RACE REPORT: Canal Connection 10K

RACE: Canal Connection
DISTANCE: 10K
DATE: 11/3/2013
LOCATION: Utica, IL
CONDITIONS: Clear, Cool, Light Winds
TIME: 32:11 (PR)
PACE: 5:11/mi
PLACEMENT: 2nd Overall

Canal was my final "A" race of the 2013 season which was filled with tears of sadness, tears of joy and most importantly a completely revised look on my running and life. Gone were the painstaking weeks where I dreaded reading my schedule, dreaded waking up for a run. Coach Tyler McCandless has made a greater impact on the mental aspects of my running and life than you would ever expect from a fitness viewpoint.

We arrived with plenty of time to head over and meet my parents (which was a nice surprise) at the school for my warm-up. Melisa and did a 20 minute warm-up together. About 10 minutes in while rounding a corner, my ankle rolled off the side walk. It completely bent over on its side and a striking pain went through my bad nearly instantly. I was nearly in tears , I kept running though (limping rather) to make sure the swelling would stay down. It continued to improve until the end of the warm-up, although it was sore.

After a round of drills and strides, I jumped into my Mizuno Bright Yellow Race Kit and Mizuno Wave Universe 4 shoes. Granted these shoes are a bit light for a rough 10K, however every ounce counts and this was a 10K. I met up with Bryan Glass, course record holder and local stud masters runner prior via email to discuss race plans as well as this morning. He and I had similar goals on this day so we decided to work together.

Rough start - kids tripping me and Bryan and I wading through the sea of folks going out too fast. I was eager to go out after it , however kept cool and easily went through the first mile.

Mile 1 - 5:05.7

Now that the easy warm-up was out of the way, Bryan and I worked to get the race on track. My cadence was excellent as I simply focused on the road ahead, I felt very strong.

Mile 2 - 5:02 (10:07)

The next mile switches surfaces to packed gravel which felt pretty awful, Bryan and I stayed side by side , although we should have been working in a line I suppose.

Mile 3 - 5:07.1 (15:25) (5K split 15:5x)

I realized that I had about 15 minutes of pain in front of me and tried to break into chunks as Tyler suggested. Mile 4 actually felt great, Bryan was slipping back and I repeated to myself that I must be stronger.

Mile 4 - 5:09 (20:34)

The hard work I put in is now in play - in past years I would have simply died at this point. Today , I feel like I am able to work. As we approach 5 miles I am focusing on form, breathing and just keeping those legs turning.

Mile 5 - 5:11.2 (25:45)

Fatigue has set in and Bryan is walking away. Not to get discouraged I see Melisa about .5 mile up ahead and I just push the pain aside and keep clicking away. My feet hurt from the blasted rocks, it doesn't matter though, let it go. I see Miss and I feel like death , see my dad and I am energized. At this point some spectator says, he's right behind you. Not being one to look back i do nothing but glance as I make the corner for Mile 6 - is there a ghost behind me?

Mile 6 - 5:18.8 - EEK

I poured everything into the last .2 and hammered home just above 32 minutes. I am thrilled. My "A" goal was 32:15 and I managed to exceed that by 4 seconds. My legs were spent. I was dry heaving in the shoots while smiling.

The cool-down mile with melisa was a trudge at best, it was tough.A nice awards ceremony coupled with helping with Customers at Often Running, it was a nice close to the afternoon.

Thank you Mizuno for allowing me the opportunity to represent the brand. I saw several folks after that made a comment about how much they like there mizuno shoes or apparel - awesome! Thanks to Often Running and Mitchell for generously picking up my race entries and letting me represent the store, this is a race where being out front really is noticeable and allows a chance to get in front of the masses of shoe options. Thanks to Tyler for his excellent guidance and partnership.

I took the week off to break up season #2 for 2013 before starting up on the 11th for my next big race build up. I went mentally crazy, however taking planned time off is something professional runners regularly do for good reason. Running yourself into the ground is avoided and further it lets the mind recharge. I worked very hard for this race and this year. It was a celebration (Which was actually a week with a sinus infection).

It was awesome to have my mom and dad at a race alongside Melisa - typically I ran like garbage when they are there , it was nice to finally at my potential. A great piece of closure to 2013.

Next Race(s) -
Jingle Bell 5K 11/10 - Low Key Event , Less of a Race
YMCA 5 Miler - Thanksgiving

January - 13.1 ......