Sunday, September 30, 2012

Race Report: Blues and Brews 10 Miler

The Blues and Brews 10 Miler was placed on my race schedule back on May 31st as a final "tune up" for the Chicago Marathon.  My expectations was to go for a pace run for the 10 miles and work out any kinks in my race plan.  As I mentioned in my previous post, 8:00 minute miles are my target for Chicago.  Stay tuned to see how that that panned out.

Does 17 weeks of marathon training work as prep?  The only concern was after my last long run on the previous Sunday, my left heel and ankle have been a bit sore.  I didn't really do much for it until Saturday when I started icing it and took some anti-inflamatory meds.  Sunday morning I woke up for the first time to no pain.  That was quick.

TKB had a long run scheduled and wanted to stick to the trails up north, so I went solo.  For a few of my last long runs, I've been picking up a latte at Starbucks so I gave it a shot today.  I'll be honest, it's Pumpkin Spice Latte time and I'm going to take advantage of that whenever I can.

I got to the race around 6:30 and got an awesome parking spot.  It was literally 15 feet from the start line.  I think I made my own parking spot though, but no ticket when I left.

I hit the port-a-pot and found Aaron and Jenny in the lines.  We chatted for a little bit and around 6:40 I took off for a warm-up run.

My pre-race photo.  It seems to be the thing to do if you are an athlete blogger these days.  Why should I resist?
Once in the start line I found Kristen and another co-worker, Kim, waiting for the start.  It wasn't until now that the sun started to peak over the horizon so I decided to switch to sunglasses.  5 minutes before the race and I needed to run back to the car to get my prescription sunglasses?  No problem since I found an awesome parking spot.

The start was rather anit-climatic.  A taped version of the nation anthem.  No start line banner and a quick, 3-2-1 and GO!  I was about 20 feet back from the start line.  I wanted to stick to an 8:30 pace for the first 2 - 3 miles.

Naturally, I went 7:44, 7:23, 7:35.  Oops.  But to be honest, I felt like I was hitting a great starting pace and miles 2 & 3 were downhill.  I'm pretty shocked to see those paces because they felt SLOW.

Miles 4 - 6: 7:40, 8:00, 7:11 (mile six be referred to as the Slurpee Mile)
Pressure is on at this point.  I'm feeling great and the miles are flying off.  One thing I don't understand is why does every race try to incorporate the Hospital Hill?  Doesn't the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon have a copyright on using those hills or something?  That's the 8:00 mile.

I'm still feeling great.  I'm having fun on the course, thanking the cops and volunteers, joking with the other runners, high-fiving the kids, and yelling at the guy hitting the cowbell, "I NEED MORE COWBELL."

Mile 7 - 7:47 (the airplane mile?)
I was actually concerned about this mile as it was mostly uphill and it always hurts during the Hospital Hill Run (granted, it's only 1/3 of that hill for this race).  I bunkered down because I knew what was coming...

Mile 8 - 7:00
Actually about mile 7.5 to 8.75 is all downhill.  I don't have the exactly split for this section but it was fast.  At the start of the downhill I was thinking "keeping your arms inside the car" as I was using gravity to ride down the roller coaster. I past about 5 runners here because they were holding back.

Mile 9 - 7:04
Most of this was on the downhill so it was still faaaaaaaast.

Mile 10 - 6:54
No more downhill but what I couldn't remember was whether there were any uphills on the map.  At this point in the race, it doesn't matter.  Run your freaking butt off (but don't forget that you are running a marathon in less than a week).  There was a 100 foot incline on the mile but I can't remember it.  I was just picking off runners, hoping they were in my age group.

I turned the corner to see the finish chute and took off.  I thought I heard footsteps behind me but I never saw them.

I hit the finish line, grabbed my medal, gatorade and into the "concert" area.

Within 10 feet of the finish line is the results printout booth, so I picked mine up to see this:

7:24 pace?  Whut?!

4th place!  Did you notice the asterisks?  There was a chance for me to get an Age Group award!

Official Numbers:
Overall: 34 of 625
Age Group: 4 of 39

I met back up with Aaron and Jenny, as well as Kristen, Jeff (Kristen's hubby), and Kim & Michael (also a coworker).  We accepted the fact that there was NO post-race food.  Nothing.  In addition, you would think that a race that includes "Brew" in the name would offer post-race adult beverages.  Well, they did but you had to pay for it.  They did have food available, but you had to buy it from Grinders.

Eventually it was just Aaron, Jenny and me waiting for the post-race concert (the Blues part).  They nailed it quite well by having Blues Traveler headline the concert.  We gave in and grabbed some food from Grinders.  They announced the awards between the opening act and Blues Traveler.

5k female, 5k male, 5k overall, 10 mile female, and finally the 10 mile male.  Something that was pretty evident during the 5k awards was that the KC elites must have slept in on this race.  The fastest 5k time was 20:54, which I beat at my last 5K. This actually concerned me thinking that maybe my age group didn't have one of the top 5 overall.

As it turned out I they did.  I got 3rd place!

I'm going to need two or three beers to fill this up.  Darn.

Race Thoughts
I feel absolutely fantastic with this performance!  I am planning to adjust my Chicago plans but only slightly.  I never thought like I was "dying" out there, even with the fast pace.  My left ankle never hurt (but I plan to continue icing it).


Kristen and Jeff -- Running the 10 miler as a relay.

Jenny and Aaron.  Post-5k.  I think Aaron should have worn his bib upside-down.

The medal is also a bottle opener.  I will use it to fill that glass!

1 comment:

  1. Great job Scotty! Now rest up so you can BQ next weekend ;)