|Start of the 5K and 10K. Photo by Melanie's parents|
My summer has consisted of working on getting faster in the shorter distances. I've still kept my weekly mileage at 40-55 miles a week. I've just been doing shorter intervals and fartleks trying to develop a faster leg turnover. I have noticed the benefits during my tempo runs. My tempo pace has improved from 6:05-6:12 min/mile to 5:50-6:05 min/mile and I think the shorter interval workouts have been the reason. The workouts have included 13x400 and 20x200 that was just brutal but I was thankful I had my friend Jarrod to pull me through those final 200s.
Based on my summer training I decided to give the 10K another shot. The winning 10K time last year was over 40:00 and the year before it was barely under 40:00. The winning time in previous years was much faster and winners have ran as fast as 32 minutes in previous years. I thought I would have a shot at winning based on the trend of the last two years but you never know who will show up out of nowhere.
I arrived at the race at 7am with my Dad. I ate my usual powerbar and drank 16oz of water an hour before the 8am start. After walking around and talking to friends I started my dynamic warm-up routine. I then did a 1.5 mile jog as the mile race started at 7:30am. I felt good on the warm-up but noticed it would be a tailwind going out and a headwind for everyone finishing. We had a headwind finishing last year but the one this year was a lot stronger. I met Jamie and my dad before making my way over to the starting line. Jamie had a busy day. She drove back from Myrtle Beach on Friday, then to Beaufort on Saturday, and was driving back to Raleigh Saturday afternoon. She bought the boys, the dogs Justus and Bear to the race.
I lined up at the front of the starting line along with my friends that were running in the 5K and 10K. The race started and I was out fast. I felt good and settled into sub 6 min/mile pace. Beside me was Charlie Choo Justice who was also running the 10K. He finally broke 3 hours in the marathon earlier this year at Boston. He had been running well since Boston but has never beat me that I recall. My plan was to do the first mile in 6:05-6:10 but the sub 6 pace felt easy due to the tailwind. I ran the first mile in 5:50. After watching the leaders in the 5K round the turnaround, I saw just one guy continue straight on the 10K course and he was probably 30-45 seconds ahead. I continued on Front Street but slowed the pace back down because I didn't want to blow up later. Choo was still close to me at 2 miles but after that I started pulling away from him on Lennoxville Road. The first battle with the headwind started on Lennoxville as we headed towards the three mile mark. I ran miles two and three in 6:18 and 5:58.
|Just after 4 miles. Photo by Jamie Connerton|
After passing Jamie and Justus, a police woman tried to get me to turn left onto Turner Street but the course goes straight. She kept yelling at me to turn left but I yelled back telling her the course goes straight and she should know the course. She was standing just feet away from the course marker indicating the runners to go straight. I went straight because I know the course well. Hopefully she didn't screw anyone up because by turning left where she was telling me would have taken off at least half a mile on the course.
I knew I was all alone in second place overall and the leader was 1:30 or more head of me at four miles. I tried to maintain my current place and just finish in 2nd place. I saw Heidi walking to her car just around 4.5 miles. Heidi won the 5K in 19:56 and had her second baby earlier this year. She warned me the headwind finishing on Front Street was tough. I then saw Bobby Lane doing his cool-down from running a 19:40 5K to finish 5th overall and 1st masters. I passed Bobby just before the five mile park. He encouraged me to keep going strong as I ran mile five in 6:18. After making two right turns I was back on Front Street and running into a strong headwind for the final 0.7 miles.
|Wind kept blowing Bear's ears back|
It seems I have bad luck with this race as far as placement goes. In the previous two years I would have easily won the 10K if I had ran it but someone always shows up and beats me the years I run the 10K. I'll keep trying to win this race though. It took me 10 years before I won the 10K at the Lookout Road Race in Morehead City in April.
My friend Katherine ran the 5K just 2 weeks from her baby due date. She's been running the 5Ks in the Beach Runs and ran a Beach Run on Tuesday and then the Beaufort Road Race on Saturday. She's always been active and seeing her running just weeks before her baby comes is impressive!
My friend Melanie tried the 1 mile and 5K double because no one has won both at Beaufort in the same year. She easily won the women's mile but probably ran it too fast. She went out a little too fast and faded in the headwind in the 5K. She finished 2nd to Heidi in the 5K. Still a solid day for her and she'll be running for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the fall.
|Me, Jamie, Bear, and Justus postrace. Photo by Melanie Ng|
Overall it was a solid race considering the headwind. It was great seeing a lot of friends at the race that I haven't seen in awhile. It was nice having my Dad, Jamie, Justus, and Bear at the race too. Justus has been to my races before but this was Bear's first. Bear started as a foster dog but Jamie and I decided to keep him. He's fit in well with us and we've been giving him the best time of his life.