2014 Cap10K Race Report

Another year, another Cap10K.  As my fourth time running this race, I wanted to set a new PR (currently 39:45).  I had big hopes of following a brutal training plan full of speedwork, tempo runs, and general self-torture.  It’s all about pain management after all.  And everything was going to plan, except that I didn’t do any actual training.  At all.  Sure, I ran; just nothing you could call “training”.  So would I set a new PR?  Did I overcome the deck that I had stacked against myself?  What are lofty goals for if not dramatic cliffhangers in a blog post?

CAP10K

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2012 Cap10K Race Report

Sunday was the 35th running of the Statesman Capitol 10,000.  As you no doubt remember, this year I was a member of my company’s Corporate Challenge team.  We’ll get to how that went in a moment.  First, anyone who has been around me for more than 5 seconds knows I like running marathons*.  Half marathons are cool too.  10Ks are not really in my bag of tricks.  Not one to disappoint I set a pretty aggressive  conservative  who knows goal of sub 40 minutes.

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Cap10K Preview

Well, the Cap10K is finally upon us.  On Sunday I’ll be representing the National Instruments corporate challenge team.  We’re the 7-time reigning champions and number 8 is in our sights.  As a refresher, the top 5 times for each team get added together, and the fastest team time wins.  I’m likely going to have the ninth fastest time on our team and therefore inconsequential (per usual).

In preparation for the race, I ran 20 miles yesterday (Thursday).  “Not ideal”, you say?  Well it sounds a lot better than running 20 miles the day before the race.  Who’s the smart one now?  All that snarkiness stems from my focus on marathon training without any real concern or attention paid to the Cap10K.  Shifting my long run from Saturday to Thursday was truly the extent of my 10K prep.

Ok, that should sufficiently lower expectations.  Last year I ran this race in 40:55.  My goal this year is to go sub-40.  Cheer me on to make sure I hit my goal.  If nothing else, cheer for my friend Travis who is running on his company’s team too, and his first 10K.

Go Travis!

Corporate Team Tryouts: Results Edition

Early in February I gave a preview of the team tryouts to earn a spot on the National Instruments Corporate Challenge team for the Capitol 10K. Well race day finally arrived. With seven people trying out for four spots, it was sure to be competitive. I had done my research and knew who would beat me and who I could out run. My research did not leave me feeling very reassured.

The biggest difference, as Colin pointed out, is that for the tryouts, I’m racing against people and not against the clock. In all my other races, it’s always me versus the clock. That completely changes the strategy. Time is steady. People are not. In any case, the group jogged 2 miles to the track as a warm up. We got a brief review of the rules from MC Rich, took a group photo, and got lined up.

The Serious Seven: Me, Misha, Ryan, Joel, Justin, Mike, Paul

From the start the group broke into three factions: 3 in the lead pack, 2 in the middle, and 2 falling behind. I was in the “2 in the middle” group, which meant only one of us would be getting a spot on the team. Unfortunately for me I was hanging with Misha, who is known for having a lightning fast kick (aka speed burst at the end). After the first lap, the lead group had a solid gap ahead of Misha and me. I decided in the second lap I needed to try to put some space between Misha and me or I could be in serious trouble later.

By the end of the second lap I was creating some distance but terrified (and paranoid) that there would be a late surge to knock me out. For some reason I thought doing this would be a good idea, maybe to psyche out the competition… or because of other, undiagnosed reasons.

We cruised through the next lap and at each turn I tried to gauge my lead without hinting at my fear. Around lap four is when I noticed that third place (Justin) was falling off the lead group. He was one of the people I considered much faster and catching him was out of the question. Over the course of the next lap I was able to pass Justin to slip into third. Again, my inexperience racing actual people left me worrying that I was now just a sitting duck. I tried to hold it together and maintain a solid pace and make him work for it if he wanted to pass me back.

The final results show I was able to put some decent space between Justin and myself (see above, Justin in distance). Misha had a tough time with the pace, but to his credit he ran his first ever marathon 10 days ago in 3:13. In Austin. The big news though is that I MADE THE TEAM!! My third place finish means I’m the 9th fastest person on the ten-person team. Overall I’m most happy about redeeming my crash and burn from last year.

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p>Based on my Garmin saying 3.33 miles, I averaged a

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6:19 min/mile pace. Not bad, especially considering I’ve been doing approximately zero speed work since mid January. So with the tryouts behind me, it’s back to marathon training.

Time to Try Again [UPDATE]

It’s that time of year again.  No, not when I decide to switch to triathlons.  The Capitol 10K is coming up on March 25th (right before the Texas Independence Relay).  That means my company (National Instruments) needs to field it’s elite team of runners to defend its title.  We’re going on 7 years in a row winning the Corporate Challenge.  So the call for tryouts has been sent out and I have answered that call.  This year it sounds like the competition will be fiercer.  Early estimates show there could be as many as ten people vying for five spots.

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2011 Cap10K Race Report – Automatic PR

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.

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