Category Archives: 10k

Veteran’s Day 10K

Start time: 11/10/2013, 8:00am
Location: Hains Point
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finishing Time: 55:24
Average pace: 8:55min/mile
Total Miles For November: 26 miles
Total Miles For 2013: 668 miles
Current Shoes: 262 miles

I ran the Veteran’s Day 10K this morning… with a bit of a chest cold. Hindsight being 20/20, not the smartest thing I’ve done. The weather was great, though, and the course is flat flat flat. I didn’t feel too bad during the race, but considering I was only about 4 seconds faster than my last 10K that was all-hills earlier this year, I think it was safe to say that I was feeling the results of the chest cold even before I finished.

(Since then, I’ve been coughing a bunch. Yuck.)

Still, all things considered, not too bad. A little crowded at times, but nothing to complain about. Considerate runners, cool temperatures (I didn’t need the insulating layer after all, ah well), and I maintained a very steady pace until the last 1.2 miles where I was even able to pick up a tiny bit of speed. So I’m taking it as a victory. Yay! And hey, unlike the other time that I tried to run a race while sick, I actually finished this one. So there we go.

Clyde’s 10K

Clyde’s 10K
Start time: 4/14/13, 8:15am
Location: Columbia, MD
Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)
Finishing time: 55:28
Average pace: 8:57min/mile
Total Miles For April: 29 miles
Total Miles For 2013: 175 miles
Current Shoes: 74 miles

Hilly, hilly 10K up in Columbia. Lots of climbs that never seemed to quite balance out with downhill stretches, although I’m sure that’s all just in my head. Ran this race with Stephanie (who warned us about the hills) and Ben, and had a great time. Cool start, which was good; kept up with Stephanie until around mile 3.5, at which point she got ahead of me on a massive hill and I never quite caught her.

Good finishing time for me, though. My last two (and fastest two) 10Ks were 52:30 back in 2008, and 54:02 in 2010. Considering I was at my fastest overall in 2008, only an extra minute in a half for a hilly hilly course? I’m very pleased. After a couple of lackluster finishes at races recently, I feel like I did a good job here. Probably could have kicked it a little faster near the end, but no complaints.

Veteran’s Day 10K

Start time: 11/14/10, 8:00m
Location: West Potomac Park
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finish Time: 54:02
Average pace: 8:43min/mile
Total Miles For November: 14 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 576 miles

Today was my first 10K in two and a half years… no, really. It’s honestly been that long. I know, a little out of control. I knew going into this that I almost certainly wouldn’t get a PR, which is a shame because I know I’m capable of a faster PR than the one I have, a 52:30. But that said, I knew I wasn’t going to get it; a few extra pounds and some general slacking on my running would do that. I figured if I was within two minutes it wouldn’t be too bad, and I ended up 1:32 off (with a 54:02), so that’s not that bad. But now I have a new line in the sand to try and kill.

Anyway, it was a nice day regardless. This was the first race I’ve tackled with people from my 2009/2010 running group, so that was a nice experience. Six of us started out together, but John and I pulled ahead during the first mile. John then left me in the dust around the end of mile 2, and as he came in a whopping 4 minutes ahead of me I think it is safe to say that he definitely poured on the gas. Something I need to work on, myself.

Considering this is such a flat course, there are no real excuses for not doing well save for the need to work harder at this end, and that’s something I find achievable. I’m not disappointed at all with my finishing time today, but I would like to get to a faster point in the future. I think that’s possible.

(9:03, 8:24, 8:40, 8:37, 8:34, 8:44, 1:57)

Placing: 97/172 (56th percentile)

Wetness Everywhere

Columbia Triathlon
Start time: 5/23/10, 7:00am
Location: Columbia, MD
Distance: 1.5k swim / 41k bike / 10k run
Splits: 32:16 / 1:45:44 / 1:05:12
Total time: 3:36:12
Total Miles For May: 33 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 272 miles

The Columbia Triathlon was my first olympic-distance triathlon; I ran a sprint triathlon in July 2009 to see if I liked the idea of a triathlon, and it was good enough an experience to sign up for two olympic tris in 2010. This was the first one, and I must say that I hope the second one is easier in all regards, because this was definitely a hard one. It didn’t help that there was heavy rain and thunderstorms all night before; I got maybe 3 hours of sleep, and from there it was a very early drive up to Columbia. Once there, I set up my gear as best I could (my bike was already there), met up with Moose, and then headed into the water at 7am for the start of my swim wave. The rain had fortunately stopped a few minutes earlier, and the weather in general only pushed back the start by 15 minutes.

The swim was the first open-water distance I’d done since Boy Scout Camp (and the mile swim) back in the 1980s. This meant I had to learn “sighting” (aka keeping your eyes on where you are supposed to be going) on the fly; the first turn ended up being a little wide, but after that it sorted itself out. (When I got to that turn and realized I should be making a much tighter turn, another swimmer next to me stopped, looked, and said, “I think we need to start turning a little tighter.” At least I was not alone.) On the bright side, I never did get kicked in the head, something I was expecting. On the down side, the water was disgusting and at the end you actually swam through weeds. Ugh. Still, I was happy with my finishing time for this leg; it was actually the one out of the three where I ended almost exactly where I had thought I would.

After a really slow transition (I was mentally in “all done!” mode for too much of it), I headed out onto the bike course, which is pure hill from start to finish. Biking is still my weakest part of a triathlon, and this was a struggle. It didn’t help matters that the road was still wet and slick from all of the rain. I did pass one person who had wiped out on the course, badly; adding to the experience was that just earlier on that very steep downhill stretch, I’d felt my own bike slide a tiny bit on the course, but I had regained control almost immediately. I spent the entire bike ride eating spray from other bikes as they passed me (ugh), hoping I wouldn’t wipe out, and wondering how far along the course I was. I hadn’t brought my Garmin GPS, which was a mistake; next time I’ll just switch watches and call it a day. (It can’t go in the water.) I’d convinced myself that I was barely more than halfway through (and inching through the course) when I suddenly made a turn and realized I had about three miles to go. Oh, what a wonderful moment that was. I came in on the bike about half an hour faster than I’d expected, which was a really nice surprise.

The one downside to doing better on the bike than expected was that I didn’t have as much energy left for the run as I needed. If the course was flatter I might’ve been all right, but just like the bike course, it had large and steep rolling hills, and I’ll admit that I ended up walking a few of them because I just didn’t have the power left to move any faster. It was a disappointment, and while it wasn’t a bad finish time, it was the part of the race where I came in slower than I’d wanted.

I’m looking forward to my next race (the Washington DC Triathlon on June 20th) being a much flatter course, though!

Up and Down Capitol Hill, Again

Capitol Hill Classic 10K
Start time: 5/18/08, 8:30am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finishing time: 52:30
Average pace: 8:28min/mile
Miles for May: 25.5

I missed the Capitol Hill Classic last year; I had an injury that had prevented me from running anything. So I had a lot to really prove for myself, because this was my first 10K since May 2006.

I made one small mistake this year; I ran into Emma early on and stuck with her until about mile 2.5. As Emma is normally faster than me, it meant I was starting to run out of gas. Fortunately I realized the error of my ways and slowed down a bit. It went well after that, aside from a misplaced Mile 4 marker that made me really wonder what the hell was going on, and running completely out of gas and walking for about 30 seconds up the long, steep, Capitol Hill. UGH. Not proud of that. But otherwise it went well, and I got to see a whole bunch of my old fellow AIDS Marathon staffers—Rick W, Rick C, Karen K, and Emma. Good times, good times, good times.

(8:19, 7:52, 8:14, 10:17, 7:11, 8:55, 1:33 for the .2. And yeah, that marker was definitely off for that fourth mile!)

And hey! Check out my age group placing!

2005: 315/386 (81st percentile) (30-39 group)
2006: 166/233 (71st percentile) (30-34 group)
2008: 98/192 (51st percentile) (35-39 group)

Return to Capitol Hill

Race: The Capitol Hill Classic 10K
Start time: 05/21/06, 8:30am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Finishing time: 57:30
Average pace: 9:16min/mile

With my last race I was mentally composing a journal entry five seconds into the race about how I knew I wasn’t going to get a PR. Around mile 3 today, I was wondering why I hadn’t already done the same thing.

But let’s rewind a bit. Readers of my other journal will know that I’d been feeling like I was dragging and just generally not up to par all weekend, and this morning was unfortunately no exception. Cal told me that ten seconds into the race today he was thinking, “Why am I here?” and that’s actually what was going through my head before I’d even left my home. Ugh. I got to the start of the race, though, and found a pack of AIDS Marathoners to start with. We were all going to be runnign different speeds, though, so it was with a bit of regret that I realized I’d be running this one on my own again. I was hoping to have someone to pace off of; this year I’ve felt like several times I’ve headed out of the gate too fast (races or otherwise) and was afraid that we’d get a repeat performance of this bad running behavior. Sure enough the first two miles were just that (8:13, 8:30) and I just knew that I wasn’t going to be able to maintain this pace. (It was also around this time I was wishing that it was a 5K because I like to think I could’ve kicked it out on the final 1.1 miles.)

Sweltering in the sun (it was 52 degrees when I left, but the heat and sun seem to have shown up five minutes later), I hit the third mile marker at 9:50 and I could just feel my heart sink. My previous PR was a 9:22min/mile pace and I spent a lot of the rest of the race diong math in my head, trying to figure out how many extra seconds I had “banked” from the first two miles to see if I could beat that. Mile 4’s time looked the same (9:48) but it was also a two-walk-break mile so I felt like I was starting to rally a bit. Sure enough, mile 5 was at a 9:29 and I began to think that yeah, I could do this so long as I didn’t bomb out. “All right, Greg,” I told myself. “You just finished mile 5 and your time is a 45:53. To beat last year’s 58:06 you just need to finish the last 1.2 miles in 12 minutes. That’s a 10-minute pace. No problem.

What I really need to be thinking at this point of a race is really “don’t forget that you still have to climb Capitol Hill before you hit mile marker 6.” Ugh, ugh, ugh. I hate that stupid hill with a passion, to put it mildly. Struggling back up the hill, even though I’d taken my walk break just two minutes earlier I just couldn’t do it. I was out of gas. I finally told myself I could walk for an additional minute and that I’d make up the time once it leveled out a bit. Walking up even part of the hill felt like… well, defeat. At the same time, I kept scanning the side of the course for the mile marker. Where was it? Where was it?

And there it was. 9:53 for the mile. I could still do this, I’d get a PR, and it wouldn’t be the one I wanted as of yesterday but it would still be an improvement and a real victory. I pushed through the last .2 miles as best as I could, and while my old adrenaline burst never did hit (ah well) it was all over in just 1:44, for a new PR of 57:30.

Phew. Not my most glamorous race, and I didn’t feel strong the way I did after the race last year… but I did it, and it’s done. Now I just need to really start getting out there regularly again (and drop off these extra five pounds that have once more come back to haunt me) and all will be well. I hope!

2005: 315/386 (81st percentile) (30-39 group)
2006: 166/233 (71st percentile) (30-34 group)

Capitol Hill Classic 10K

Start time: 05/22/05, 8:30am
Location: Washington DC (Capitol Hill area)
Distance: 6.2 miles
Finishing time: 58:06
Average pace: 9:22min/mile

What a fantastic race. todc was a wonderful running partner, making me laugh at just the right moments and keeping us on track. He’s the one who first gave me the nudge to realize that all my old running times from 2004 (and before) were getting thrown out the window, and by god, that’s exactly what’s been happening. A nice steady pace despite some huge crowds, massive potholes, and crazy people trying to helpfully hose down runners. Gee, thanks… not.

Ultimately, another race to go on the permanent “races to run calendar”; I loved this from start to finish, and I loved my 58:06 even more as a result. This wasn’t a race where I’ll shake my head at the memory, but one where I’m thrilled to have been part of it.

Sallie Mae 10K

Start time: 04/17/05, 8:00am
Location: Hains Point
Distance: 10 kilometers
Finishing time: 1:00:21
Average pace: 9:44min/mile

It was just Pam and me for the Sallie Mae 10K this morning; we stuck together for the first two miles, as my legs started to loosen up and I just enjoyed the fresh air and the sun beating down and shining off of the Potomac River. After two 10:30min/miles, I picked up the pace a bit; I knew that my previous best for a 10K was at a 9:50min/mile pace, so all I could think in the back of my head was that I’d ended up “80 seconds behind”. That doesn’t sound like much but when the entire course is only 6.2 miles long and you’re already 2 miles in, that’s a lot for me. I’d been doing a 4:1 run:walk ratio and I kept it up for miles 3 and 4, where I started to shave off a little bit of time; after mile 3 it was down to 70 seconds behind, and after mile 4 just 50 seconds behind.

I took one final walk break about halfway through mile 5 and then it was running all the rest of it in; when I hit mile marker 5 I was “behind” by just 20 seconds. I knew that if I kept up the pace I was on I was pretty well set to beat my old PR. As I hit the final marker with two-tenths of a mile to go, I glanced at my watch… tons of time to spare, thank goodness. I was now ahead of schedule by about 30 seconds. I got one final boost when about 250 feet from the finish line someone started sprinting past me, and I wasn’t ready to let this stranger win; I picked up the pace myself and ended up racing him across the finish line. (I won, ha ha.) The final result, 1:00:21, knocked 39 seconds off of the previous PR.

I have one more 10K scheduled (the Capitol Hill Classic 10K) on May 22nd. I think if I drop the walk breaks after the first mile or two I can knock off some more of those remaining pesky 22 seconds; it’d be nice to get a sub-hour finishing time one of these days. Until then, I’m happy with today’s victory. (Pam did really well too, coming in about ten minutes later. No PR for her, unfortunately, but I know she will next time. Things just didn’t seem to be aligning for her today.)

Race Day

Start time: 03/12/05, 9:30am
Location: Downtown Washington DC
Distance: 10 kilometers / 6.2 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 4:1
Finish time: 1:01:00
Average pace: 9:50min/mile

Today was the third time that I’d run the St. Patrick’s Day 10K here in DC; in 2003 I finished with 1:24:18 (13:35min/mile), and in 2004 with 1:22:34 (13:19min/mile). This year I was determined that I was going to hit a new PR by quite a bit.

My mental goal was “anything under 1:05” although in reality I was hoping to be able to average a 10min/mile, which is 1:02 exactly. (Under one hour was the stuff of fantasies.) When I started the race today on Pennsylvania Avenue, my plan was clear: stick with my friend Randy (who would get under an hour easily) as long as possible and then hoof it as best I could the rest of the way. My friend Pam was going for the same plan, and we had several others buddies from our running group who were all also going for new PRs. Suddenly the crowd started moving and we were off.

By the time we hit mile 2, several things were clear. First, we’d just lost Pam and it was just Randy and me. Second, we were slightly off pace for Randy to hit his goal time. And third, I was not going to be able to keep up with Randy for the entire race! Sure enough, at exactly the halfway point (3.1 miles), Randy got ahead of me in the crowd and that was that. I didn’t really mind, though. I knew I couldn’t hang with him the whole way through, and it was exciting enough to actually be in the crowd of runners for a change. Stitch in my side? Pfft! Choking on a cup of water? No problem! Running up that damn hill at L’Enfant Plaza? Well, ok, that thing kicked my ass like it does every year.

When I hit mile 5, I looked at my watch and I had an unrealistic amount of time left to hit under an hour, but under 1:02 was still in reach. I pushed through without walk breaks, and while mentally it felt good, it meant that this was the first time in as far as I can remember where I didn’t have my super-adrenaline-burst to push through the last stretch of the race. I stayed steady, which was good, but I must admit I missed having the ability to zoom towards the finish line, passing people left and right.

Most importantly? This year’s finishing time: 1:01:00, or a 9:50min/mile.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled. A little tired, but thrilled. (Oh, and super-Randy? 55:45. Wow! He’s so awesome.) This time next year, that sub-59:59 finish time will be mine!

Running: 10K (6.2 miles)

Start time: 3/15/03, 9:30am

Location: Downtown Washington DC

Activity: Running

Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)

Run:Walk ratio: 3:2

Finishing time: 1:24:18

Average pace: 13:35min/mile

In my only nod to Monday’s holiday, I ran in the St. Patrick’s Day 10K earlier this morning, along with Julie, Martha, and Kimberly. (And about 4000 other people.) It was a lot of fun—none of us had ever run a race that was under 26.2 miles before!—and for very little preparations, we did quite well. Our speed was good (for us at any rate; we were totally at the back of the crowd with all those super-fast runners), and we were really happy with our finishing time (1:24:18). Three not-so-good things, though:

  1. We never were able to find Lisa, who we were also supposed to run with (and it was her idea, no less); we aren’t sure if she didn’t make it or somehow managed to elude us the entire time.
  2. There were supposed to be water stops at miles 2 and 4. Instead, the water stops were at miles 4 and 4.75. Yeesh.
  3. About 200 feet from the finish line, some asshole in his car decided that he had to get across the street immediately and nearly ran us over. We yelled at him to stop (I honestly don’t think he would have otherwise) and then he had the nerve to roll down his window and tell us to calm down. Gah! To top it off, there was a DC police officer not ten feet away who didn’t do a thing. (I would have appreciated him to at least tell the guy to be careful.) Glad to see he’s doing his job.

Oh well. We still had a blast and we’re all the more excited now for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon at the end of August!