Sunday, April 1, 2012

Papa John's 10 Miler - Race Recap

Yesterday, we had the third and final race of the Triple Crown of Running series - the Papa John's 10 Miler.

I had some pretty high hopes for this one, considering how well the first two went.

According to Runner's World, based on my 5K and 10K times, I should be able to finish this one somewhere between 1:23:35 and 1:25:58. My goal was to do it in 1:25:00.

To do that, I would need to have an average pace of 8:30/mile. I knew from my training runs and previous races that this was possible, but I was worried about hitting it with the hills in Iroquois.

So my plan was to keep my pace around my goal pace for the first three (flat) miles. I knew I'd lose some ground on miles 4 through 6 because of the hills, but I wanted to try not to lose too much. Then for the last 4 miles (which were also flat except for one final hill at mile 9), I wanted to recover what I had lost.

We had a little trouble getting to the race -- lots of traffic, and a minor GPS-related detour. As we were walking to the start line (but still probably 3/4 of a mile away), we heard the gun go off. That's okay, since we're not trying to win it, chip time is all that matters to us anyway.

Here we are still walking to the start. See all the people on the right? They're all waiting in line for a porta potty. Don't they know the race has started??

What a nasty-looking morning! But the temperature was in the mid-50's, which was perfect!

Still walking...

There's the start!

Getting into the zone...

Oh, wait, he's taking pictures!

Kristen's just gonna keep smiling, just in case.

Almost there...

I tried to get a picture of the clock, but it didn't really turn out. We were about 8 1/2 minutes behind the official start.

Like we usually do during races, Jennifer and I said our good-byes and I took off. Out of nowhere she comes flying up beside me and passes me! She said she wanted to pass me just once in a race. I had to get a picture!

Lots of people!

Pictures turn out funny when you're using a cell phone and holding it above your head while running...

Like last year, I got another good pic of the Papa John's Camaro.

Right before the park, I checked my progress to see how I was doing. My average pace (in the lower right corner) was 8:36/mile -- just a tad slower than what I wanted it to be, but not by much.

This pic is kinda cool. It's difficult to make out, but behind the trees is a line of runners.

Here we are in the park, heading up a hill (or, you know, into a time warp or black hole or something).

Almost done with the park -- climbing the last hill, I think. My average pace has only dropped by about 9 seconds per mile, so I'm really happy with that!

Coming out of the park, there was a nice downhill, and I was flying! At one point I was right around 6:00/mile, but when I finally got a picture I had slowed to around a 7:00/mile.

Notice that my average pace is now only 12 seconds slower than my goal. Awesome!

I don't have any more pictures from the last 4 miles, 'cause I was pushing really hard. I hit mile 7 right at an hour, which means I was right on target with my goal.

Around mile 8 I just really wanted to be done. I was tired of running, and I just wanted to walk for a second. I knew that if I did, I wouldn't hit my goal, so I told myself just to keep going. In less than 20 minutes, I could lay down if I wanted, but I had to finish this thing strong.

Just before mile 9, I saw the overpass that is the last hill that everyone dreads and I got excited. I was almost there!

I was so focused on getting to the finish that I don't remember what my average pace was. I just kept pushing.

After the hill, there's still another half-mile or more to the finish (you have to run around the outside of the stadium before entering the stadium and running around the inside of the stadium). I was tired, and I didn't feel like I could, but I kept trying to push harder and harder. I think my pace was somewhere in the high 7's.

Once I hit the turf inside the stadium, I really opened it up. It's so awesome to go in there and see all the people in the stands -- it really gave me a boost to finish strong ('cause I want to look like a ninja or cheetah or other fast creature).

After crossing the finish line, I had to keep walking. I felt stiff.

I stopped my watch but I didn't really look at it. I had to walk, and I really wanted to go find Jennifer. She had a cold, and had busted her knee up a few days ago, so I wanted to find out how she was doing.

I made it back to the other side of the last hill when I finally spotted her. She was so excited to see me! (That's her waving to me in the blue shirt right in the middle of the picture.)

We ran together until I had to break away at the entrance of the stadium. She was doing good, and she looked strong!

After she finished, we met up with Kristen (who had finished about 10 minutes before) and went to get food and water.

Even though she was sick and hurt, Jennifer ended up shaving about 4 minutes off her time from last year! If she wasn't training for 3 sports, I know she'd be even faster! Good job baby!

According to my watch, I ran 10.17 miles in 1:26:04, which gives me an average pace of 8:29/mile! Looking at the results on my Garmin, I actually finished 10 miles in 1:24:59!!

According to the official race results, though, my average pace was 8:36/mile (since they had the distance as exactly 10 miles). I'm absolutely happy with how the race turned out, but I still want to officially finish in under 1:25:00. Oh well, there's always next year.

Even so, I ran the race 17 minutes and 18 seconds faster than last year!

And like we've done with the other races this year, we totally stocked up on the free bananas and apples!

After we got home and showered, I mixed up the Infinit Repair recovery drink to try.

Like the other powders I've tried recently, I had some trouble getting it all mixed up, but I really liked the flavor of this one! It was fruit punch, but it had more of a tropical flavor than traditional fruit punch. I'm excited to go on their website and mix up some other formulas to try.

So there you have it, another race in the books. We have a couple weekends without any races, then the fourth and final Shelbyville Triathlon Series race, and two weeks after that, the miniMarathon!


  1. 17 minutes off of your pr?! You are a running ninja!

    All of your speedwork and tempo runs are really paying off. So proud of you!

    I just counted 12 bananas in Kristen's arms!

  2. Both of you are running ninjas!! Awesome blog matt


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