Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas 10K

Sunday, December 9, 2012
Didn't prepare well for this race well at all.  For a guy normally in bed by 9 especially the night before a race, I was indulging in food and drink late into the night before and had to be up and out by 5AM to bring Mom and friend up to the airport.  Eating four desserts at the end of the neighborhood Christmas party was the epitome of unnecessary gluttony.  Really, Pig, a cookie or brownie couldn't have cut it?  After five hours of fitful tossing and turning and quaffing much water, I was up and out for the day.  When my carpool mate Mike C texted me about 7:30AM that he wouldn't be making it, I was really tempted to bag it myself and go to bed.
That's the backdrop, now's here's my report of my surprisingly decent race:
Tale of two races:
The first half:  After a neat trail and rock warm-up with fellow WTAC'ers Muddy, Jonny, Seth, and newest member Mike G, sauntered to the starting line.  Someone recognized me as Li'l Rhody RD, as we chatted for a while, as I tried to talk her into trail shoes and running the 4th season winter trail series
The gun went off, and I ran the through the first mile in a rapid 5:43 together with Jonny and Muddy, with a nice downhill helping me to catch them.  At about one mile, Muddy pulled ahead and I thought I wouldn't see him again until the finish.  At about this point, I went slightly ahead of Jonny and felt really good running along the water.  Just after mile 2 I found myself about 20 yards beyond Muddy, and was following right behind him up onto and off sidewalks for maximum tangent optimization on the curves up to Brenton Point.  Felt good right through miles 2 and 3, which I both hit in sub-6 pace.
The second half:  Now here's where the wheels came off the wagon.  Turned into the wind - not terrible, but enough to feel the effort, and the start of some small uphill sections.  Neither the wind nor the hills should have been much of an obstacle, but the two of them plus a now upset stomach were all wearing on me.  Jonny passed me about mile 3.5 and was looking really strong.  Even on the downhill coming into mile 4 I couldn't catch him.  As he passed me, he gestured to a turtle in front on us and said something about going after him next.  Jonny caught up to him in short order; it took me well after mile 5 before I caught and passed him.  The turtle hung with me for the next mile - really frustrating but kept me working.  Right at the mile 6 marker when I have nothing left, he passed me at the start of final hill climb, only about a 50' hill, but again there's nothing in the tank.  I hung with him on the hill, and then at the top just before the driveway into Rogers HS and the finish, I overtook him for what I hoped to be it.  Despite a 5:37 pace on last 0.2 section, it wasn't the case, as he repassed me in the driveway itself, stood hunched over in the finishing chute 1 second ahead of me.  I felt the impending upcoming vomit, and quickly exited the finishing chute and found a private spot for some "alone time".

Afterwards, caught up with the gang for a cool-down but when Mike G and Jonny wanted to then run to the waterfront, my stomach wanted nothing to do with any more running despite the pedestrian pace and I then headed back with Seth, who had an awesome run himself with a 38:13.  Muddy and Jonny had finished up the race about 1/2 minute ahead of me, both with excellent runs and PRs.  Hung out inside the HS chowing and talking it up with the team before heading back to Westerly.  Felt like crap all afternoon and evening, as my stomach was queasy, but glad I had made it out with the team.

Final results:
36:22 / 5:52 pace
15th overall out of 459 (full results here)
  • Not a smartly run race.  Besides the poor form shown in my race preparations in the 16 hours leading up to the race, I ran a progressively slower race.  Every mile split was slower than the previous:  5:43, 5:48, 5:50, 6:02, 6:02, 6:03.
  • Losing to a turtle in an end-of-race duel.  It was fun(?) to have the duel, and I gave it all I had, but humbling to lose it by a whisker in the end.
  • First and foremost, running with my WTAC teammates.  While we missed winning the team competition, still spent the better part of two hours with the team between warm-ups, racing, cool-down, hanging around eating, and awards ceremony.
  • Huge PR!  I took 2 minutes and 7 seconds off my PR from last year's race, which was in turn 2 1/2 minutes off my prior 10K PR.  No, that kind of improvement is clearly not sustainable!
  • Placing second in my age group (or third, depending on whether you count the winner not able to double-dip), good for $20 gift certificate to Camire's.  Clear improvement from last year's 7th place divisional finish.


  1. Great job, working through the adversity! I had fun running with you guys.

  2. Jeff, awesome huge PR and way to give it your all out there!!

  3. Great job Jeff, sorry I missed it!!! See you guys Thursday night!