The weather was overcast with a mild wind, with a race time temp of 32, so the race title was pretty fitting.
Lisa was able to attend thanks to my family watching the two girls. While I was running the course, Lisa was able to do some window shopping in the Loop. They were setting up for their annual ice carnival, of which the run is the kickoff for the Saturday events.
I decided that I was going to follow my friend Charles' advice and get as close to the starting line as possible. This way, I could set my own pace, pick my own line and not have to hassle with working my way around and through the crowd of people. If people wanted to pass me, they could exert the extra effort to go around me. So, with 5 minutes before the race started, I positioned myself on the opposite side of the street from the masses. As soon as the police closed the street on my side, I took my place on the line, to the right of center. This is definitely a strategy that I will utilize again, as I did not have to work near as hard as I normally do in the first mile or so. There was plenty of room for people to go around me, and after the first 4 blocks or so, pretty much everyone had passed by that needed to.
The first mile was a pretty steep uphill and as I reached the top my legs were feeling quite heavy. I worried briefly about that until I checked my time and saw that I had run the first mile uphill in 8:45. Since this was much faster than man desired pace, I was happy to be able to scale it back a touch and catch my breath on the slight downhill. From that point on, I stayed in the same pack of 3 fellow racers for the duration of the course. We kept a solid pace of around 9:30for the majority of the run, with all of us increasing that pace the last 2 miles.
I felt good throughout the run, without ever doubting my ability to finish. After running the first 3 miles in 28 minutes, I knew I could beat an hour of total running time and set my goal to finish before the 58 minute mark. It's nice to find a group of people who are determined to run a very similar time. Without saying a word, you challenge each other to conquer the next hill without slowing. You find yourself determined to not lose any ground to those around you. As the race winds down, everyone picks up the pace and the challenge become even more intense. As we rounded the final turn to run the last .2 miles, I was determined to pass 1 of the guys I had been shadowing. I picked up my pace just as he increased his again. Knowing that end was near, I was able to move passed him and finish quite a bit ahead of him.
|Yours truly right before the finish line.|
It was at this point in the race where I saw Lisa on the side of the road waiting for me. I passed my nearly empty water bottle off to her and she challenged me to "pass that guy", speaking of a different man who had just passed me before the final turn. I huffed back to Lisa "I can't, I've been trying" and kept plugging toward the finish line. I was thrilled to see the clock tick to 57:32 as I crossed the line. I had not only finished the race confidently, but I had beaten my initial goal of running a 10 minute pace, as well as my mid race goal of under 58 minutes.
I'm glad I got to run this race, as it was very well organized and had great volunteers helping with it. We had 2 water stations on the 10k course and they had a great relief tent set up at the finish line with all sorts of great treats. I had decided to run this 10k because it was the only one in the area over the next few months and I needed a 10k finish time in order to sign up for a time based starting position in the upcoming Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.
I have almost 3 months to prep for the extra miles in that race. I am hopeful that I will enjoy that race as much as I did the one this past weekend...