Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014 Greenway Memory 10 Miler

Greenway Memory 10 Miler

Red=Personal Record
 2011-time: 1:07:37, pace: 6:45/M, Place 5/60 overall, 1/5 in my age group & 5/26 among men
2012-time: 1:13:35, pace: 7:22/M, Place 9/75 overall, 1/5 in my age group & 8/38 among men
2014-time: 1:08:55, pace: 6:54/M, Place 7/83 overall, 1/10 in my age group & 7/39 among

Garmin Data: HERE
The Event
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this race since I haven't been training on flat surfaces. My 10-12 milers on the steeply rolling sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway that I train on have been averaging about a high 7 pace. My 0 incline 8 mile treadmill runs have been averaging a mid to high 6. My 2 most recent races, the Bank of Fincastle 10k and the Into the Darkness 4 Miler were both within a stones throw of PR territory.

I expected to be competitive with my 2012 time on this course. I thought it would be close. 

I took the first mile at burn out pace. Completely unsustainable. Not always a wise strategy, but I knew I had enough endurance to push through the fatigue that would accompany the rapid pace drop. By mile 3 my legs were feeling tight, but not on fire. I decided to only look at Garmin once per mile when it vibrated to indicate a completed mile. As long as my calves were burning with each stride I knew I was pushing myself just enough to maintain a pace.
About 1 mile in. I was still gunning it at this point.

Holding a pace in the high 6's and very low 7's on this gently rolling course was not something I had planned on. Every mile after the 3rd one surprised me when I would look at Garmin and see the pace I had just ran the last mile at. I never looked at any other number until around mile 7 when my buddy, Frank, who had been taking event pictures yelled out that I was looking at going under 1h10m. I was amazed. I ran a bit longer then looked at Garmin's "time" and saw I was around 57 minutes into this thing with just over 2 miles to go.

Some easy math when I hit the 8 mile marker indicated I would go under 1h10m if I could just hold my pace. I could have even relaxed a little bit, but I didn't want to jeopardize my spot and my legs were feeling "locked in" to my current pace, so I didn't feel any need to take it easy on myself.

Crossing the line in right at 1h9m far exceeded my expectation. 

Much thanks to Frank, Marion and my wife Denise for getting up early to support the runners and for taking pictures.

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