Saturday, August 13, 2011

Race Report: Keep Moving Forward (VIPS) 5k/10k

I finished the 10K. Yay!

Riverbank: Keep Moving Forward (VIPS) 5K/10K. Dist: (6.27)mi. Pace-avg: (14:50). Speed-avg: (4.0)mph. Speed-max: (6.1)mph. Burned: (680) Calories.

The day started out with me waking up several times during the night, but I finally got up on-time at 0430 hrs. and had a breakfast of (2x) Clif Crunchy Peanut Butter bars and a cup of coffee, International House Cinnamon Dulce Cappuccino (very nice).

I arrived at the race course about 0715-0720 hrs. and was able to figure out that my race packet should be at the "Pre-Registration" table. I got my bib and race t-shirt and went back to my car to get organized. Once my bib was pinned on (#85) I put on my running belt with bottle and ambled back over to the running crowd.

Milling about after picking up race packet.

I found Sean and one of his friends, V. We chatted briefly then started warming up and stretching out. We gathered back at the registration tables to hear the National Anthem being sung by a local woman (whose name I forget, but will have to look up). At the conclusion of the anthem the runners, and walkers, all moved over to the starting line.

Awaiting the start.

Made that first left, then further into the neighborhood.
The timer started at 0759 hrs. according to my Garmin, and it was still 0759 when I stepped on the starting line. I took off slowly, but briefly tried sprinting to keep up with Sean, who actually runs at a (10:00) pace, or so. I quickly realized my error and slowed down. I knew I would have to pace myself so I could actually jog as much of the 10K course as possible. Plus, there were going to be hills. I was mentally aware of the coming hills, but was not actually prepared for it. I could have gone on a practice run last week with Sean, but chose not to since I had already gone running back to back on Thursday and Friday as part of my training plan.

OK. At this point (1410 hrs.) I can't really recall the details of the course. My photos don't really show much of the inclines that were present, but suffice to say there were quite a few loops through the residential neighborhood we used for the run that included a few inclines and declines. The first water stop was about Mile (1.5). My Inner BoyScout was really annoyed to see all the paper cups lying on the ground past the aid station. I made sure to hand mine to the poor volunteer who was trying mightily to police up all those discarded cups.

Sean is already far ahead of me and looping back around.

I think that's my turn up there.

The next aid station was at about Mile (2.5) and I don't recall seeing any cups on the ground, which was nice, and I handed my empty to the nice lady keeping an eye out for them. By this point we had already starting backtracking over part of a previous stretch of street. There was a good incline on the way back up the street, and then a right turn with more uphill before the aid station. Yowza.

I was already pretty winded by my efforts so far, so I had slowed down and walked through the aid stations and picked up jogging (or fast-walking) after about (0.25) miles to catch my breath and regroup. More of the up-and-down roller-coaster hills ensued, then the 10K runners split off from the 5K run/walkers and the roller-coaster continued. I don't recall an aid station at Mile (3.5), but I had water with me so it was not an issue.

On the way out following the 10K leg I passed Sean's friend V.-, heading back in for the final leg of the 10K. She would end up placing 3rd in her AG (30-39), I think. Clearly, she was hella' faster than both of us. Continuing onward we were directed up onto the sidewalk, then up an incline that curved out and right. [Looking at Google Earth now, I see that across that road was a Catholic church, St. Frances of Rome, where Sean and I (and many other Scouts) had helped a friend on his Eagle Scout project: Digging a trench for a sprinkler system and planting shrubs. That was an exhausting day that was richly rewarded by pizza and soda at his parents, and then a long deep coma. That was the early 80's.]

Following the curve up, I had to turn left and down a long slow decline into another stretch of neighborhood I had never been through. Once down the slope I saw Sean yet again, heading back the other way.

"Dude, you're so far behind. See you at the finish line."
And then I had to take a pic of me.

Yeah, I shaved my head to improve my aerodynamics. Shhh. Don't tell the refs.
As I continued forward and made the next right, I realized how far behind I was. Or maybe I was just in-between groups of runners. Yeah, that's it. I followed the arrows on the road and soon turned again. OK. There is a large water-pipe running through a support scaffolding and into a hill to my left (north) and back to the right (south-ish) suspended above a small vineyard. Haven't seen that before. I continued on, parallel to the pipe, and began to wonder if I had made a wrong turn. A park was up ahead, just around the corner. Ahh. More arrows in the road. I followed them till I saw this:

A tunnel? Oh, I guess that's what I was running over on the descent.
Up ahead I finally came across another aid station at Mile (4.5). "Do you want water?" asked the volunteer. "Yes, please!" When I first saw him sitting on the curb from a distance I wondered if he was an injured runner. Guess not. Another volunteer nearby asked if I was a fast-walker, or speed-walker. "No, but I'm still working up to that jogging/running pace." Sure, the sign-up page on Active.com said "Please, RUNNERS only for the 10K." Whatever. I just want to cross the finish line with a pulse in my wrist and breath in my lungs.

After a longer and longer loop around I finally found my way back to the incline, so it was up and over and out of that section and back onto the inbound leg of the 10K.

I think there's another runner, or two, up ahead. (Yeah, I can't really see 'em, either.)


Just up ahead and hard left.
Keep going. Keep going.

Getting closer.

And closer...

The finish line! (And Sean on the right.)
Garmin finish time: (1:32:15.14) hrs.
Total distance: (6.27) mi.
Best pace (Garmin): (9:52) [Must have been way early on, when I was trying to sprint away from the starting line.]

Sean captured me crossing the finish line at (1:33:14) hrs. on the Finish line timer. Thanks, buddy!

Crossing the finish line!

1548 hrs.: Wow. This took forever to write. So, I finished the run, staggering though I was, let the race official grab my tear-off tag from my race bib [whoops, forgot to mark more details for them, like sex and age. d'oh!], then proceeded to the refreshments table for some scarfing action: (1.5) bananas and (2) slices of water-melon, plus (2) bottles of water. After I washed up a bit (snot, sweat, road grime) I clapped for the runners receiving their finishing medals, and other awards, then stretched out and headed home.

2011 Race Count: (2) completed.

That's all for now.

-Lancer!!

Updated 2011-08-14: added finish line photo, made more typo corrections.

2 comments:

P said...

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!! I'm so proud of you, Lance! Congratulations!

Lancer!! said...

Thank you! It was a struggle, and the goal was achieved.