8:15 the line was pretty long.

I wasn't feeling too great and ended up not taking the gel I'd brought along, which is probably fine for a 10k. By 8:30 I was feeling fine.
Event warmup:

For once, I decided to do a warmup, and ran maybe a quarter mile with some strides. The race was late (they were still signing people up at 8:30, which was the advertised start time), so I ran another quarter mile or so. A small bunch of us were hovering near the start line while the race organizers led a group warmup, some kind of calisthenics. At about 8:55 they announced they'd be starting the race soon so everyone packed in at the start line, shoving to get a good spot. It was kind of annoying because the 5k and 10k folks started at the same time. I would've seeded myself back, but this wasn't chip-timed and frankly, I didn't want to lose five or 10 seconds getting to the start.
  • 53m 7s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 33s  min/mile

I started off way too fast, probably in part because I got thrown off by all the 5k folks tearing into it. I really should not have let that first mile get so fast. One of the nice things about the Garmin is that I can tell right away how I'm pacing -- it's stupid not to use that information wisely.

Anyway, the first mile was pretty packed and there were a lot of speedy kids out there! This one little girl was pacing me for a while (she had very, very heavy feet, so I knew she was there) and finally sped by me, huffing and puffing. I wanted to throw some encouragement at her when I finally passed her, but she looked like she'd bite my head off if she thought I was patronizing her so I let it go.

After the first mile the crowd thinned out and I tried to slow down. I did better and was averaging 8:15 or so, which is a little too speedy for me, but I was feeling good so I figured why not see how long I could hold it. For most of the second and third mile I was pacing a guy who seemed to be just a tad slower than my body wanted to go, but was closer to what I knew I should be running.

I realized at the 5k halfway point that this was going to be a confusing race. They split off the 5kers and sent them on a different path, and then the 10k path started winding around and taking weird turns. At the halfway point there wasn't exactly a turnaround, but we went on a wide loop that sent us back in the direction we'd come from. Then we passed a water station, ran a few hundred yards, and all of a sudden there were a couple of signs saying "10k turnaround."

So OK, "10k turnaround" seems obvious. But since we'd just come from a place that was at the halfway point and felt like a turnaround, and we were running in the direction of the finish line, we were very confused. And by "we" I mean me and two guys I'd been running with. The three of us slowed down and looked at each other and asked what we were supposed to do. In hindsight, well yeah, you turn around at the turnaround. For whatever reason that didn't seem right (and I later learned that other racers had the same problem), so we kept going, but after a couple hundred yards we looked back and saw other racers turning around, so we realized we'd screwed up.

In all, I lost maybe a minute here, which is annoying but whatever. I don't think I lost a place, as I noted exactly how many women passed me while I was "lost", and I'm positive I caught up to all of them (I had fun picking them off, one at a time). But I do think I lost some momentum, because I had a really, really tough time getting back to a solid pace after that screw up.

From there, the race got pretty grueling. I was feeling really tired and breathing way too hard, but I only had a couple miles left and I kept repeating to myself that two miles is nothing, one mile is nothing, etc. With about a mile left one of the 5k guys passed me going the other way -- he was clearly doing a cooldown run and just jogging along. He called out that I was looking good, then turned around and followed me a bit (at a nice, respectful distance), which I actually really appreciated since it was pretty motivating and I reminded myself that I wanted to finish strong.

In the last half mile it felt like I was running all alone -- I couldn't see anyone ahead of me, and I couldn't feel anyone behind me. I sped up for the finish, and maybe 50 yards from the end I heard feet stomping behind me and realized someone was racing me to the end. No way was I going to let him beat me to the finish. So I got my sprint on and beat him by a second. Fun!

At the finish, I saw that it was the guy I'd been pacing for most of the race. I hadn't even realized I'd passed him, heh. I congratuled him and thanked him for pushing me, and he just laughed and said he'd really wanted to beat me.
What would you do differently?:

Actually turn around when the signs tell me to turn around. Not run an 8:05-minute-mile right out of the gate, even/especially when everyone else is speeding past me (ie, not eat the paste). Other than that, considering I ran this race on a whim and I'd been training pretty hard and feeling pretty tired lately, I'm pleased with how I did.
Post race
Warm down:

I sat around for about 30 minutes watching the raffle and the awards for the 5k and 10k. There was lots of Indian food to eat, but I'm never hungry right after a race, so I skipped it, which sucks because it looked really yummy. I eventually got up and finished my scheduled run for the day with a three-mile cooldown.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training pretty hard lately and doing nothing special to prepare for this race.

Event comments:

I have to score this race a little low due to the confusion on the course. If it had just been me who messed up, I would've entirely blamed myself for missing the turnaround. But there were three of us who got screwed up while I was running, and I talked to at least three other people after the race who also got confused (and lost time), and who said others had made the same mistake. With such a twisty-turny course, they really needed to put volunteers at almost every turn. The organizers had lots of volunteers, but they were all bunched up in three or four spots and they ddn't seem to be paying much attention to what was going on.

Last updated: 2008-06-29 12:00 AM
00:53:07 | 06.21 miles | 08m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/54
Overall: 16/88
Performance: Good
Laps: 8:04, 8:15, 8:11, 8:30, 8:31, 8:45, 2:52 Total time is for distance of 6.35, due to getting a little lost on the run.
Course: A very winding, looping, rather confusing route, mostly on paved paths along the bay. A half mile or so was on dirt trails, and the first and last quarter mile were on rough gravel, kind of tough on the legs and feet. Almost entirely flat.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2008-07-01 1:32 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: The Dream Mile 10k

2008-07-02 7:22 AM
in reply to: #1502140

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: RE: The Dream Mile 10k
Sorry to hear about the course confusion.  Sounds like you had a good race even with the extra quarter mile.
2008-07-03 4:52 PM
in reply to: #1502140

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Subject: RE: The Dream Mile 10k

yeah, not the best put on race - I loved the "water station ahead" sign that was about 0.6 KM before the water, huh? 
Oh and then the volunteers did not have water cups ready when runners reached the table, huh?  You got ONE job, fill cup quickly.  jeesh.

Sorry we missed each other! 

2008-07-04 11:45 AM
in reply to: #1502140

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: The Dream Mile 10k

Fantastic race, tough, and sorry about the screw-up, but way to power through the challenges. Now that's the heart of a true athlete.

You have gotten wicked ridiculous fast! This run focus thing, it is working!

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