After my less-than-reassuring preview post, I did run the Austin American Statesman Capitol 10K on Sunday. Having never raced a 10K before I really had no experience to work with. I knew I could run 6.2 miles without a problem, but exactly how fast was the real question. The beauty of running a new distance is that no matter what, I get to set a new personal record! So other than setting a PR by default, here’s how it all went.
The Friday before the race Barrett landed in Austin and I still hadn’t decided if I was going to run the Cap 10K. One concern was leaving Barrett behind while I went out to race. However, thanks to his
addiction interest in Internet-streaming professional cycling events he said he’d happily hang out at the apartment while I was gone. Between Friday night and Saturday mid-day I decided to go ahead with the race.
Seemingly at the same time that I committed to running the race, Barrett and I headed down to Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, rented him a bike, and we were off on a 28 mile rolling hill ride. At 28 miles it was the longest bike ride I had ever done, and the hills were formidable (for me) to say the least. It was a lot of fun, but left my legs in a less-than-ideal state going into the Cap 10K.
Finally Sunday rolls around and, in an effort to avoid traffic and road closures, I opted to take advantage of my newfound bike confidence and rode my bike downtown (and downhill) to the race start. The same Mellow Johnny’s had a bike parking area that let me leave my bike in peace. After dropping my bike off I moseyed over to the Purple starting group and did a few token in-place stretches.
With an airhorn and applause we were off through the treacherous (read: hilly) twists and turns of downtown Austin. Without a goal, or even a realistic idea of my current conditioning, I decided to attack the hills early and often. From the get-go I could feel the sluggishness in my legs from the day before, but it remained manageable while I settled into a groove. Almost from the start the hills smack you around a bit. I passed a lot of people on those early hills hoping that I’d be able to just hang on during the downhill / flat second half (cue nightmares from Austin Marathon).
As the miles ticked by I continued rationalizing with myself. “Just 4 more miles. At this rate that’s like 27 minutes. You can run 27 minutes, can’t you?” and other sweet nothings. I didn’t feel particularly strong, especially in those middle miles with the rolling hills. Despite feeling like I had a parachute on my splits got progressively faster through Mile 5. The final mile, where I expected to hammer things out, was when I realized how much “oomph” I left out on the bike the day before. Crossing the South 1st St Bridge you can see the finish line off to the right. At that time I tried to shift into that extra gear and there was just nothing left. Instead I coasted through on cruise control for pretty much the entire last mile.
I crossed the finish line officially in 40:55, setting a default personal best! Not too shabby and it sets me up nicely to aim for sub-40 the next time out. The one catch: there’s no “next time” anywhere on the horizon, possibly not until next year. So with that, fair readers, I bid you good tidings as I re-shift my focus from running to triathlon.
|2011 Statesman Capitol 10K|
|Overall Place||231 / 10166 (2.27%)|
|Gender Place||210 / 5143 (4.08%)|
Update on the Corporate Challenge:
As you well know I wasn’t a part of the Corporate Challenge team. Curiously now that I look at the results, there were only nine NI employees on the team, so either there’s a clerical error on the Cap 10K side, or someone dropped off the team and they decided not to fill his spot. In either case our team won! By a mile. Really by 6 miles… Each team sums their 5 fastest times, and the fastest total wins. We won by 46 minutes!
Here’s how everyone on the team did:
For the record, my time of 40:55 was faster than the 1st place person of the second place team.