I didn't puke in the finishing chute - but everything thing else makes up for it.
11/13/2010 6:53 PM CST
First of all, I have to thank John Wayne for steering me back toward using the Piranhas instead of the MT100's. And of course I must thank Gary for planting the Piranha seed in the first place. And of course Senior Runner for raising running in Piranhas to a religious pursuit. It was the perfect shoe for this race.
The weather this morning was perfect for my first Pikermi. Just above 35 degrees. No wind. Dry. The temperature was to rise about 10 degrees over two hours and that's just what it did. I wore two short sleeve tight fitting tech shirts. The outer one was one of those mesh types. This made things a bit chilly in the blocks, but by the first mile it was absolutely perfect. I was never cold nor hot. This made for a lot of good times on this traditionally fairly demanding course.
This being my first race of this distance, I had a few simple goals to try to enhance my chances. I wanted there to be no bathroom stops. And I wanted there to be no slowing throught the water stops. I figured I needed my time where ever I could get it. So I hydrated profusely Thursday and Friday and only drank once during the race. It was a quick gulp at mile eleven. I wanted to push the pace. I wanted to demand toughness from myself by running at a challenging pace.
As for pace, I had in mind 7:45. But I felt so good and I was so jazzed that I could tell I was going to have to run faster. I soon found myself following the 7:15 pace guy. But it became clear that he was outrunning his coverage, I had to fall back. In the end my average pace was 7:18. That's better than any 10K pace I've ever run.
Something else I did with this race was to really take carbo loading seriously. Friday, I ate a good breakfast. Then I ate a big plate of Thai food for lunch. Then I made my zucchini and spaghetti dish for supper and ate two big servings. With the rest I was getting over the week and food I ate, my legs were like loaded guns. I hear people talk about their marathon tapers, and I think I was getting a taste of that sensation.
The Governor's Cup in Columbia, SC is laid out in a fairly reasonal fashion. There are hills and there are flats. In Columbia, there's no way to lay out anything longer than 5k without hills being part of the action. The worst hill is the last 0.6 miles or so. The finish up Blossom St hill is a monster. People were telling me "save something for the end." Now how are you supposed to do that?
Once I let the 7:15 pace guy go (as alluded to above, this guy was no Junblack13; I think his idea of 7:15 pace was to slow periodically to 7:15) I used my Garmin to check my pace and try to keep myself rolling up an average 7:15 on my own. Given the hilly nature of the course, I made time on the down slopes and flats when I could and tried to maintain some quickness on the up slopes.
I had been concerned about the Piranhas on the down hills, but I did pretty well. And I'm definitely glad I had these shoes for the flats and the up slopes and even the gentle down slopes.
I felt good maintaining the fast pace. I never really got to a point where I felt like I had pushed too hard. To keep my energy up I did bring some of those Gu Chomps. Not sure it that made any difference or not. Just insurance against bonking. Not sure I would do it again as they upset my stomach. When I got to the final two miles, I did get a sense that I was getting spent. Still I kept the pace up pretty well. I could tell that if I stopped, I would probably have trouble going again. I just focused on keeping my form and keeping my hips moving. Little thinks like keeping my knees high. If I have one regret it would be that I kind of babied the last downhill on Devine St coming into five points. I didn't think I had good enough control of my legs to really push that downhill. Could've should've would've. Maybe I did the right thing. See second mantra for possible explanation.
Mantras? I don't know. I guess I pictured that cement truck running from time to time. I kept thinking "don't fall on your head" for some reason. Mostly I think about form and technique. I give myself things to work on; that's how I roll.
At the end, I had nothing left. I ran much faster than I had envisioned I would before the race. But things fell together and I went with it. I was absolutely dead in the finishing shoot. I tried to recover a little and jog a little cool down, but I could only walk. And even that was more like a stumble. I felt sick to my stomach but I never puked; sorry Jenster.
Well that's it in a nutshell. My first Pikermi rocked. 1:35:23 with a 7:18 pace. 69th out of 929 runners by gun time. 67th by chip time. 10th in my age group. Gotta get down another seven or eight minutes to place in my age group with this field. I'm just not that fast. Winning time was 1:14 to give you a feel for the speed of this course.
I'll be happy to take questions as long as they're not too specific.