Salem Lake 10K Race Report - September 26, 2009
Well, it was a fun day in the wet at Salem Lake. This race is a combination 10K/30K, depending on your preferred level of suffering. The 10K course, completed by Amy, Jill, Chris Gibby, and me is essentially 90% of 1 lap around the lake. The hard-packed dirt course is mostly flat, but tosses in one hill and a few rollers to keep you on your toes. The weather was perfect for a longer run - temps in the mid to low 60s with a mist and little wind.
Chris has been training all summer for a half-ironman, so his form is quite good. Jill and Amy have done this distance a few times before, so their preparation was also looking strong. I, on the other hand, had not run this distance in 2009 and honestly, I think it has been since 2007 or so since I raced at the 10K distance. I did manage to run the course with Chris on Wednesday, but I was still sore from that. Moving on...
At the start, Chris and I discuss a 7:30/mi pace, moving to 7:15 or 7 at the 3 mi mark. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn't do that at all. Caught up in the speed at the start, we cleared the 3 mi mark at 20:28, so were a few minutes ahead of scheduled pace. Not insignificantly, I took a misstep over a rock around mile 1 and inverted my ankle. I didn't fall, but definitely stumbled. It twinged for a few minutes, then I felt no more pain (until later...).
At mile 3, Chris starts to hold a slightly quicker pace, about 101% of my capability. Our small pack of runners (6-8) had now thinned to 3...one guy was simply using us to pace his run (he later told us his goal was 6:40/mi and we were close to that). Around mile 5, I accepted the fact that I could not hold this pace all the way in. We were already way ahead of our projections, so I was happy with that. I encouraged Chris to go on, and he moved ahead of me by about 20 seconds.
At the finish, one guy came out of nowhere and slipped between Gibby and me, but no matter - we were both very happy to run right at 42 minutes. I believe Chris was 42:11 and I was probably 15-20 seconds off that. This was a surprisingly fast time for us, landing Chris 3rd in his age group and me 2nd in mine.
The girls were racing well also. Jill's last run on this course was around 72 minutes, and I heard her mumble a few things about a PR today. She likes running the mist/rain and especially when it is cool, so you never know. In her post-race interview, she admitted a little left knee pain that may have slowed her down, but she and Amy also kept watch over a fellow runner who was feeling faint in the last half-mile. Kudos to them for improving on their time (around 67 minutes this year) and keeping watch over their fellow runner!
Now at home, I realize my ankle is sprained, maybe Grade III but definitely Grade II. I'm glad I didn't feel it until the end, because that was a wonderful race and a great experience with a strong racing companion - Chris. Check out the pics below...