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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Annapolis Ten Mile Run 2009

I went into this race feeling like I didn't know what I wanted to do.  On the one hand, I have been doing well this year, feeling fast, strong and good about my running.  On the other hand, when you try too hard at Annapolis, it is a miserable race and part of me was dreading feeling like I killed myself for nothing if I hadn't done well.  So, I went into it giving it a try.

I went the first mile pushing to see how fast I could do it and still feel comfortable.  I managed to pull it off in 11:48, when a PR time for me would be just over 12:00 per mile.  This made me happy.  Mile 2: 11:12.  Mile 3: 11:55.  Mile 4: 11:45.  I was feeling pretty awesome about those splits.

Then, the bridge.  Now, the Severn River Bridge is the most difficult part of the race, and you hit it in miles 5 and 9.  Still, Mile 5, including the bridge: 12:10 - only 10 seconds off my goal pace and I still had lots of spare seconds left to stay ahead of a 12 minute overall pace.  From there on out, I had some less than spectacular splits, but still kept my overall average for miles 5, 6, 7 and 8 at about 12:20.  Mile 9, another mile with the Severn River Bridge in it? 11:55.  Awesome!!

Mile 10 was somewhat slower, I admit that the 11:55 on the bridge took a lot out of me.  Temperatures had risen, and I don't perform as well in the heat.  I was tired and I'd been busting my ass all race.  I slowed down, but still finished (I think - results aren't out yet, and my watch has been wrong before) in 2:01.  My previous PR, in 2006, was 2:03.  FINALLY, a PR on this course! (subject to change, based on what happens when I see the results).

As for the details of the race itself (besides split times), I ran alone, except for the first half mile or so, when I ran with Sue.  I didn't have a lot of people out doing my pace today, and I was ok with running by myself.  Todd finished and then came down the course, and I saw him when I had about a quarter of a mile left.  He ran with me and cheered me on at the finish.

There were some parking issues, I noticed.  We came from the area of the Bay Bridge (since we slept at my mom's last night), and so we had zero traffic (plus, we always park at the easy to get in and out of courthouse).  However, others were not so lucky.  When we turned off of Route 50, we could see that Route 50 Eastbound had at least a 4 or 5 mile backup of people trying to get to the race.  While we were running, there were cars stuck on the road in the first mile.  People who were late getting into the parking lot because of traffic had just had to turn off their cars and sit and watch the race pass them.  It was painful to watch.

I think this race needs some corrals.  It's so tough to be a back of the pack person who ends up in the front/mid pack.  However, it's not to be and I end up spending the first few miles getting passed by just about everyone.  I mean, it's a fast race, so technically I don't even belong on it (no year, including this one, have I finished in the required 12 minute time requirement, although I was passing the bridge on the way back to the stadium with the required 12 minute pace).

It seems like a lot of people did really well.  We had great weather - the heat index "only" reached the lower 80's by the end of the race when it's usually in the 90's by then.  Nice time, awesome shirt.

UPDATE: Official time, 2:01:47.  Results

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