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 Apple Blossom 10k Race Report
OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 5:32 pm 

49 degrees, light mist, and wind gusting to about 25mph. Not the best of mornings for a race, but I'd been planning on this one for a while, and consider it a key fitness test going into the Chase Corporate Challenge on 6/1 (where I'd hoped to kick a much younger co-worker's butt, but he's recently left the company...damn, where's my carrot to chase now?!). Goals for the day: break 45 minutes (likely), stretch goal break 44:25 and move up to VDOT 46 (unlikely).

From the attire I had in my car I could choose from a gortex annorak, a light fleece, or a cotton short-sleeve t-shirt. None of them particularly attractive options. Now why didn't I pack that long-sleeve poly-pro shirt? I went for just the t-shirt, knowing that although I'd be miserable if it started raining, I'd be roasting in either of the other two options.

Winds gusting away before the start of a combined 5k/10k event, light mist coming down, and I'm doing my best to huddle into packs of total strangers just to keep warm. On days like this, they should start the race on time and forget the fact that 75% of the field hasn't bothered to make it to the starting line yet. I was there, and getting colder by the minute! Finally the gun went off and much to my surprise much of the field of 150 or so combined runners quickly fell behind. I'd planned on tucking in behind some big guy about my speed and drafting the whole way, and the best I could find was a skinny 20-something woman who clearly was going to drop me within the first mile. There was one big guy in a bright yellow shirt going about the right pace, but he was running in the gravel at the side of the road, and to get the right angle on the wind I would have had to run in a corn field to his right. So, I held on to the skinny woman as best I could and muttered profanities to myself about the wind. I'd periodically drift back 5 yards or so behind the woman, getting now windbreak benefit back their, and then manage to work my way back up for a few minutes of protection. 1st mile in 6:59. That was about my targeted time for the first mile (7:10 would have been ideal), but I was a bit concerned that I was running 5k pace after running multiple 5ks this spring with no 10ks in 2 years. Would I just blow up in the 2nd half? I was also feeling guilty that I wasn't taking turns breaking wind, but I as I said, I figured she'd drop me any minute anyway. As it turns out, she turned around at the 5k turn-around point (as, apparently, did 3/4 of the field), so there went my wind break and my guild trip, combined.

The course was fairly rolling...no big hills, but enough to make it a fair course against which to judge other performances. It was just the yellow guy and another guy in red who might have been 100 yards ahead of me for the next few miles, with the yellow guy always 5 to 10 yards ahead of me. He was both a thorn in my side because I couldn't gain on him, but he helped me keep a strong, steady pace. I missed the 2 mile mark, and passed the 3 mile mark in 21:25, for an average 7:12.5 for the 2nd and 3rd miles. This whole 1st half of the race had been into the wind, and this was an out and back course. So, running the next two milesdown wind I managed to run two consecutive 7:01's. At the 5 mile mark I finally caught up to the yellow shirt guy, who seemed to be breathing pretty hard. I guessed from counting runners at the turnaround point that I was in the top 20 or so, but I wasn't sure because I hadn't been counting. So I asked yellow shirt what age group he was in. "I'm an old guy, 50," he said, and I laughingly told him we were safe from each other in the age groups. But I felt a little 2nd wind at that point and cruised on past him. Throughout the past mile I'd known that there were 1 or two guys in white shirts not too far behind me. By the 6 mile mark, I was feeling pretty crappy. But I glanced over my shoulder and could see 1 white shirted guy maybe 10 yards behind me and I wasn't going to give up my place after working so damn hard for the whole race. So I pushed it as hard as I could...which was pretty damn feeble as my legs were rapidly turning to rubber. Apparently his were too, though, because I beat him over the line by maybe 5 yards. Glanced down at my watch: 44:10. Sweet!!!

Turns out I took 6th overall, and...drumroll please...1st in age group. My first AG 1st, 2nd, or 3rd! Of course, there were only maybe 50 runners in the whole 10k field, but what the hell, I'll take it. I had to leave shortly thereafter for a delayed Mother's Day lunch with my mother, so missed the awards ceremony and any associated bling, but maybe they'll mail me a plastic medal that you damn well better believe will go right with my marathon finisher's medals! And perhaps most importantly of all, I've moved up to VDOT 46! Hooray for me! I'm actually within a 1/2 to 1 VDOT or so of my best fitness ever, so things are looking good for moving into marathon training come June.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 7:56 pm 

Way to go OldManRunner! Nice report. Which Apple Blossom 10K was this; apparently there are several around the country.

How did you feel at the finish line? Did you leave anything on the course? It doesn't sound like it. It's nice to have people just "a little" faster than you in front to keep you pushing. I often have trouble finding that in many of my races. I either overtake the person in front too easily or they peel away at a faster pace than I want to go. It's usually not until the last mile of a race that I find myself around runners who are going about the same pace.

So you beat your "stretch goal". That's gotta feel pretty good. The reace season is still young, That has got to give you a lot of confidence going foward. Good job and good luck on your marathon training. What are you marathon goal?


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 1:33 pm 

Thanks mfox! This one's in Williamson, NY outside of Rochester. Upstate NY is big apple growing country for the good apples like Macintosh, Cortlands, and Empires...not like those nasty Washington-state grown things. I found a photo online of me just barely holding off the white shirt guy 100 yards from the finish line, but it doesn't seem to have a static URL, so I can't share it here.

Definitely nothing left on the course...it was all I could do to hold that guy at bay, and I could tell throughout mile 6 that I was slowing down. I just psychologically couldn't get myself to dig any deeper until .2 to go.

Rickshaw and I will be running the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY together 10/1, and as always I'll be trying to BQ for the 1st time. But because I'll be 45 next April I've now got a primary goal of breaking 3:30 to BQ (likely...I've done so in all but the 1st of my 4 marathons to-date), and a stretch goal of 3:20 that I chased for 3+ years and could never reach.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 6:32 pm 

Yeah, way to go!! What a great race, I'm thrilled to hear it! And in strong winds, too. It sounds like you had just the right incentives to push yourself to the max the whole way, which can be nearly impossible to do when there's nobody running ahead of you.

Congratulations on the age group award too, that's excellent! Wow, top 10 finish, first in age group, beat your stretch time goal, held off white pants dude... what didn't this race have? You should be ecstatic. Outstanding!

Here's the photo you mentioned:

http://www.runworks.com/templates/runworksClean/images/photos/appleblossom.jpg

You look pretty bad-ass. Yarghh!!! Actually, your form looks great, especially compared to that guy behind you!


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 6:50 pm 

Cool. It's nice put a face to the name. I agree with Rickshaw, your form looks great. You've got good knee lift, hands and shoulders look relaxed and "square; your upper body isn't over-rotated (and wasting energy). The guy behind you looks like he should have a keyboard in front of him. I wonder if he's a software developer.

Way to go "Bad-Ass!"


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Apple Blossom 10k Race Report Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:37 pm 

Sad thing is, if there'd been another 1/4 mile to the race he would have kicked my butt, long pants or not!

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