Sunday, October 30, 2011

Magnuson October 15k Race Report

By Mike

Ran this race on October 29, 2011 as part of my marathon training. I wasn't too sure how I wanted to pace it since I was just coming off a minor injury (or major inconvenience) and I haven't been running too much (~20 miles per week). Part of me wanted to try a marathon pace effort and the other part of me wanted to do a true race effort.

The morning was a nice 50 degrees and partly sunny. Gun went off and I tried to pace by my watch. My watch kept reading 7:10 pace with a very high heart rate though... oh crap I recalibrated the watch on the treadmill and it didn't seem to correspond to actual running outside. Not only that but the mile markers were way off... my first mile came in at the 8:30 mark with my watch reading 7:10ish. At the very start of the race, my heart rate was also picking up some other peoples' watches too.

Realized I just had to go by feel at least for the very beginning. It was around this point that I decided to just race it. The race was somewhat crowded at the start with the 5k and 10k racers starting at the same time as the 15k runners. Rather than pace off the incorrect mile markers or my poorly calibrated watch I just decided to pace with some of the faster folks (most of whom I suspected were doing the 5 or 10k). That definitely helped.

Aid station situation was not ideal. I didn't get any water during the except for a tiny half sip at the 5k mark. They didn't set up the water table properly.. there were no volunteers handing them out and the many of cups were empty. I had a half filled cup at 5k and I drank nothing at the 10k mark. I didn't bring any gus with me either since I wasn't planning on taking this "race" too seriously. I was really starting to feel it after 10k and the only thing that kept me going was this one other 15k racer. She passed me passed me at the 4-5 mi mark and dragged me along for a few miles. I drafted her for 2 miles, then ran shoulder to shoulder and then made my move to repass her at the 7 mi mark. It was sort of a 2010 IM Macca moment. I could tell she put out a big effort to catch me in the first 4 miles because she started slowing down a tiny bit at mile 7. With ~2 miles left I just decided to go all out and try to catch the one other 15K runner ahead of me. Even though there was a nice out-and-back section, I wasn't sure if he was 1st place or not since the course was now intermixed with 10k runners.

There was a short while when it seemed I might be able to catch him but he seemed to have the same idea as I did for the last 2 miles (accelerate hard). I didn't catch him but I had a strong finish with slightly negative splits for each 5k. My finish time was ~1:02:50.

Plugging in a 1:02:50 yields a 3:08:30 marathon assuming similar course (I think Vegas will be harder). It's short of my goal of 3:05:00 for a BQ so I'm going to try and get two more hard weeks of training and see if that does it. In any case, I feel confident about beating my marathon PR of 3:29:38 but I don't know if I'll be strong enough to BQ at Vegas.

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