Friday, September 13, 2013

Victory Labor Day: Race Report

 This race report is a little belated, but better late than never.

The weather was perfect for a race. Cool, overcast, not too humid, and a nice breeze. Laura and I headed to the race to run the 10k, while my parents, visiting from Nebraska, planned to join us later for the 5k.

Laura and I before the race

The 10k was first, and after a warm up, we made our way to the starting line. This race isn't chip-timed, so I headed to the front. The Labor Day Victory 10k is a fast course and attracts fast runners, so I knew I wouldn't be competing for an award. I did, however, hope to set a PR and wanted to tuck in with a group running near my pace. Instead, I found myself in no-man's land after the first half mile or so. I left a group that was moving too slow, but couldn't catch a group in front of me. There wasn't a major wind or anything, but it's always easier to run in a pack.

After a couple of miles, I did manage to catch three runners in front of me--a guy in his 50s and two women. I was hoping to stay with them as long as possible since they were going about the pace I wanted to be running. The race is an out-and-back, and sometime after the turn I thought I could pick up the pace a little bit. I moved ahead of the little group and hoped to catch a couple more runners in front of me. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold the faster pace, and the group of three caught up to me. When they picked up the pace a little, I couldn't respond.

While trying to catch up to the three runners who'd left me behind, I ran by Laura, who was going the other direction. She was also doing the doubleheader, and was looking strong. She ended up setting a 10k PR in the process of running 13 miles for the day.

After I tried to catch up to the faster group, it became obvious that I wasn't going to reel them in. The girls ended up being the top two females, and the guy went on to set a Minnesota age group record.  I, however, did end up setting a PR, though it was not as good of an age graded time as my mile, 5k, 10 mile, or 1/2 marathon PR. I'll take it though--especially after a winter and spring of inconsistent training and two weeks after a tough Ragnar.

All of us before the 5k
After a little recovery time, drinking some Gatorade, and seeing my parents, it was time for the 5k. The 5k can be summed up with one word: ouch. I ran an 18:14--a slower pace than my 10k. Not too impressive, and other than my legs being very sore, I don't remember too much about the race itself. The combined result of my races, however, were good enough to put me at 7th overall in the doubleheader category.

After I finished the 5k, I jogged back and had the pleasure of seeing my parents running, then finishing the race with my dad. It's been pretty awesome getting to encourage and help my mom run her first two 5k races, and helping get my dad back into running. It was pretty special when the announcer called both our names as we neared the finish line.

Dad and I finishing the race.

Laura and my mom both ran well, and they were there to meet us at the finish. We had a great weekend visiting with my parents, and finishing up the Labor Day Holiday with a race was pretty great.

Tomorrow morning I get to pace the Get Ready to Rock 20 Mile in White Bear Lake. Can't wait!

Happy Running!

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