Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Anti-climax

Kristen and I ran the 28th annual Los Alamitos Race on the Base yesterday where I posted my first 10k time ever: 54:26! Go ahead. I'll wait for the thundering applause to stop (insert cricket sounds here). Thank you. What's more impressive yet tragic is that Kristen ran her first mile at a 6:45 pace and was well on her way to posting a sub-40:00 10k when she blew out her flip flop and stepped on a pop top. Just after the 1 mile marker she injured her foot so bad she had to hobble off the course and quit the race. This really sucks. She's been training hard to run the 10k leg as part of a two person team (they won 1st place last year) competing in the Toyota Desert Triathlon in La Quinta, CA coming up in March. Her foot is swollen at the top right behind her toes and she can barely stand on it. Not sure if it's a fracture or torn ligaments or what. She'll see a doctor this week and get the prognosis. Unless by some miracle it heals quickly she's going to have to bail out of the Desert Tri and possibly the Seal Beach 10k we're supposed to run in April. I hope it only looks and feels worse than it is. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Okay, so the race course is touted as flat and fast which is very true, but it is also a bit dull on the senses. You run a 6.2 mile course laid out over the airfield so there isn't much to look at except concrete and grass. If you've ever been out on a military airfield you'll know what I'm talking about. Looong runways and some lawn. BTW, I don't know what most people think about when they're running, but there was so much grass to look at I couldn't help but think about how to make my lawn at home look better. Seriously.

I've run this distance before, but never for a race so this was really an exercise in pacing. My biggest fear (like many people I assume) is to push too hard in the beginning and have no gas left in the tank at the end. So after my first mile I settled into a pace that wasn't comfortable, but it wasn't hard either. Eventually the pack thinned as it does and I picked a guy in front of me as my rabbit. He was very consistent so I stayed on his tail the entire race and just experimented with my own style and technique. I would open up my stride if I felt like I was being too choppy. I would lean my torso forward slightly and look 20 or 30 yards ahead and notice my speed quicken without much change in my overall output. I'd raise my knees a little higher to take some of the sharp, blunt strikes off that spot just below the knee. It was educational and fun, but the finish line was approaching and I had to get ready.

My technique is to get to the 6 mile marker and then drop the hammer for the remaining .2. It was great! I blew past people that I had been trailing for most of the race and posted the time I was aiming for. I know 55 minutes for a 10k seems like a slow time to shoot for, but the last time I ran 6 miles off the treadmill I did it in 61 minutes so I figured my training would bring me in under that by about 5 minutes. Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 8:24
Mile 2: 9:04
Mile 3: 9:11
Mile 4: 9:06
Mile 5: 8:52
Mile 6: 8:55

So while I was excited about my run, it was a bummer to learn that Kristen injured her foot and will be out for awhile. Kinda takes the fun out of the race. But she's tough and I know she'll come back stronger than Seabiscuit.


  1. Man, what a bittersweet day. Congrats on the 10K but that really sucks about your girl. Here's hoping it's not anything too serious.

    Good job again man.