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Fort Bragg 10 Miler - Run

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Fort Bragg, North Carolina
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 58m 25s
Overall Rank = 7/1608
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 1/133
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 5AM, made coffee while I started car to warm it up, and drank a full glass of beet juice mixed with grape juice. Also ate a banana. Drove in, thinking it might be a little cold for what I was wearing.
Event warmup:

Arrived, parked car, went to the bathroom, and headed over to the race site. Went to the bathroom one last time, paid respect to the Flag while the Anthem played, then went to the front of the crowd to stretch out my calves and Achilles' better.
  • 58m 25s
  • 10 miles
  • 05m 50s  min/mile

Began the race with the plan that I was NOT going to start out too hard. In the past, I've been caught up in the excitement of the race and went out at a 5:20 pace. DUMB (for me).

This time, started race off at a 6 min mile. TONS of runners blew by me...and I let them. Up ahead, on the first climb, I could see the top runners pulling away. They looked strong and graceful. I had NO expectations for this race, so I let them go. My goal was more along the lines of 1:02-1:05.

At the start of the second mile, I started to catch the majority of the fast starters. Some where really struggling, some were just settling in, but they all slowed down significantly. I passed a few, encouraged them to keep it going, and ran.

At around this time, I came up on a guy that had an Ironman tattoo and wished him well, He looked strong, but built more like a cyclist with strong, thick quads. Nice to see a fellow crazy out there. :)

Once you turn onto Gruber, you contend with a bunch of longish rollers that gradually climb or descend. I'd back it off a tiny bit on the climbs and pick it up on the descents, over-striding just a litlle. I was feeling good, and my Achilles' were not bothering me, so I stuck with this strategy for a while.

At mile 3.5, a runner got on my tail and just let me lead the way. We then picked up another guy around the point where I saw the race leader. I noted his position and the time on my Garmin and kept going. I determined he was about 3 minutes ahead of me, which meant he was running AT LEAST a 5:30 pace, but maybe faster. That guy was moving!

I hit the 5 mile turnaround at 29:15 and a big blow (literrally) dashed my hopes. The wind was stiff and my HR started to spike during this part of the course. I led the train and a few other guys latched on as we overtook them. I think we were a 6 man train at that point. I moved over a few times, so that someone else would get in front of me and lead for a while, but no one offered to take my place. That kind of ticked me off a bit, but understood the strategy. I was starting to fatigue, but decided I should start to try and drop a few of these guys as they looked as though they were struggling, too. I began short, five second bursts with a 5 second recoveries and a few guys popped off the back. There were still 3 other guys behind me.

This is when doubt started to creep in. The wind and intervals had taken their toll. I was ready to back off the pace and let the runners behind go by. Had one of the guys made a move, it probably would have taken the wind out of my sails. I started to think it was OK to just walk a little. My HR was in the 175 range, which is WELL-DONE range for me, so I had back off the pace a little. I was willing to let the guys behind me pass so I could catch my breath. When the runners behind me didn't try to pass, I realized they were just as gassed. I recovered a little, then prepared for a different approach. Onn the uphills that were left, I kept the pace steady and hard, but on the descents, I started over-striding again. This increased the pace a bit more AND actually felt easier...for a while. HR came down a little, but it was still hard work. At the end of Gruber, I looked back and only one guy was left. The same guy that latched on at mile 3.5.

OK, buddy, no free lunches here! I was still dangerously close to overdoing it, but decided to speed up just a little to see how this guy would react. His breathing got labored, at little at first, but then louder and louder. At mile 8 his steps got louder, then I heard a slight dry-heave. Nothing against the guy, but the last thing I wanted was have this guy blow by me at the finish b/c he drafted off me for most of the race. It was time to drop him. I then picked up the pace and shortly thereafter heard another dry-heave, this one stronger. He was done. By the start of the Longstreet descent, he was about 50 meters behind me. No hard feelings, man.

Onwards, towards the finish! Still feeling pretty tired, but I could see a few guys ahead, so I tried to catch up to them. Nope. 15 seconds on an uphill, when you're tired, might as well be an hour. I looked back and some different guy was trying to make a move to catch me. I tried running harder, but I didn't have much. I kept him at bay, but being chased down in the last quarter mile sucks. You just can't let off.

I crossed the timing mat and was very happy to see a sub 1 hour effort. :)
What would you do differently?:

With the low volume training that I've been on lately, probably not much. I did not expect to go much faster than a 1:02, at best, so very pleased with this effort.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a goodie back, then ran back to the gym where I parked. Took a shower, went to work, and after an hour, went back to the race to claim my award.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The weather did not limit my ability. It was perfect. Lack of training for this kind of event is probably the biggest thing. Running for an hour at the top of your fitness is HARD.

Event comments:

Good race with tons of support and decent swag. Soldiers line the entire course, either manning aid stations or in formation and they all cheer the runners on.

Good overall experience, but the course itself is pretty tough.

Last updated: 2014-11-04 12:00 AM
00:58:25 | 10 miles | 05m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/133
Overall: 7/1608
Performance: Good
AVG PACE: 5:49 | AVG HR: 169 | 1) 5:56 154HR 2) 5:57 167HR 3) 5:55 170HR 4) 5:45 170HR 5) 5:40 168HR 6) 6:02 175HR 7) 5:45 174 8) 5:36 172HR 9) 5:36 171HR 10) 5:59 171 | Actual Garmin Readout - 58:30.54 over 10.04 miles
Course: TOUGH course. Lots of looooong, gradual hills, with the two at Longstreet being the worst.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-11-07 9:26 AM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: Fort Bragg 10 Miler

2014-11-07 10:11 AM
in reply to: #5065955

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Fort Bragg 10 Miler
You're on fire, mang..

All the fitness built up for the IM this year is coming home to roost. Seriously nice race today.
2014-11-07 11:50 AM
in reply to: #5065955

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Fort Bragg 10 Miler

Very nice starting point for March.
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