Spectrum 10k was not quite as I expected. It was good race for me, and It was actually only the second time I have gone under 38 in an Official 10k.
I stayed with Criss and Val James at a condo they had rented that was near Ivins. It made for a great experience. I left the condo early to meet up with a few new friends for a warm up before we got on the buses, but I was the only one that made it on time. So I ran an easy mile feeling pretty good. Then Kimberly Hunt showed up and we ran another mile before getting on the bus. Up at the start, we got in another mile right before the race, and I did a couple strides just a couple minutes before the race started. I stood at the starting line feeling totally ready to let it rip.
There were several women crowding the staring line, so I took a place behind a couple of them hoping they would go out as fast as I wanted to. They did. I was so focused on my race, that what was going on around me became somewhat of a blur. The course was just as I expected during the first mile, fast and downhill. I was holding on to a 5:21 pace that felt pretty good. This is way faster than I can run on the flat, but I was told the first 3 miles would be like this. I normally like to run smart, but had decided to try and crush the first 5k, knowing full well that it would cost me dearly over the last 5k. I was just going to try to hang on after the first half.
Right before the end of the first mile, I hit my first bump in the road, literally. There was the tiniest of hills before the mile marker, but it was enough to knock my 5:21 pace to a 5:23 as I went through the first mile. On the flat, I think I would be real close to a 6:00 pace, but when I am hitting the downhill so hard, even the smallest hills seem to destroy my pace. So it shocked me as the rollers became more frequent, and the steep downhill disappeared through mile 2. My pace had slipped in to the 5:40's, and I was working so hard at that pace, that it soon dropped even more. I finished the second mile in 6:09, and knew my plan for a PR was in serious trouble.
The third mile seemed better, but there still wasn't enough downhill for me to get back down where I wanted to be. I needed downhill! Still I managed to get through mile 3 in 6:00 flat, and I had hopes that the second half wouldn't be as hard as I anticipated. I rolled through the 5k mark in 18:07, which is fantastic for me, but I felt I needed to be 37 seconds faster at that point.
Around 3.6, the course turned and definitely went up hill. To make matters worse, the breeze that had helped us down the canyon, was now in our face. I'm sure a lot of what happened to me here was from going out too fast, but I felt like I had nothing on the hills, my pace got slower and slower, and I even got passed by a couple people. I hate getting passed! The race became even more of a blur as I trudged through a 6:23, then a 6:24 mile. Now I was just trying to hold on for the best time I could. I knew the PR was not going to happen.
By mile 6 I had faded to about a 6:40 pace. I had tried to hang on to the ones that had passed me, but I had no life left in me. Fortunately we got a little more downhill when we turned the second to last corner, and I was able to finish that last full mile @ 6:27. The final turn left us less than 400 to go, and although I was on the edge of puking (it's what I do), I figured I could postpone it if I kept the wheels turning from the downhill. So I ran the last .2 @ 5:44 pace, saving the dry heaving for after I crossed the timing mat.
I finished the race in 37:31, my second fastest 10k ever, and it's not even spring yet. So I actually feel pretty dang good about it, but I feel I could have ran faster on a flat course. I really don't think this is the fast course people said it would be. I can't make up as much time on the downhill, as the uphills cost me.
I spent a lot of time telling about a race that was somewhat of a blur. It was just one of those grueling races that didn't quite go as planned, even though I am happy with the final result and the effort.
I finished 1st in my age group with the other 2 in my age group being close behind me, and one of them I even passed in mile 5. I finished 15th overall. That is a good day for me.
(5:23 6:09 6:00 6:23 6:24 6:27 .2 @ 5:44)