Metro 10 - my first 10-miler
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
A 10 mile race that starts at 10:00 (but in August? What were they thinking?)
I guess they were thinking that 10 at 10 sounded good. Starting at 8 or 9 would have been about 10 degrees cooler... just saying!
Otherwise a good race, well organized (except never enough porta-potties). An interesting concept - it was run in Albion, about 1/2 way between Rochester and Buffalo - and set up as a challenge between the two cities. About 400-500 people turned out to run the flat countryside course and compete for the challenge cup. The scoring was a mystery - some combination of age group winners, overall winners and average times...
Since I was on my own at this race I chatted up a selection of random strangers at the start - a fast guy from Rochester (who sounded arrogant about his times, but eventually I figured out he might have been trying to impress me) and then a really nice couple about my age.
I was afraid the course would be flat and boring - I run country roads a lot, and long straight runs are not happy for me. But no leg of the course was longer than about 1.5 miles straight, so there were turns and new sights.
It started out through town, and I fell into pace with a guy running barefoot. He was pretty chatty, lived in the town, and kept calling out to his neighbors as he passed them. They kept reacting with double-takes and calling back "don't you have shoes?" Rather amusing. My Map My Run updates decided to turn the volume down, and I didn't want to stop to fix the setting - I had a target time, and was annoyed that I couldn't tell if I was hitting it or not. Eventually I decided that I wasn't, and just used the faint voice to tell me when I'd hit each 1/2 mile so I knew when I wanted to refuel.
Because it was hot, they had water/juice at 2,4,6,8,9 miles. So I drank my gatorade at 3,5,7,9, and just took water at the stops. A competition among the volunteers at the waterstops made things fun - the winner of "best water stop" got $$ for their organization - so the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the local high school cross-country team were all out in force. The Girl Scouts won for just being so darn CUTE!!! But the XC team were so loud you could hear them more than 1/4 mile away - and since they were at mile 9, that was very encouraging.
I left my barefoot friend behind soon after the course turned off the road and ran through a fruit orchard. That was a nice section of the course - a bunch of twists and turns, and softer footing. Several people had mentioned a hill near the end of the course - turned out to be the "up" after going under a railroad crossing... they should see the hills I train on!
There was a short section along the canal - I had dreaded this, having had a bad experience of losing track of how far I'd gone the last time I ran a canal path - it kept looking the same and I got disoriented. But this section wasn't too long, and I knew that when I got off it there would be less than a mile to go.
At this point I was treating the race as a supported training run - not worrying about the pace - but looking at my watch I saw I had a solid chance of meeting my secondary goal of being under 2 hours (my primary target was 1:55 or faster). So I kept up the pace, and valiantly resisted the urge to walk during the last mile. I have a history of walking several times in the last mile... and I managed to sustain through the urge to do it. This bodes well for the 1/2 marathon in October.
Raced in the last hundred yards to beat the 1:59 on the clock by about 20-30 seconds - so just about half-way between my two goals and a little slower than my goal pace of 11:30.
When I checked Map My Run for my splits I could see what happened... the first 3 miles were well under goal pace (10:21!) the middle 4 were just about right on pace, and the last 3 were significantly slower. Which seemed odd, but everyone must have been slowing down the last couple miles because I pushed and picked off about 5 people I'd been slowly chasing the whole time.
The after party was nice - good band playing, and I caught up with the couple I'd been chatting with earlier and we hung out together to eat the free hotdogs and scarf down tons of water. And although they kept showing the average time comparisons between Buffalo/Rochester, and Buffalo was 4-5 minutes ahead - Rochester had more age-group and overall winners... so Rochester gets the trophy.
But - nice swag - my shirt has my name on it, and on the back it says "If you can read this - you must be from Rochester!"
All in all - a good run - and I'll make sure Map My Run is talking loud and clear when I do the Wineglass 1/2 in October. And not go out so fast!!!!