Monday, March 28, 2011

Capitol 10K

For my fourth race in the past six weeks, I raced in the Capitol 10K today. Unlike those others, I had actually planned on racing in this one for a while. As the largest 10K in Texas (this year over 23,000 runners), I figured it was something I should do at least once. Other than having to weave through a lot of people, it was a good race and I felt good running it. I followed my planned pace (first half ~8:30, second half ~8:00) and wound up with a time I'm pretty happy with, 50:55.

I didn't get nearly as much sleep last night as I wanted. For some reason I just didn't feel tired until about 1:30. At least I didn't wake up until just past 6 (as far as I can remember), a couple of minutes before the time my alarm was set for. It turned out the weather man wasn't kidding about a cold front coming in overnight, and it was a lot cooler than I expected, not that I minded. I got downtown a little after 7, and wandered around for a little bit. I got geared up for the race at 8 and made my way to the starting chute, making sure to get to the front of my color group. Unfortunately, based on whatever they use to assign bib numbers, I was still behind about 4,000 people.

Not that there really was room to sprint out of the gate, but I stuck to my plan of starting off with about an 8:30 pace. I chose that pace primarily to keep myself from burning out too early, but also because the first three miles have some rolling hills, in addition to the initial run to the capitol being slightly uphill. I had to swerve around and pass a lot of people, especially the first section up Congress. There were a lot of water stops along the course, but I had brought my water bottle, anticipating that the stops would be clogged with people stopping. I only got one cup (I think about mile 4), most of which I poured on my head.

The first half ended more or less at the turn onto Winsted, after which the course was mostly flat, with a little bit of downhill leading into Cesar Chavez. At that point, I picked up my pace to just below an 8 minute mile. I slowed a little over the course of the second 5K, but managed to stay below an 8' pace. I may have peaked a little bit too early, but still had enough left to finish strong down the stretch on Riverside.

So many people had all but stopped after crossing the finish line, I had to dodge people to keep my legs moving. I didn't want to go from full sprint to almost stopped immediately like everyone else seemed to have done. I got drinks and food, but after about a half hour standing around in the cool air with clothes wet from sweat, I was getting cold, so I headed back to my car. I stopped and had a bacon cheeseburger and milkshake on my way home. Shortly after I got home I napped for about an hour and a half. My quads are a little sore, particularly my left one, but altogether it was a good day.

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