The first race back

I haven’t raced since last July. I’ve DNS’d like 5 or 6 straight races due to injury. I enjoy racing.. I’m an overachiever and my results are validation for all of the effort I put into running. It felt good knowing I was going to be racing this morning. But at the same time.. the pre-race nerves come. The reminder than what you’re going to do is going to hurt.

I was signed up for the Super Run 10k. The plan was to go out at 5:45 pace and see where I’m at 4 miles in. The recent mile repeats I’ve been running have been at 5:41-5:43 but my endurance is crappy right now. I was hoping for the best but expecting something less. When the gun went off it felt like going through the motions. I quickly realized I needed to get my head into the game and to steel up for what was to come. We went through the first mile in a comfortable 5:40. I hung with the lead pack unexpectedly and was hanging around 3rd/4th. I thought we’d have a few guys in the 32-33 range but it didn’t happen that way. The bridges to Pacific Beach took a lot out of me. I was hanging and felt good at the 5k point.

At Crown Point my run club had assembled for their Saturday run. Somebody recognized me and I soon received an awesomely loud “Go Wayne!” from the 300 voices of my run club. It was unworldly cool. I was good until about 4.5 miles. I was hanging off 3rd place’s shoulder and on a downhill said, “Let’s destroy these last 2 miles” and so he did. Unfortunately it also destroyed me in the process. He opened up a small gap.. and I just couldn’t close. My legs felt great but I couldn’t breathe enough air. (That’s my lack of miles and aerobic endurance) I tried to hang tough through the Sea World parking lot but as soon as we got to Sea World Drive I was in full on survival mode. I can’t remember the last time I suffered so much in a race. It was all I could do to not slow down. Then I got a terrible side stitch. Miraculously I only dropped a few seconds off the pace. I HTFU’d as much as I could (getting passed out of nowhere in the last turn) and ran it in for a 36:16. My splits were (5:40, 5:48, 5:49, 5:49, 5:49, 5:48) and 5:53/mi for the last bit.

It’s a personal worst, but I averaged out to about 5:47 and that’s not bad considering where I’m at. I’ll get my weekly mileage up and time will melt away. I just can’t believe I was running tempos faster than this last summer.

On the bright side, I finished 5th overall (4th according to the race results, the guy in front of me was carrying his bib and probably didn’t have his D-tag on) and won my age group. That feels good. After the race I chatted it up with friends and drove home feeling a runner’s high I haven’t felt in a while. It’s good to be back!


About thedillyruns

In 2007 I decided to join a running group to train for a marathon. I'd never run more than 4 miles at a stretch and never raced. I grew up playing basketball. After a promising first half marathon, I grew hungry to run faster.
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2 Responses to The first race back

  1. hey, it sounds like a good effort (and pretty consistent splits all told)… welcome back! also- your running club has 300 people? how do they handle track workouts for 300?

    • thedillyruns says:

      Thanks! My run club doesn’t actually do track workouts. We do intervals at Mission Bay sometimes but the group is just too large for the track. A few of us used to get together at Pt Loma Nazarene on Thursday nights to do track work, but they’ve been running with the tri-club at UCSD on Wednesdays lately. I’m finally back to the point where I feel confident doing fast stuff, so I’ll either join up on Wednesdays or resurrect our Thursday nights. I kind of like not being tied to a club workout though since I write my own schedule.

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