IBM Uptown Classic 10k Race Report

If I had to describe the last 4 days in one word it would be “whirlwind*“. Not even counting all of last week’s mayhem of getting ready to close on our house, on Friday we actually did close on our house! With cleaning people, movers, an electrician, and DirecTV coming Saturday and Sunday, the Chicago Marathon fast-approaching, and a last-minute registration for the IBM Uptown Classic 10K, I had not put a

lot of thought into this race. For perspective, there were/are unpacked boxes everywhere, so I was still tracking down my shoes at 11pm the night before the race. So with my mind thinking about everything but the race, it went pretty well.

The IBM Uptown Classic 10K is the first race of five in the Austin Distance Challenge. It starts on the enormous IBM facility in North Austin and snakes around Big Blue’s campus. Last week, I set my goal for the 10K as just a training run. The plan was to run the 6.2 mile race and then run 8 miles home to get my scheduled 14 miler. It worked pretty perfectly in all aspects except for the “take it easy”.

My really really ridiculously fast running friend, Chris, picked me up Sunday morning at 6:30am and drove us to IBM. We parked, I got my race packet (including shirt, number, goodies), dropped said packet off at Chris’ car, and we parted ways where he went to warm up and I went to pilfer snacks from the finishers’ tent. In between my targeted snack attacks I stopped by the Austin Distance Challenge tent and got my long sleeve ADC running shirt. Very cool, and looking forward to wearing it during those 8 days in the “winter” in Austin when you actually need a long sleeve shirt.

Anyway, soon we were lined up and the airhorn blasted, sending the runners off. Again, my plan (which I promised to do) was to take it easy. In the car I told Chris I’d aim for an 8-minute-mile pace for the race. I mean, I had to run 8 miles just to get home after finishing. As I started I felt stiff both from moving boxes the day before and the always-welcomed cold front that moved in. Even still, I knew I was already heading out a little too fast from the get-go. It wasn’t until the first mile did I see 7:45 min/mi for my first mile–honestly not that bad all things considered.

I kept what I thought was an even pace, not pushing too hard. With an eye on my heart rate I turned a blind eye to my pace. At mile two my watch beeped and said 7:12 min/mi for the second mile. Whoops. But that’s ok, I can still dial it back and take the rest of the run easy.

Mile 3? 7:01. Ugh.

Mile 4? 6:56. What?

Mile 5… 6:55. C’mon man.

Mile 6…… 6:51. SERIOUSLY?!

In the last 0.2 miles, with the finish line dead ahead I decided to pass as many people as I could and average a 5:38 min/mi pace over that distance. So clearly I have approximately zero self-control. I guess the good news is I didn’t blast off from the start and red-line the whole way like I did in the Cap10K earlier this year. Considering my lack of focus and a goal to go slow, I’m very happy with my finish time of 44:07 (7:06 min/mi).

After finishing I grabbed a few mini muffins from the same post-race snack table I was pilfering just an hour earlier. My 8 mile run home was uneventful. The weather was amazing and the roads were empty, which is about all you can hope for. Still a little quick, averaging 7:51 min/mi on the way home, but good prep for next weekend. Time to gear up for the Chicago Marathon, coming to a blogger near you this coming Sunday (10/9).

By the way, Chris ran a blistering 36:49, which works out to 5:56 min/mi.

2011 IBM Uptown Classic 10K
Distance 6.2 Miles
Time 44:07
Pace 7:06 min/mile
Overall Place 156 / 1352 (11.5%)
Gender Place 126 / 664 (18.9%)


*Random fact – I was a pretty good speller in middle school, but never got past the preliminary rounds. In 7th grade I still remember getting knocked out on “whirlwind”, which I incorrectly spelled “woorlwind”. That is all.

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