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2010 Sunburst 10K

2010/06/13

So let’s get the item of my time out of the way – 1:02:41. Not my best 10K time, but then again, it’s only the second 10K race I’ve ever participated in. This year’s time was 1:03 over last year. But who’s keeping track, right?

Now the details.

I have to begin on Friday afternoon with the packet pickup at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown South Bend. Good crowd, but not much to do other than browse the few vendors in the “expo” tent and, well, pick up your bib, packet, and t-shirt. And have a syrupy shaved ice with the kids. I must say, I’m still quite perplexed why this year’s shirt features an illustration of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. South Bend, Indiana, is 350 miles away from St. Louis, so the association escapes me. I may suggest to the organizers that for next year’s shirt, they hold a design contest, and the winner gets nothing but a public thank you over the loudspeaker before each race and a new car. Because that’s all I want for my design, not much really.

2010 Sunburst shirt

Since when is the St. Louis arch iconic of South Bend?

Oh, but this is a race review, not a graphic design critique. I almost forgot.

Race day, the 10K shot off at 7:45am. It was humid with the temperature somewhere around 65-70F. Did I mention it was humid, though? The sky was overcast and I was hoping it would rain since rain is my favorite running condition. But…no such luck. The first couple miles went very well, I kept the pace relaxed and easy. Shortly after mile two, however, I developed a side stitch that wouldn’t quit, and my running partner, Courtney, had the same problem (we blamed the warm, funny-tasting water from the last aid station). We discussed stopping to walk a couple blocks, making sure the other was 100% OK with walking. We walked for a minute, then continued to run, only to stop again at mile three for the same issue. At this point, I ripped open the one gel I had brought along, ate half of it and gave the rest to Courtney, who had never consumed a gel before – evident by the way she gagged on it, not expecting its strange consistency.  At this point, Courtney urged me to go on without her.

At mile 5, I passed a 5K runner walking back, wearing Vibram Five Fingers, complimenting him on them as I ran by, and thinking to myself, “Maybe next time I’ll be racing in my VFFs.”

I took it easy in the humidity most of the way, but when I turned the corner onto Eddy Street, I picked it up for the rest of the way, though what my pace was at that point I couldn’t be sure. I only knew the time on my watch, and that if I wanted to achieve a PR, I had to haul ass, make it all the way down the  street, around the stadium and through the tunnel to the 50-yard line in less than five minutes. It didn’t happen, and even my planned all-out sprint from the tunnel to the finish line didn’t quite happen – I just didn’t have the power to push it hard for fifty more yards.

I expected to be sore on Sunday, and Monday as well, but the next day I was surprised that I didn’t feel anything. I felt great! My muscles weren’t the least bit sore. After last year’s Sunburst I was sore for two days, just as I was after the Indy Mini-Marathon just this past May. I took this as a great indication of my improved state of fitness over last year, and went out for a quick 5K run Sunday evening.

Now, with no races planned until September, I have all summer to train, and I hope to improve not only my distances but my speed. And maybe even transition to running in the Vibrams, which for some reason I continue to delay.

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