For Childrens Health, Mine too (race report)

I am not sure I was nervous or just excited but it seemed real weird showing up to a race again.  Maybe it was because it was new race in a new place. 

I saw 97+ totally new faces and none that I recognized.  I mean I have been going to the same races (except the marathons) for the past two years or more.  You get to know the faces if not the names.  You see people you know and the organizers.  It is a familiar thing.  I like the familiar.  I would say you get to know the courses after racing them for over 2 years but that wouldn’t be the case, would it. 

I’m looking at you, Hermes Cleveland.  Come on, would it hurt to just use last years course.  It is like that exit on the freeway that says no re-entry.  Honestly, its not like you have to live there for the rest of time but three Cleveland 10  milers and 3 courses, 3 St. Malachi’s and 6 courses.  (it is 2 races, a 2 and 5 miler), the list goes on and on.  Except for Tackle the Tower, still up all of those stairs.  Rocky would have been hard pressed to lift his hands in triumph after those.  Well, there is some solidarity in Cleveland, NCN Racing.  Rick, you stick to a course and that is that.  The familiar.  Hermes I still love you. 

Well, I went to the 2nd Run for Children’s Health 5k in Wilmington, DE.  I got there and did the standard form fill and pay.  I got the number and pinned it on.  Then I looked around and the familiar was out the door.  I knew nobody and my Athletic Supporters were not in town.  I really miss them.  Well, there was some talking about the benifit and the sponsors.  You know, that old bag.  Then I do what it I do when I don’t know what to do.  I followed others.  This is where not being a gazelle is a good thing.  Imagine if I was a front runner and did not know the course. 

Some guy at the start line said something (remember this) and then the air horn started it off.  It was so cute there were a plethora of children running/walking the 5k.  So as kids always do they took off at a sprint.  They kept going for a long while till they peeled off.  It was awesome.  We can only hope they keep with it and run in the future.  I did get dusted by one 12 year old that is cool.  Well, I was off and things felt real good.  My legs had already warmed up prior to the race.  The course took us around the Wilmington River Front and Baseball stadium.  I got the 1 mile mark and receivedmy first letdown.  No split time.  I really rely on those to judge how I am pacing myself.  I can adjust in the secondmile to conserve or turn on the jets.  Without, a split I am lost.  Well, what could I do, quit?  The second mile was more of the same.  Push and push some more.  I got to the 2 mile marker and realized that I pushed a little harder than I had intended and purposely wrenched it back a little.

Shortly after that I realized what the Starter dude had said.  It had been raining earlier in the morning.  Pretty hard and there were some puddles and standing water.  There was also some parts of the course where ther standing water crossed the entire street.  No where to go but… wet.  No biggy but I just hadn’t thought about it prior.  Splash on through and half a mile later I was finished. 

25:12 at an 8:08 pace,  28th overall and 4th in division.  Not a bad start after my recovery.  The brain was right.  “It’s on.”  Don’t tell the brain though.  I cannot wait for the next race.  Perhaps some familiar will creep into my racing again.

Race Report: Cleveland Premier Race-The Cleveland 10 Miler

I don’t care what others may say about The Cleveland 10 Miler, I think of it as the premier road race of the area.  I know others may think that the Cleveland Marathon may be it and rightfully so.  Marathons attract the gazelles and thousands of people.  They are well organized and have expos and the like.  Others may say it is the St. Malachi’s run because it kind of signifies the beginning of the race season.  The 2 and 5 mile events are a favorite of mine and I love running them.  There are others that I am sure could be argued for the Title.

Still the Cleveland 10 Miler at just 4 years old could beat them all.  Hell, the motto for the race is “Run Like a God”  It seems like the elite runners of the area come out to this race to put a good stomp on and be our very own gazelles.  The course show cases Cleveland even though I have run it for three years and have had three different routes.  The medal at the end is odd for a race less than 13.1 but I cherish those as much as any other.  Perhaps more.  It is also the perfect timing after several 5k’s and the Bedford 5 miler that makes for a build up of races.  This can even lead to the Cleveland Marathon.  The start at the House of Blues adds the the mystique and fun.  Either way you now know my opinion on the Cleveland 10 miler.

This weekend could have been the biggest mistake of my training.  I was about to go and do a 10 mile race 7 days before a marathon.  This was at race pace.  I had told myself to keep it steady and not run a race of sorts.  I evidently have not sway over … myself.  I told Space this and I got one of those snorts/laugh things that indicated that I should know me better than that and she did.  The bell went off and I was on the race path.  It did not help that I was lined up too close to the start line.  I was caught up and running hard.

This happens every race.  I run fast the first mile and once I get the time I calibrate and back it off.  Okay, so I am feeling good but I know there is too much effort.  The mile marker is due to come real soon.  I see the water table.  I know the first mile has gone and past.  I must have missed it.  Oh well.  So I just kept the pace.  10 miles is a long way.  I could just run a fast pace for two miles and slow it down after that.  No I missed the mile 2 marker.

It was finally the 3 mile mark where the kind girl with the stop watch yelled out 23minutes and some change. I was going way to fast.  That was not far off of 5k pace.  I need to settle down and race smarter.  So I did.  By this point we were running in front of the Airport.  The course had changed and usually this is much further along on the race.  Either way I was expecting to see the leaders come racing the other direction in the next mile or so.  I was wrong.  Mile 4 went by and I missed the time again.  Good water though.  I needed it it was humid and kind of warm.  That winter training never prepares you for summer heat.  Either way, I hit the 5 mile point and was in at 39 something.  Slower but still to fast.  I may be paying for this later in the race.

I was getting real worried that the course was going to reverse the back half of the Cleveland Marathon.  I thought about it for a while and realized that it would be too long.  By the way, math while running.  Not as easy as it my sound.  Mile 5 plus 1 is 6 miles.  3 miles in 24 minutes is an 8 minute pace.  Those are easy.  I is like multiplication tables.  More memory than math.  But stuff like I am 5 miles in and at this point in the Cleveland marathon it would be about mile 18 and the half point is still about a mile and a half away from the 10 miler start then that would be … 6.5 more  miles.  Try that while working on pace, form, other runners, and pot holes (this is Cleveland).

Then I figured out why I did not see the leaders.   They were on the other side of the highway.  We crossed over I-90 and went back via the South Marginal.  This was the first time I had ever been on the South Marginal.  I kind of cool.  I could see other runners on North Marginal.  The route back came back around Browns Stadium.  I had come down to the pace I wanted.  With a few miles left I was able to pick up the pace and kick.  Around the corner and there was the finish line.  I had a lot left and put it into sprint mode.  1:21:03, another PR and I haven’t felt better.

Afterward were the best post race snacks ever.  Popsicles.  I had a great run and this was no mistake.  I am glad to have run Cleveland’s Premier Race the Cleveland 10 Miler.  I cannot wait for next years.