Posts Tagged 'Marin'

Marin Memorial Day 10K 2011

Here’s another race that I also ran last year. In fact it’s my current 10K PR, so that would be a nice goal to try and beat. But really I wanted confirmation that the slump that hit me at Kaiser and Napa was truly gone.

I carpooled up with Debra, Suzette and Karen of the LMJS Womens team. Chatting with the ladies turned out to be a nice low-stress way to approach a race rather than driving solo.  After the usual preliminaries – bathroom, warmup, strides, we lined up in the start area. Since this is a USATF event it was a very strong field, and I took care not to line up too far forward and get sucked out too fast. I had set my Garmin to metric again, with auto-laps at 1km intervals. Target pace would be sub 4:20 minutes/km which if maintained would get me a narrow PR. There were no km markers, but the splits here have been corrected for GPS variance.

The line was crowded, and we were a little sluggish getting away, but once up to speed things were fine. The runners around me were mostly going at the right speed, and the few who were easing up after a too-fast start were soon left astern. Here was Debra, who beat me at Tilden, although I have an edge on her on flat roads like this. I eased ahead and didn’t look round, assuming she would be staying fairly close. She later told me that she did stay in contact for a while before deciding she was not comfortable at that pace and dropping back.  There was a headwind in the early stages, but the trees and houses sheltered us from the worst of it. First three km: 4:21, 4:26, 4:27. This looks a bit slow now, but the numbers I was seeing at the time were about 4 seconds faster.  I must remember to aim a few seconds high when using the Garmin as a pacing tool.

On the return section of the loop I went a little faster, probably aided by the tailwind, and was already passing people. This was not great, since there was no one to latch on to get ‘pulled’ along. I just had to keep passing people and glancing at the Garmin to confirm that I was on pace. 4:18, 4:19, 4:21 for these three km. Very nice pacing, though I say so myself.

As we threaded through the Marin College campus for the first time I head a pair of male voices behind. Who the heck chats in the second half of a 10K? Ultra runners? The subject matter confirmed it: “I saw so-and-so last weekend. We ran 30 miles together.” Yup, ultra guys, and they were about to pass me. When they did, I was surprised to recognize Dean Karnazes. Yup, that guy. What was he doing running a 43-minute 10K? Then I realized that he probably ran upteen miles to get here and would probably run home again too.  This little distraction, along with the twists and turns, had slowed my pace a bit, so I determined to stay within striking distance of Dean and friend, running about 50 yards behind.  Splits: 4:26, 4:25, 4:25.

We went across a bridge and turned back towards the campus. There was a fierce headwind. I had closed a bit on Dean’s group, which had grown to four.  Two runners that they had passed were hanging on grimly in order to draft them. I was fully exposed about 30 yards back and getting killed by the wind. I managed to surge and catch them up, but it was an expensive move. There was little relief once I had caught then since they were now speeding up for that last half mile to the finish.  Urrgh!

We entered the campus once again and the course marshals recognized Dean, grinning as they pointed the way with orange flags. We were out of the wind now, and I started to sag off the back of the group as we entered the running track. My kick was gone thanks to that surge, but it was the right move.  I crossed the line 13 seconds behind Dean, but just 2 seconds adrift on the chip.  That last kilometer took 4:12, for an overall time of 43:44.

A 5 second PR! Thanks DK. I did not place in my age group, but some of the LMJS ladies did, (Laurie, Suzette, and Kate) Much fun all round.

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Race: Marin Memorial Day 10K 2010

This was a spur of the moment thing. LMJS recently formed a womens’ USATF racing team, and this was their second event. I’m planning to get the ball rolling for a mens team, so I wanted to cheer the ladies on and get a taste of racing at a USATF event. Most of the well known Bay Area clubs seemed to be well represented.

The conditions were warm and unusually humid for the Bay Area, plus I had not tapered appreciably for this race, and had done a fairly hard 9 mile trail run just two days before. I was unsure how this would turn out. At the worst I could just cruise it, but my 10K PR was quite soft so perhaps I could beat that.

I hung back at the start in order not to get pulled out too fast. This tactic proved a little too effective, since I was repeatedly boxed in during the first mile and had to run around more people than I would have liked. 7:06 at the first mile marker. Hmm, pretty close to my half marathon PR pace. Feeling OK, but wondering if I could maintain this. The course made it’s way through shaded residential streets in Kentfield and Ross, A sprinkling of residents had come out to cheer us on. Mile 2: 7:07. OK, holding steady, were we going slightly uphill? I was gradually passing faders, but figured it was too early to try to pass everyone in sight, so would simply run behind someone who seemed to be going at the right pace. I can push myself quite nicely doing this, but each of my unwitting running partners were slowing and disappearing today. 7:05 for mile 3. Definitely getting hot now! Someone had set up a hosepipe to mist us. Welcome but brief. My pace fell off: 7:21 for mile 4. approaching marathon pace! I was following a young woman in an all-black outfit. She faltered. Darn it, there’s no one else but a guy in a white shirt and he’s 30-40 yards away!. I drew alongside her and she sped up again. Good. She did not hold if for long, and I passed her for good at the 5 mile marker. 7:27 – my slowest mile of the race. I got within about 30 yards of white shirt, who seemed to have accelerated slightly now that we were in the final mile.
We entered the College of Marin campus and passed the 6 mile marker (7:18). I was distracted for a moment by a volunteer calling “Turn left and follow the lane markers” while turning onto the running track, and a young woman in Impala colours zipped by on the inside. I applied myself and closed up behind her as we went down the back straight. A group of her team mates were there yelling encouragement and things like “He’s drafting you, kick, kick!” I smiled and waved at them and the tone became less aggressive. One of them laughed, and I resumed my close up study of her shoulder blades. We caught white shirt going into the final turn. Impala-girl somehow slipped inside him and I went outside, thus losing close contact. Just as we approached the line, I heard heavy breathing off my shoulder. White shirt had been stung into action and produced a nice sprint for the last 50 yards. I think he beat me to the line, but the three of us finished in the same second and I beat both of them on chip time. 44:48. A PR. I covered the last 0.2 at 6:54 pace.
I should really be able to run this distance about two minutes faster with the right preparation. Simply avoiding that fade in miles 4 and 5 would help quite a bit. That tends to happen to me in 10Ks and it’s a between-the-ears problem. I’ll try again soon.


Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
10K43:44
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)

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