What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. - John L. Parker

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Race Recap: Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler

Yesterday was my first foray into longer distances with the Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler.  I really didn't know what to expect in this race and didn't have much of a goal in mind.  Basically, I just wanted to make sure I relaxed in the first half of the race and didn't die in the second half.

The course starts at the upper, western tier of Edgewater Park and ends in the lower eastern tier.  The course is primarily an out-and-back through the Edgewater neighborhood and along Lake Ave. in Lakewood.  There was a strong western wind which meant the course would be upwind to start and downwind on the way back.

My legs felt a bit sluggish during the warmup, which is unfortunate because they felt really good on Friday morning's run.  There does not seem to be any discernible pattern in when my legs feel good vs. bad.  Someday I will figure this out.

I got to the start, did a few strides and off we went.
There's me front and center at the start
The first few miles I tried to relax and just find people to run with in order to save energy.  After the first mile I was running with one other guy in 4th/5th place.  We stayed together until just after the second mile when he dropped off so I was running alone in 4th.  By this point the top three had already established a considerable gap so I was basically in no man's land.

Miles 3 and 4 were tough.  We were running right into the teeth of the wind.  I was just doing my best to hold my pace and run strong but also stay relaxed.  The turnaround was just before mile 4 and I actually took water at the water stop there, which was the first time I had taken water in a race in many years.

On the way back I got a lot of support from the runners still on the way out, which was awesome.  I was still 4th and the 1st women was now in 5th.  I could tell how far behind me she was by the cheers.  I would get a little cheer, and then about 20 seconds later I would hear a big cheer.

As I got into the later miles there were no more outgoing runners and I was basically by myself and would only pass the occasional spectator.  The top 3 were well out sight now and I still had a decent lead on the 1st woman.  It was weird feeling, being isolated in a race like this.  I had never really experienced it before.  At certain points I got worried that I was going to go off course.

Around mile 8 I reentered Edgewater Park and then went out for the loop through Battery Park, which is the last part of the course.  Somewhere in middle of mile 8 I got worried that I was going to get caught so I started picking up the pace.  On the last mile there was a brief stretch were you turn west and had to go directly into the wind again.  That was rough.

Finally, I went through the tunnel under the shoreway and back into Edgewater for the final part of the race.  The wind here was really coming strong off the lake which made for a tough finish.  I gutted it out and managed a decent kick in the last 100m.
First 10 miler finished!

Final time was 58:39, 4th overall, 1st in my age group and a PR (by default).

Overall, I think I did ok for myself.  I paced it about as well as I could have with near even splits (29:16 first half, 29:22 second half).

My next race is in just one week: the Race to Empower 5k.

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely KILLER race, Brian. You are ripping off PR's like no other this season. Can't wait to see you destroy the 10K in a few weeks!

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  2. Wow! I totally saw you. You were on the turnaround before I hit Mile 3. All the slow runners were commenting about how crazy fast you and the other guys were. Hah.

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  3. Way to go man! You are right about that killer head wind at the finish...nearly ripped my singlet off! It's hard to run a race in no mans land...It takes a lot of mental toughness to maintain a solid pace and still run a good time-looks like you were able to do both!

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