I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 10k this morning in Mission Bay. It’s a flat and fast course that I ran last year in 34:34, good for 8th place. I wasn’t in that kind of shape today, but I was shooting for about 5:40/mi which comes out to 35:15.
At the gun, Matt said he was going to hang with me, since I go out on goal pace rather than killing the first mile. A lot of people were ahead of us on that first turn but that’s standard. We passed a group of 4 and I told him we were going to pass people for the rest of the race. The first mile marker was way short, like 15 seconds+ short. We went through the first Garmin mile in 5:45 (too slow) so I exclaimed “Shit!” and we picked it up a little. Slowly but surely we pulled people in. Some of them were breathing way too hard for the 2nd mile. Then Matt took the lead and powered ahead. I let him go (he was doing 5:30) and kept the pace. We shortly thereafter passed two of the top three girls. One was about 10 yards ahead of the other and that’s how they’d finish. We could still see the Japanese woman leading the race up ahead, I knew we wouldn’t catch her.
There was a fast group of guys entered into this race. I knew Sean Zanderson and Paul Wellman would battle and surely they did. Zanderson won in 30:42, zoom!!! The second pack wasn’t too far behind. Last year the winner ran a mid to low 32 for the win.
I was holding back a bit. The first two miles felt harder than they should’ve and since oxygen is my limiter, I didn’t want to get into oxygen debt and die a horrible death like I did at the Super Run 10k. So I tried to conserve energy and oxygen as much as possible. At mile 4 I got a bit of a second wind and had to stop myself from taking off. I passed Matt back at this point and another guy and it took Matt until we were nearly off the island to catch back up. Once we got onto concrete, my pace immediately dipped into the low 5:30s. I had to back off, still fearing I’d hit oxygen debt. This was about the time a little girl jumped onto the path right in front of me. I yelled “Look out!! We’re racing!!” and the mother yelled at me to look out. Really? I was paying attention, the child was not and Mom wasn’t either. So the adrenaline of dodging a small child got me right over that little hill by the playground. I hit mile 5 and squeezed down the pace. Once I hit about half a mile left I knew I could just go without worrying. I must’ve passed more than 20 people by this point and I hadn’t been passed once. I was slowly catching up to the next male and at 6 I started seeing blood in the water. I put down a ferocious kick to pass him and nearly the next guy before the line.
I finished in 35:18 feeling good and strong. Not only did I not crash and burn, that’s as strong as I’ve ever felt at the end of a 10k. I certainly could’ve run it faster if I’d known. But I’m very very satisfied with the result. I’m really getting back into shape. I was surprised to have beaten Matt, who came in 20 seconds behind me. He’s in good shape, he said it just wasn’t his race. Meanwhile Jessica ran a 38:03 good for 4th woman. I think she’s capable of a lot more, but she’s better at endurance than speed. She needs a pacer for this kind of event.
St. Patrick’s Day 10k
35:18 (5:45, 5:37, 5:41, 5:43, 5:41, 5:38, 1:09) (5:41/mi avg)