Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pike's Peek 10K 2009 Race Report

"Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit"
—Thomas a Kempis

"God laughs while men make plans."

April 26, 2009, Pike's Peek 10K:
NET: 1:06:03
PACE: 10:38
PLACE: 51/77
AGE: 52

It was hot, and I tanked. The end.

Technically, this is a 17-second PR, if you don't count the 10K PRs I set in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, or the National Half. (Which I apparently AM counting.)

I've been training for this race, the goal race of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club Speed Development Program, since JANUARY.

We ran in cold, wind, rain, snow, and ice. We did endless repeats. When there was too much snow on the track we ran in the surrounding neighborhoods, at night, in the dark. I missed ONLY two track workout in this 15-week program.

What I'm saying is: I DESERVED to run fast! Right?? Wrong!

My goal: 60 minutes.

Some predictions:

My coach: 10:00 min miles. Coach said: "In general, I’ve noticed (over the years) about a 15 to 30 sec per mile improvement over the pace group I put you in at the beginning of the year." (He's been running this program for 7 years.) My pace group was 10:30. Sorry, big fella!

McMillan's Happy Prediction
, based on my 10 mile PR of 1:47:02: 1:03:52

McMillan's Freakishly Accurate Prediction, based on my 1/2 mary PR of 2:27:36: 1:06:20

I have to admit I had a hate on for this race. I hate the course, which is 6.2 miles of a suburban asphalt jungle. No trees. No scenic nothing. Just strip malls, and cars. I don't even like driving on this road. Maybe I just couldn't deal with the heat (oh yeah, here's another race where they ran out of water cups! is there a cup shortage in D.C.??). Temps were 75F with 85 percent humidity. But quite possibly? The runner just didn't have it.

I had carefully planned to follow Coach Tom's advice, which is so good I'll just repeat it all here:
The most important thing I hope you take away from this program is a sense of pacing. Some of you needed to learn that you could still run harder even when you felt bad and some of you need to learn how to slow down to run a more even pace. In any case the most important aspect of becoming a better runner is to learn to listen to your body and adjust the pace accordingly. The better you become at that, the more successful you will become as a runner and racer.

...Start the race by feeling like you are holding yourself want to hit those miles about 5 sec slower than your targeted pace. The middle two miles should be run at targeted pace. You will hit the up hills in this section, stay relaxed and don’t push too hard up the hills, save it for the downhills. The last 2.2 should be run about 5 sec per mile faster than pace. Remember to give yourself a little mental push around Congressional Plaza as you will start to feel bad around then and need to remind yourself to keep pushing the pace. Once you hit the 6 mile mark run as fast as you can into the finish. It’s a giant downhill so there is no excuse not to go really fast. You can make up for a lot of earlier mistakes in the race in this last downhill so take advantage of it.

Oh the plans I had! I scripted it all on the back of my hand:
Miles 1 & 2: 10:05, Miles 3 & 4: 10:00, Miles: 5 & 6: 9:50

Cleverly dismissing Coach Tom's advice, here's what I did instead:
Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 10:18 (just doing brilliantly! Not!)
5K: 30:31
Mile 4: 10:21
Mile 5: 12:34 (just gave up. Why? WHY???)
Mile 6: 11:50
.2: 1:52

On a good note, they had great food at the end! And despite my poor showing, I highly recommend this program. I set significant PRs at every distance—other than the one we trained for—over the course of this program. Coach Tom is truly outstanding.


Nov. 27, 2008: Bethesda YMCA Turkey Chase:
NET: 1:06:20
PACE: 10:41
PLACE: 59/89
AGE: 51

May 14, 2006: YMCA Mother's Day 10k:
NET: 1:07:15
PACE: 10:49
AGE: 49

Dec. 11, 2005: Jingle All the Way, D.C.:
NET: 1:08:22
PACE: 11:00/mile
AGE: 48

"What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger."
somebody else


Caren said...

Congrats Jeanne! It is hot out there, I wouldn't want to be racing today. And it is really unfair to train all winter in frigid temps and snow only to be hit with 80's and humidity on race day. Nice job out there and it's still a PR. While they do a nice job with this race, the course does leave a lot to be desired - yeah, OK it's net downhill but does it feel like it??? I'm glad you enjoyed Speed Development and Tom is a great coach.

Nancy Toby said...

Unacclimatized + heat = PR!? That does not compute! Maybe you were slower than you wanted, and what exactly DID happen on that Mile Five? But you still ran well despite it all and set a Jeanne World Record!!!!

Xena said...

This was no weekend for a PR.
Insanely hot weather before you were able to acclimate to it.

Try another day.

Kelly said...

Did I read that right? You PRed? I see only good things! It sounds like you did great, and now you have a new, faster goal to beat next time (no... the 10 miles during a half marathon or a 10k DON'T count, sorry :)

Old School Runner said...


I was looking for you at White Flint Mall, but didn't see you among the crowd of 4,000 people. Congratulations on the PR on a hot and nasty day. Earlier in the week you were bundled up in Boston, and today you were sweating like crazy on Rockville Pike. Keep going! Apply the lessons from the course to your training and you will continue to improve.

Dori said...

Ten minute miles are hard to do. You came damn close and I commend you for that. Good job!

Lesser is More said...

Did you, or did you not go on a bike ride yesterday with DCTri? I saw your email on the group email list. So if you DID go on that ride, PR'd (in freakishly hot weather, mind you), I say the race was a success. Pick a 10k race to run, giving yourself adequate recovery prior to the race and I GUARANTEE a PR!

PS - I hold no responsibility for the weather at the time of said race should you choose to accept this challenge ;)

Sunshine said...

Amazing to read your report.
Congratulations already!

21stCenturyMom said...

A PR is a PR. Hear that?? Let me say it again - a PR is a PR. You PR'd. You can think about the "PR" at the 10K mark from a longer run but it doesn't count because you were pacing for the longer run. And you could obviously have met your goal if you had stuck with your strategy. So there is your lesson. Next time you wil listen to yourself, right?

21stCenturyMom said...

(OMG - your blog has quit hating me - yay!)

Rainmaker said...

Nice done finishing out there - and a PR at that (yes, a PR is a PR only when set in the specified race distance*).

*Unless of course it is advantageous to say it's a PR, in which case I do so.

Awesome job!

cyberpenguin said...

Jeanne, good job sticking it out in today's heat! Today's race was definitely challenging. You did PR for the 10K distance, so you should pat yourself on the back for that!

LBTEPA said...

Well done darl

Petraruns said...

Congratulations Jeanne on a PR in high temps (after a bike ride as well? You're working it girl!). Pacing is hard but the key - you'll get it.. I blew my own pacing strategy yesterday - you do have to experiment...

ShirleyPerly said...

Well, not every race can be a PR and hot weather is known to wreak havoc on the best of race plans. Interesting, though, that McMillan had predicted your race time so accurately based on your half (perhaps the weather at that race was more similar?). Anyway, good job making it to the finish line and showing great improvement overall from doing the speed work!!

Vickie said...

If I was you, I'd start bringing my own water! I think you did great in spite of the heat, etc. You obviously can go faster for a 5k but haven't learned true pacing for the 10. But your times are consistent over the years!

Runner Susan said...

That's okay, I still love you.

The heat stinks AND you pr'd. You're fabulous.

And, how have those phone calls been . . . need updates. NEED.

David said...

hot hurts. take off another 20 seconds for the heat.

MarleyM said...

Congrats Jeanne!
I ran this race too, and I was way off!
The heat just made me want to stop and walk!!!!!
I ran this race last year and averaged 8:36 per mile. This year? 10:30. And I'm sure I ran that last one in 12:00!
It was just so hot! My body just couldn't adjust at all.

sarah said...

Hurray Jeanne!
Well sure, you could strive for PRs. Or...perfect the race day photo pose. Your choice. Check out Katie Price at the London marathon. A flirty and practical stance with that toe-tipping calf muscle stretch. Pick up more than a good time :)

Anne said...

I'm not sure why we always believe our A race will be just that, when the same crappy conditions exist whether you're trying hard or not. And, if I'm reading it the same way as others, you did turn in a great performance. Just not the one planned in the dead of winter. We chase dreams, not numbers, Jeanne. Always remember that.

peter said...

Hey that's Nietzsche, and that's my life's motto. After all, God is dead and divorce has been unleashed upon the world, right? Double hey, a 17-second PR is huge. Pikes Peake is my 10K PR too, way back in 2001 (and no, PR's along the way of longer races are nice but they don't count). I ran myself into the ground at the 5K mark, walked for 100 yards, then PRed. It bugs me to this day that I can't break that tainted mark (I walked!). Oh well, it didn't kill me so it made me stronger. Triple hey, I like coach Tom's words of wisdom. Where was EdWeek today at the 3-Miler? We came in 2d (in our division).

Just12Finish said...

Congrats!!! That's 10K more than I did last weekend.

eileen said...

23 comments?! Is that some kind of record? You are GOOD!

Jack said...

Congrats on your PR, even if you aren't counting it. You seem to run your 10K's like I do...start out as fast as possible and try to hold on as long as possible.

逆援助 said...

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