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.

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
Distance 6.2 Miles
Time 40:55
Pace 6:35 min/mile
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:

Name Time Place
Ashish Patel 34:33 27
Erik Marr 36:08 51
Kamran Shah 36:30 64
Chris Griger 36:57 71
Gerardo Orozco 37:08 74
Tim Stelzer 37:50 91
Rich Yavorsky 38:02 101
Justin Druba 38:24 116
Paul Franco 38:50 128

For the record, my time of 40:55 was faster than the 1st place person of the second place team.

One thought on “2011 Cap10K Race Report – Automatic PR

Thoughts? Leave a comment!