Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Race Recap: Great Pumpkin 10K

This past weekend was the Louisville Sport's Commission Great Pumpkin 10K. The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a great organization dedicated to bringing Sport to Louisville; for both professionals and amateurs. They've set up our "pro" soccer team, are working on an NBA team, and also host a bunch of new road races.

Every spring there's a big "Triple Crown of Racing" that immediately precedes the Kentucky Derby & Triple Crown of Horse Racing. The LSC had created the "Fall Runathon", a schedule that include the Louisville Pure Tap 5k, Great Pumpkin 10K and Urban Bourbon Half Marathon. Josh & I elected not to do the 5K mostly because we haven't had any good experiences with massive 5k's (like not even being able to get to the start line at our last one!).

The race itself didn't start until 9:00 a.m. but I wanted to get up early enough to eat and get a lot of fluids. I woke up around 7 after a terrible night's sleep and had some power aid and a handful of pretzels. The weather App on my phone said it was 45 degrees and would be in the 44-49 degree range through to mid morning. I had no clue what to wear. I dutifully checked the "What should I wear" on Runnersworld.com - my go-to site when I'm clueless about clothing - and it suggested both shorts and a t-shirt and capris and long sleeves. ugh. My endurance Shorts had been working wonders throughout the whole training cycle so I decided to go with those and a lighter long-sleeved pullover. Best of both worlds I figured.

We headed out to the race site around 8:15. The park where the race was held is out on the county line directly across from a Golf Course that recently hosted the PGA Championship. It's a HUGE new park that's still being developed. We had to park a little way's back from the start line and walk. It was cold. I was really doubting my clothing choice and just trying to be optimistic about the experience. I get to run, so how bad can it really be? We had to high-tail it to the start and just barely managed to get to the line before the gun went off.

The Race
When Josh & I race together we never manage to get anywhere near the front of the pack. This always irks me. I hate the first 10 minutes where you're dodging all of the walkers and slow(er)pokes right out of the gate. Oh well, that's what we do so that's what we do. My only goals for this race were (1) to finish feeling strong and (2) to negative split. I set my virtual partner for 11:30 since 11:15-11:20 is what we want for the Half. The first mile felt great and not too fast, though Garmin soon told me it had been. I told Josh we needed to back off and he just sort of slipped in behind my back shoulder and let me (Try) to set the pace. 

The course was BEAUTIFUL! On the way out we were running mostly on freshly paved roads through the park. The "Hills" were mostly overpasses over beautiful streams. The sun was out, taking the chill out of the air, but it wasn't warm at all. Our second mile was closer to what I wanted and we tried to maintain the pace. 

However, the MAJOR incline at the third incline was vicious. I charged up it, feeling strong and powerful. What I didn't realize was that there was a gradual incline for the next quarter mile following it. I couldn't catch my breath or get a real handle on my cadence. At that point you're on divided highway and it's split between people going out and people coming back. I plodded on and hoped that the turnaround was somewhere near. Once you got to the turnaround all of the 'up' turned to 'down' and it felt a LOT better. It was so downhill in fact that when we finally got back on flat ground I felt like we hit a brick wall. The flat popped up right at the 5th mile so it was 2 to go. I pumped up the volume on my iPod and dug in. I felt great. It was beautiful and I knew I could finish really strong. 

Can you see the difference between miles 3 & 4? Whew
And I did! I finished feeling strong and tired but not exhausted or overdone. Since we have a half coming up I really wanted to see how I felt at that pace rather than leave it all out on the course. I think I did really well and I"m really proud of the race. 

After the Race
The only negative about the race was that there was only one road out. So we sat in the car and listened to the radio for awhile. We feasted at Frisch's and I (over)indulged in their breakfast buffet. If you live somewhere where Frisch's Big Boy isn't an option, I feel bad for you. It's the bees knees. 

After some napping we headed off to pick our pumpkins and buy 10 gallons (practically) of Apple Cider from a local farm. It's a neat little fall tradition we've started and a beautiful drive. We came home and napped some more and then decided to watch a movie. After the race I was wheezing pretty bad and couldn't get a handle on my breathing. I think it was allergies, really. I took a benadryl and slept like a baby. All-in-all, a pretty nice little saturday. 
Chocolate milk at the finish line!
Next up is the Urban Bourban Half on 10/25!

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