Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 Rodes City Run 10K - Race Recap

"Matt, get up, it's already 6:40!"

Saturday morning was rough.

It all started Friday night when the "KY Bourbon Boys" got together for a little bowling and bourbon.

I don't know that I've talked about the Bourbon Boys on here before -- it's a big group of family friends of ours that formed a couple years ago. We started by visiting all of the distilleries along the KY Bourbon Trail, and now we get together for various socials like the one Friday night. Oh, and we're legit, too -- we even have membership cards and t-shirts!
I knew I was in trouble when they had over 150 types of bourbon and BBC's Bourbon Barrel Stout on tap...

That's okay, I've run hungover before -- I can rally. It's just carb-loading, right??

I got up and got ready as fast as I could, popping a couple extra strength Excedrin and chugging as much water as I could stomach in the process. I grabbed a bagel and hit the road.

I was actually feeling okay by the time I made it downtown. Not great, but not too bad.

I was certainly not ready to run a race, though.

To make matters worse, I didn't have a plan going into this race like I did for the 5K.

I wanted to break 50:00 minutes, but my real goal was to beat It's a Dog Lick Baby World's current 10K PR of 49:26. Apparently I missed her 5K time by just 20 seconds; had I known I feel like I could have pushed a little harder. :)

After a little smack-talking on Twitter, I was worried I might have spoken a little too soon.

I knew I couldn't just go out hard and try to hang on, and I knew there were some hills I'd have to contend with, but I couldn't remember exactly where they were. I decided to try to hold as close to 8:00/mile for the first half, but still keeping it comfortable. Then hopefully I'd still have enough energy to make up the difference during the second half (to break 50:00 I'd need an average pace of 8:02/mile, and to break 49:26 I'd need to average at least 7:57/mile).

Mile 1: 7:49

Perfect. Flat and fast down Broadway. While there was a pretty good amount of "traffic" (I was about 5 minutes behind the gun), I was able to go out strong but not too hard.

Mile 2: 8:14

Oh, there's the big hill I remember! Mile 2 was a solid incline, gaining 70 feet total (50 of that was in the first .2 of the mile). I pulled back a little and kept it slow and steady.

Mile 3: 7:36

As we worked our way around Cave Hill Cemetery, we descended almost as much as we had climbed in mile 2, so I was able to pick up the pace and recover my heart rate.

Since I'm terrible with figuring out times and paces in my head, I decided to try out the virtual partner feature of my Garmin. Basically you set a target pace, and it tells you if you're ahead or behind, and by how much (both time and distance). I had it set for a 7:55/mile pace (which you can barely see):

When I checked it somewhere around mile 3, I was .01 ahead -- a lead of 7 seconds. "Okay, not bad," I thought. "Just gotta hold it."

Mile 4: 7:44

There was a little more climbing along the back side of the cemetery, but nothing too bad. I was still able to hold pace pretty easily.

Mile 5: 7:49

Heading back toward downtown is where this race always seems to fall apart for me, mostly because I go out too hard and I'm not prepared for the rolling hills. Since I was ahead of where I wanted to be, and since I knew we'd be finishing on Broadway, which is flat, I eased up a little.

Mile 6: 7:56

About halfway through mile 6 we turned onto Broadway and it was a straight shot to the finish. Under normal circumstances, this is where I would have opened it up. But I wasn't in that kind of condition on Saturday. I could see the finish line far off in the distance and knew I just didn't have it in me. Looking at my watch, I saw that I was close to 30 seconds ahead, so I just told myself to hold the pace I was going (which was actually pretty hard -- I was definitely ready to be done and felt like I could puke at any minute).

Even though my pace was falling, my heart rate was climbing:

The last .26: 7:14

Even though I was hurting, I was able to push my pace into the mid-6's to cross the finish line.

Official Time: 49:00!!

I PR'd by nearly 3 full minutes!

That's about 30 seconds per mile, which is right about what I did with the 5K!

I don't think I'll be making the mistake of drinking that much before a race again for a long time.

I want to give a huge thanks to my amazing wife for making sure I got home safe on Friday night, and for waking me up so I didn't miss the race. I seriously could have slept through it and not even cared.

I also want to thank Kara over at It's a Dog Lick Baby World for the smack-talking. If you haven't read her, you should. She's entertaining and sarcastic as hell, and (when she's not hurt) runs A LOT and does crazy things like 50 mile races. I may have won this battle, but she definitely wins the war.

Looking ahead to the Papa John's 10 Miler that's coming up in a little less than two weeks, it looks like I'd have to PR by 6 full minutes to beat her (which is about what she did when she set her PR!)... that would mean a 36-second-per-mile improvement...

Yeah... I'm not really sure if that's even possible!

As always, thanks for reading!


  1. Now you need to race a 10K NOT hungover and beat that time :)

    Great job on the new PR, that's a hard distance. It has all the pukey-ness of a 5K, but you have to hang for twice as long.

    Or do a 10K with the stroller. That's fun too :)

  2. I don't understand how you not only race hungover, but PR! I can't even feed myself when I'm hungover. Something is wrong with you. But, still proud of you!

  3. Hungover and you still had those splits? Pretty impressive!

    1. Thanks! I've been working really hard this season to actually stick to my training plan, and it's definitely paying off (no matter how hard I try to sabotage myself). Congrats on your PR, too! Four minutes on a 10K is amazing!


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