A Top 50 Finish in the Phoenix 10k!

JonRoig.com | Posted: 2008-11-10 09:23:17 | 5375 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

Ok... 48th in the top 50 men, anyway... 54th overall. I ran a 40:01, which for me is pretty darn good. A new PR! (By almost 1:30, no less.)

I even got a medal for my efforts... which has never happened before. I was 9th in my age group.

Don't tell my PT what I've been up to this weekend... I think she'd be horrified.

The 10k is a weird distance for me... I haven't run one in two years. With only 6.3 miles of course and all on roads, it's hard to really get going and fall into a rhythm before the race is basically over. Strategy plays a big role in that kind of race, so it was a little difficult to know when to push and when to hang off... plus, I didn't bring my trusty water bottle, so I actually stopped to drink water at the aid stations for a few seconds. Kinda weird, I know... but it worked for me.

It was a perfect morning in Phoenix, though. Nice and cool... maybe in the low 60's, slightly overcast. There was a bit of wind, but nothing significant.

With 2,100+ runners in the race, the starts of these things can be a real fiasco. I kinda settled in behind the folks who were clearly faster than me and waited for the signal to begin. There's really something kind of awesome about starting in the front of the pack at a race like this -- it's like, there are the elites, then a pack of fairly serious runners, then the rest of the rabble. Somehow, instinctively, most folks know to queue up behind us.

As a consequence, once the race got going, it was on! There was very little in the way of dodging in between people... almost everyone who went out fast stayed pretty fast, at least for the first couple miles.

The new course is fast and flat. It's in downtown Phoenix, so you pretty much run down a straight street for awhile, turn, turn again, and run back. No surprises... especially since it's a two loop course.

When the first loop went fine and I clocked in around 20:10, I knew everything was going to turn out just fine with this race. I felt good... the shoulder wasn't giving me any trouble at all, although Sandra from ARR yelled "You don't have your sling on anymore!" when she saw me cruise by -- I guess I wasn't really making use of my right arm very well.

With that under control, I spent the second lap stalking the group of guys a few hundred yards ahead of me, patiently closing the gap. With about 200 meters left to go, I found myself running neck and neck with some serious looking runner guy, totally pushed to the edge of puking. He won that little battle, but when I crossed the finish line, I got a medal for my finish and we each thanked each other for providing the necessary push to get a great time.

I still feel like I could've cut a minute or two off my time with a little better preparation and if I were in perfect shape, but that'll have to wait for next year...

That was just a totally fun race. Saw lots of folks I knew, of course... and I'm sure I'll see a bunch of 'em at PF Chang's as well for a rematch.


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