So what have I been up to since the Oakland marathon? Running somewhat reduced mileage, working on my speed, and trying my hand as some short road races with strong fields.
First up was the Sactown 10 miler, on a loop course in downtown Sacramento. This was the first time I have done this distance on the roads. It was a mostly flat course, in good conditions, just a week after Oakland. I decided to wing it on pace, but try to get in under 70 minutes. That turned out to be challenging, especially since I lined up near the front and went out somewhat fast.
The first three miles: 6:32, 6:53, 6:59. Yup getting carried away there, but I was surprised at how good I was feelng at this point.
Next three: 7:01, 7:13, 6:56. That’s more like it. There were some small rolling hills in that middle mile.
Then: 7:16, 7:10, 7:10,. The wind was coming out of my sails somewhat. a few people passed me.
Final mile: 7:04. I was shoulder to shoulder with a young guy for much of this, and passed the final turn ahead of him, but he outkicked me. Official time 1:10:22, Not terrific, but not a]terrible either. I had to settle for a sub-75 shirt rather than a sub-70. Nice idea on the shirts.
Next up was the Zippy 5K in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. A mostly flat first mile, then a rolly middle mile around a lake, then backtrack to the start. I paced this one much better. after starting behind someone I know to be slightly slower. I ran it in 20:40 for a 3 second PR. A whole 24 seconds faster than I ran the same course last year. The splits:
6:31 (Yay, not ridiculously fast for once)
6:59 (Hills, and a sinking feeling. Not done any serious hillwork lately)
6:30 (Maybe I’m not so terrible after all)
0:41 (6:23 pace. Try not to puke on the volunteers…)
OK, that’s better. Another 5K came next, at Portola Valley, south of Stanford U. This was the inaugural race, and was reputed to be a flat course. Perhaps another PR in the offing? Haha no. It was an out-and-back on a rolling downhill. The turnaround was about 150 ft below the start/finish. So having disposed of any PR dreams, its was quite fun. These races are timed from the gun, so it gets a little packed on the start line. I was a little too far back, and got somewhat boxed on the initial corner. Then we headed downhill for a mile and a half. The splits are in kilometers, since you get more that way, Having the Garmin set to metric also gave me an easy reference: A 20 minute 5K is 4:00 per K.
3:52, 4:03 for the first two mostly downhill.
4:09. 4:23 going more slowly back uphill
3:28 A fast finish uphill. So I had something in the tank there and could possibly have gone out a little harder. It is hard to judge on a course like that. Official time was 20:5, so there are about 15 seconds missing from the Garmin record. Everytime I soften and take that thing racing it gives me a sharp reminder why I shouldn’t.
But it was fun, even uphill. Next up, The Bay to Breakers, which will be gracing this page shortly.