Saturday, March 15, 2014

Winter Park 10k Race Report

This morning was the Track Shack Winter Park 10k in Park Avenue.  It was the final race in their race series that started back in August.

I got there about an hour early and grabbed my packet and hit the portapotty.  Then the 2 mile race went off at 7:00am and I jogged a couple miles to warm up myself.  Then, I headed to the start line.  I was tied in the race series and I looked around for Estevan, the guy I was tied with.  But, I didn't see him.  If he didn't show up, then all I had to do was run the race to win it!

The horn went off right at 7:30 and we were off.  This course was pretty familiar to me, I do long runs most Sundays with a running group in Winter Park and we run most of these streets.  I tried to run a little smarter for the first mile then when I ran the Best Damn Race 10k two weeks ago.  My pace during that first mile was 5:30 and I think it made the whole race a lot harder.  This time, I was around 6:10 pace for my first half mile.  And I went through the first mile marker in a little over 6 minutes.

It was easier to pace myself during this race, because there are a lot of runners faster than me, and I can find someone around my pace to hang with.  I also like Track Shack races because a lot of people start off too fast trying to keep up with the really fast guys.  So, throughout the race I was slowly reeling in one person after another.  That always feels good, and it makes the miles go by a little bit easier because I can focus on the guy in front of me.

There was a pretty big hill around the 3.5 mile mark.  That was a tough one, it's a street I'm real familiar with, but normally we're going the other direction and running down the hill... and I had forgotten all about it until I saw it.  I knew after the hill would be a pretty long downhill stretch, so I pushed up the hill as best I could knowing that I could coast for a little ways after that.

The last couple of miles were pretty uneventful.  I caught a couple more guys and then I was turning onto the final stretch at 6 miles onto Park Avenue.  A guy caught me and was pushing pretty hard, so I picked it up and kept up with his surge for the last bit.  I pulled ahead of him at the very end, but we pretty much crossed the line together at 37:19.  And, I found out afterward he was 49!  What an animal!  Anyways, it was a 3 second PR for me, and I was pretty sure I had won the race series.

This 10k felt a lot better than my 10k 2 weeks before.  I attribute that to my better pacing early on.  I ran a negative split, my first 5k was 18:42 and my second 5k was 18:37.  And, my last mile was my fastest at 5:55.  My mile splits were:

Splits: 6:02, 6:02, 6:02, 6:01, 6:02, 5:58, 5:30 (0.2 miles)

And when the results were posted, I was second in my age group.

But, Estevan didn't show up, so I won the race series also!  I won the race series without ever winning a race outright in any of the six races.  But, I was consistently second place, so I guess that counts for something.  I got a cool plaque, a race series cooler, and a $50 gift certificate to Track Shack (my first ever winnings from running!).  Here's the final standings for the race series in my age group:

Afterwards, while waiting for the results to be posted I ran into Paula and Michelle.  Paula had an amazing 6 minute PR, and I've seen a bunch of pictures of Michelle on Paula's blog before but this was the first time I've actually met her.  I also ran into a couple of the runners from the Sunday Winter Park running group: Atif and Jen.

And here's a pic of all the swag I got from this race and winning the race series:

Next up is a 10 mile race at UCF next Sunday.  I've never run a 10 mile race before, so that should be interesting.  And running on the UCF campus is always good fun.  I think this may be my last Track Shack race until the race series starts again at the end of summer.  I guess my goal next time around will be to actually come in first place in my age group in a Track Shack race.

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