Posts Tagged ‘10k


Race Report: 2011 Independence Day 10k

Two weeks ago I ran Grandma’s Marathon. I had a great time and unlike previous races, my legs weren’t completely dead after the race. I took the rest of the week off and looked for other opportunities for running. An obvious choice was the Twin Cities in Motion Red, White, and Boom Half Marathon on July 4th in Minneapolis. It sounded like a great idea, but I, however, didn’t quite feel up for paying $55 to run another half marathon. Instead, my wife found a nice little 10k around Lake Harriet on July 2nd, The Independence Day Races.

This is a small event, and I’m not even really sure who organizes it. There were about 300 people total between the 5k and 10k race. I still wasn’t feeling 100% like racing, so I figured this would be a great time to check off one of my 2011 Running Goals and do a race in my Vibrams. Looking around at the starting line, I’m pretty sure I was the only person who made this choice. Apparently Minneapolis isn’t as hip with the minimalist running thing as New York is.

A lap around Lake Harriet is about 3.05 miles, so 5k is a little more than a loop. Because of this 10k runners started first, then the 5k runners assembled at their starting line and took off about 3-4 minutes after the 10k. This meant that at some point during my first lap around the lake I was going to be passed by the lead 5k runners, I can handle that. It was all a question of when.

Being a smaller race this race started off FAST. Unlike previous races around Lake Harriet there was no jostling for position or jumping onto the sidewalk. The 10k runners quickly spread out and by the time that I finally had my phone and keys situated in my SpiBelt about five minutes into the race I was running the clear and no longer needed to worry about dodging runners. Combined with excellent weather, about 72°F but with fairly high humidity, this allowed me to concentrate on my footfalls and running the race I wanted to run. I settled in with a group of three runners doing somewhere around a 7:20 pace.

Around mile 2 one of the runners from the back of the pack came up to me. I took the opportunity to ask if we were going slower or he was going faster. Luckily, he had sped up and I wasn’t loosing much ground. By the time I was about 2.8 miles into the race I started to wonder where the lead 5k runners were. Finally, about 3 miles in the lead 5k runner passed me. He looked to be doing about 6:00/mi.

As I crossed the finish line on the first lap I was a little astonished. About 22:40 for about 3.15 miles. That’s fast. Faster than I’ve done a 5k before. Faster than I wanted to run. Faster than I had ever run in shoes and I was running my Vibrams. Youch.

The second lap was very spread out. Starting about mile 2 there was a little weaving in and out of some large packs of slow 5k walkers, but no big deal. I throttled back my pace some because I didn’t want to kill myself during the run. This caused some of the runners I was around to pass me, but I wasn’t too concerned. I just wanted to run a good race. I wasn’t shooting for a PR.

Well, sometimes stuff just happens. In this case I crossed the finish line at 45:04. Good enough for 14th place out of 133 runners and 3/10 in my age group. No complaints about that. I grabbed my water, scored a freeze pop, and wandered over to watch my wife set a 10k PR for her too.

Pace vs Elevation for the 2011 Independence Day 10k At Lake Harriet

Pace vs Elevation for the 2011 Independence Day 10k At Lake Harriet

Looking at the chart of Pace vs Elevation from RunKeeper you can see that I ended up slowing down as I got further in the race. Normally this isn’t something that I should try to do, but in this case I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I wanted to run a nice fun race and when I realized I was running at a pace that I wasn’t trained for, I decided to throttle it back some. This is also evident in my mile splits.

2011 Independence Day 10k Mile Splits

2011 Independence Day 10k Mile Splits

As usual, ignore my last mile split because I’m often not very good at turning off RunKeeper right away. Such was the case here where I spent some time talking to the girl that I finished with (she was 3rd place female). I’m a little concerned that I might have slowed down too much for mile 6, but now I have something to shoot for. I know I should be able to easily break 45:00 for a 10k. Maybe a stretch goal is in order? How about 43:00 for 10k? That sounds like a challenge I can work toward.

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Race Report: 2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k

I’m not certain why this race report took me forever to get up. Oh well, it’s up before my next race…

Another 10k in the park, over the same course as the Scotland Run 10k a couple of weeks ago.  I was feeling a little better, but still wasn’t feeling great. It’s hard for me to feel great about a race when I have to get up so ungodly early for a race. As another larger race I was back in the yellow bibs for this race, no big deal, I wasn’t feeling like I was going to go crazy on this run anyway. No PR for me. Well, at least that was the plan. As usual, epic fail.

2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k Pace and Elevation

2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k Pace and Elevation

Alright, no times there, but you can tell that I held a pretty steady pace despite the hills in Central Park. So, here’s the RunKeeper splits:

Pace for 2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k

Pace for 2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k

Yeah, clearly I was going fast. My previous best 10k was from the Scotland Run a few weeks ago where I had a 7:44 pace. None of my miles were anywhere close to that. I was going fast and feeling pretty good, but I didn’t have a good idea of how good. I was trying to be a good runner and not use headphones, so I wasn’t getting updates on my pace during the race. Furthermore there was a huge slow moving mass at the start and I had no idea how long it took me to cross the starting line. I crossed mile 1 around 9:00. I felt as though I was running a 7:45 pace. Mile 2 was crossed at 16:15, there was no way I was running a 7:45 pace. I felt comfortable. I whipped through the 5k mark with a clock time around 24:20 or so. I had done the 5k somewhere around my best 5k pace. Wow! I crossed the finish line at 47:20 CLOCK TIME. This meant I had certainly smashed my PR for a 10k race, which was 48:02. The question was, by how much? A lot!

2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k Official Results

2011 NYRR UAE Healthy Kidney 10k Official Results

I’m now in the strange situation where not only my 4M pace is faster than my 5k, but now my 10k is faster too. Wow. It was a good day. Next up, the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Once again, I’m not trying to set a PR. Partially because I need to wake up at 3am to make it to Coney Island to take a subway back to Prospect Park and then make it into my corral by 6:40am. But first, a little picture of 2U, the U2 Tribute Band playing after the race.

2U - The U2 Tribute Band

2U - The U2 tribute band playing after the race. These guys even tried to look like the band.

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Race Report: 2011 NYRR Scotland Run 10k

I’ve been away from running for a little bit. Specifically, I was in China for the last few weeks and while I ran there a few times I didn’t do any races and I certainly didn’t do anything that resembled training. The few times that I did run my lungs felt like Trogdor was attacking and burninating them. I was told that it wasn’t pollution, but somehow I have my doubts.

The Scotland Run 10k was my first real chance to get out and give the legs some serious exercise since I returned. I laid down about 20 easy miles over the past week, but this was the first time I felt like I was going to run hard. My first impression of the race: it’s HUGE. Nearly 8500 completed the loop (and a little more) in Central Park on Sunday morning. A fair share of them were in kilts. A few went the full William Wallace and did Braveheartesque face paint. Sadly, I saw no members of the clan MacLeod running around with swords looking to chop heads off. Also, I realized that I was doing my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon a serious disservice by eschewing wearing anything with the Carnegie Tartan. It was completely unintentional, as in, when I woke up at 6am on race day I forgot.

Now, with respect to racing stuff. I knew I had a good chance to set a PR running this race, mainly because the 10k distance was an outlier in my PRs. I hadn’t run a 10k since September 2008. That race was under similar conditions, as I had just returned from vacation where I spent 10 days intentionally not running and just relaxing in the Greek Isles. Unlike a loop around Central Park, the elevation change in the Great Race is in favor of the runners. The race is almost entirely downhill. At the same time, I was much slower back in 2008, and if I couldn’t beat an 8:11/mi pace for this race something would be seriously wrong with me.

I was a little sad to see that once again I was demoted to yellow bibs. I’m hoping this is a result of many people running NYRR events and not because I was getting slower. The corrals, on the far end of Central Park were absolutely packed. Aside from the corrals at the start of the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so packed in. The starting horn went off and we stood still. Some 1:40 seconds later I crossed the starting line. I think I started RunKeeper a little bit early, but it couldn’t have been that much off.

RunKeeper results from the 2011 Scotland Run 10k

Pace and Elevation for the 2011 Scotland Run 10k

The crowd was pretty heavy going into the first mile, but I was very surprised when I saw that I still did it under eight minutes. Normally with that level of traffic it would take much longer. I chalk that up to the excellent work by NYRR volunteers in enforcing the corral system. Thank you volunteers. Miles 2 and 3 seemed to whiz by. I knew the race was going to be too busy to have RunKeeper chime in my ear, so I was estimating my miles based on the clocks, and I thought they were about 7:30/mi. A nice pace. Of course, then came the hill. Ughh. I shouldn’t complain too much, I’d rather run clockwise as then the hills over by the Met aren’t nearly as bad. But man, I got to mile 4 and saw that it took me nearly eight minutes to finish the last mile. The final 2.2 miles were an exercise in trying to maintain what I thought was my previous pace. Although I was able to pick it up for mile 5, I slacked on mile 6 before crossing the finish line with the overall clock was still under 50:00. I knew I PR’d, the only question was by how much.

2011 Scotland Run 10k Splits from RunKeeper

2011 Scotland Run 10k Splits from RunKeeper

Post race there was a large festival with Scottish music, dancers, and food. It was actually quite a bit of fun. I wrote a couple of postcards from Scotland, used a bike blender, and tried out various Scottish snacks. Sadly, there was no haggis to be found. Also, I didn’t win either the TV or the trip to Scotland. Bummer. However, as I walked back to Grand Central to get the train out of the city I was able to check my results. 48:02, or 2:49 off my previous best time for a 10k. I could be happy with that. I’m also hungry because I know that I’ve got room for more improvement.

2011 Scotland Run 10k Official Results: 48:02, 1866 overall, 1563 males, 56.1% AG.

2011 Scotland Run 10k Official Results

I’m looking forward to the running season heating up. I’ve got a nice lineup of future races in both New York and Minneapolis, culminating with Grandmas Marathon in mid-June in Duluth, MN. I figure I should get serious about training for that, which is why I was on the trails at 6:30am today. I’m stoked right now.

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Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

Upcoming Races

  • Nov 6 - New York City Marathon, New York, NY
For previous races, check out my Race Log