Monday, May 18, 2009
Race report: Capitol Hill Classic 10K
Second year I've done this race and I've yet to run it at true race pace. Last year, I ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K two weeks after running the Flying Pig Marathon. This year, 7 days after Mississauga. Yeah, i'm still recovering but I love an excuse to line up.
This race reminds me of the Nightcrawler 5 miler I run back in Toronto, a smallish local race that draws out all comers. I love it. As far as 10Ks go, I'm still very encouraged with the 40:04 I clocked in two weeks ago so today would be the completion of 3 races in 3 weeks. So I seeded myself near the back in an effort to avoid going out too fast. Didn't hear the start and 1:13 later, we crossed the starting line.
So I realized that while it was a good idea to pace slower, I got a little frustrated by the slow pace, so like a few runners we started off to the side to make some time.
Missed the first water stop and we started to make the round of RFK stadium, which has a decline followed by an incline. Like last year, I started to maintain a faster pace and I made a few moves early on to make some space. By the 2 mile mark (3K in) we had an incline and I just started to up the pace for the next kilometre. Later on, we hit a water stop which I was happy to see and I took a cup -- I'm getting better and better at drinking while at full speed. While others slow down, I maintain speed and step it up to 4:30s. (An aside: It's hilarious that this was my marathon pace last summer, I've got some work to do before 4:30s feel easy again.) After the 5K mark, I saw that I was around 22:30 so I decided to pick it up for the final half.
We had quite a few corners and around the 6K mark, we saw the leaders coming in. The race marshals were having them turn into us so it was a little confusing. One runner complained about it and for a second I thought we were off pace, but then we hit the 4 mile mark and I saw my Garmin was dead on. We were then plunging into the big downhill (you can see the 4:11 and 4:06 Ks)
Through this period, I had passed quite a few runners but we were taking the hill. I focused on the runners on the other side taking the downhill and just imagined I was doing the same. Neat trick, it worked. I took it pretty strong, pacing off this guy who took off on us. Pretty good kilometre up the hill.
Which lead to the last kilometre and extra 200 metres the Garmin added on. When the course flattened I stepped it up, passing a few other runners. The last 300 metres, I poured it on and heard my name and country (Canada!) being mentioned.
Garmin excess: 39 seconds
Felt winded but still strong till the end. Even with my recovery phase, I know I could have run the first 5K a minute faster, maybe even more. But throughout the race, I kept on reminding myself that exactly a week ago, I was running a marathon. That kept me humble.
After the race, I walked down the big hill and was even more humbled by the last remaining runners running up the hill. Then I saw an old man limping down the hill, followed by a couple, trailed by a police car and ambulance. It's amazing seeing the determination, put my own running goals and aspirations in check.
Chip time: 44:00