Thought for the Day

Monday, September 30, 2002

Trailblazer 10K

After I wrote this, I realized it was longer than the race reports from RTB. Oh well, read if you want.
My wife says I have a compulsive personality. I certainly have a family history of compulsive behavior. Many things I spend my time on have a compulsive nature to them, including running and participating in online groups.
A couple of months ago, July 13, I ran a 43:41 10K and got it into my head that I ought to be able to run a sub-43 10K, going under my age, 43. I made an attempt on September 13th, but missed it. So the next week, I tried again, then again the week after.
So I wasn't planning to race this weekend, but I knew there was a race in Mountain View on Sunday. Yesterday I woke up at 6:21. I looked at the clock and the gears in my head started to slowly turn.
If I got dressed quickly, grabbed a light breakfast on the way, and didn't hit any unexpected traffic, I could be registered by, oh... 7:45 maybe. The race would start at 8:30.
So I was gone.
I was registered by about 8:15, but the start of the race was delayed a few minutes while the course monitors were getting in position.
The course is all on a paved, mostly flat, but undulating pedestrian/bicycle path, partly what is called the Stevens Creek Trail and partly through Shoreline Park.
I had very little chance to warm up. Then, like everyone else at the race, I had time to cool off at the start. Still, I started out feeling good, like I was running comfortably at a good pace. I may have started too fast. I didn't feel like I was slowing down a lot, but a lot of people passed me after about half a mile. One guy in particular, had a very stiff running style. He seemed to be running close to my pace, and I was thinking, "I hope my form looks better than his."
I was very happy with my early splits, but they may have been screwy.
You'll see why I say that.

1-- 06:35 6:35
2-- 13:26 6:51
3-- 20:35 7:09
4-- 27:16 6:41
5-- 36:20 9:04 ???
6.2 43:41 7:21

I'm guessing that the mile 5 marker was actually at one mile to go, but who knows. Something was off.
I know I did lose some concentration between mile 4 and mile 5. A runner ahead had started walking. That's pretty unusual at the pace he had been running. I mean, you see people stop and limp sometimes, and you see people slow way down. But you don't often see someone running better than 7 minute miles just get tired, walk for twenty yards, then start running again, but that's what this guy did. At the same time I was catching him, I was catching the stiff-looking runner I mentioned before.
The three of us ran in a loose pack for a while. This was a little before we should have seen the mile 5 marker. I think every time I pass a mile marker during a race, it gives me a little boost. I know I'm closer to the finish, and I have a better idea of how I'm doing against my goal.
After we finally passed the misplace mile 5, I started to pick it up. I immediately left the other two in that pack as if they weren't moving. I only realised then that they were both dying, trying to hold on. I had lots left, but I had just naturally, lazily, fallen into pace with them.
Another thing which may have affected me was the fact that some time during the race the infusion set from my insulin pump, a little plastic tube that goes under my skin, pulled out. I didn't notice it until I took off my sweaty shirt to put on a dry one after the race.
As I said, I don't know when it happened, but it had an affect on my blood sugar, and could have affected my performance.
Oh, well. Sooner or later I have to stop running 10Ks every weekend, but I still feel compelled to get this out of my system.
Somebody please stop me. :-)

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