Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great Race (9.25.11) - 3rd Time

I ran the Great Race in 2009 and 2010. I feel like I was in the best shape this year and the 2nd best shape last year.  My numbers and feel after the race don't support that though.


  • Official Chip time - 56:01
  • Clock time - 56:38
  • Official Distance - 10k
  • Garmin watch time - 55:55 moving and 55:57 elapsed time
  • Garmin distance - 6.29 mi
  • Course - mainly downhill
  • Arrived downtown @ 8:11 but was supposed to get there @ 8:40 so I waited outside the parking lot for RL to show up.
  • RL showed up at 8:35 and we went into the lot then went inside and went to the rest room. 
  • Immediately left to drive to the start. 
  • Walked a little bit and ended up in a long line just waiting to get up over to the course start
  • Race was supposed to start at 9:30 but it started at 9:37. 
  • Kelly and Jason passed me around mile 2
  • Liza passed me near the 5k
  • Around mile 5, I saw Nate after he finished when he was on his way to find Emily. 
  • I ran the first mile with Adrienne. (She finished in under 50 minutes)


  • I thought I was in better shape this year than last year. And last year I thought I was in better shape than the year before. 
  • I am always really nervous before races. I was more nervous this year than the first year. This is mainly correlated to goal times. 
  • I was less nervous today than the last 5k I ran. 
  • Carpooling helped me be less nervous today. 
  • At races, I have false hopes of doing minutes better than practice/training runs because people often tell me this will happen. 
  • I feel a lot more pressure running races when lots of people know I'm running them.  When races were just a first time for me and people just thought the goal was to complete it, I was able to run it a lot better.
  • Adrenaline helped me run my first 10k. 
  • I still want to find a 10k to run that isn't the Great Race to see how I compare. There is one for the Pittsburgh Runners club coming up. That course is hilly. Oh that race is October 2.  I have an American Heart Association Walk on October 1.  If I do that 10k, then I won't have the time to get my long run in on the weekend.  I thought I could do it Friday on my normal day off.
  • Sometimes at training runs, I run with someone else and the other person pushes me our I push me so I don't fall behind. I even talk during these runs. Then my times from those runs are often better than my race times.  I need to find someone to run with at races. Today it was awesome running 1 mile with someone. It really pushed me. I should have tried to keep up for mile 2 just to see. 


  • In 2009, I mainly trained on the track. In 2010 and 2011, I did a lot of training around my house and at North Park.
  • I did a lot more workouts in 2009. I actually worked out 6 days a week for the 2+ months prior to the race.  This year and last year my September workouts were lacking.  
  • In 2009, I was consistently doing Body Pump 2x a week.  In 2010, I was doing it 1-2x a week.  This year I am going 1 time a month.
  • In 2011, I did a lot more total miles, but I ran more times a week in 2009. 
  • In 2009, it rained. In 2010, it was cool and no rain. In 2011, it was hot for the end of September (75 degrees and sunny)
  • In the rain in 2009, there were lots of bands along the course. They were motivating. I liked the accordion guy.  In 2010 and 2011 there was a little bit of stuff on the sides but not much. 
  • In 2009, I just had a watch and I memorized what the splits said when I passed the mile markers. In 2011, I used my cell phone to hit split for each mile marker.  In 2011, I had my Garmin watch and got splits to the .25 automatically.
  • I got my BodyMedia Fit right before the race in 2009 but it was broken so I had to ship it back to get a new one, so I missed wearing it for the race.  I wore it for both 2010 and 2011. At the start in 2010, someone asked me about it and was all excited to know what it was called. 
  • This year I started up further than any other year and the congestion or lack of it was amazing.  
  • My goal in 2009 was to beat 60 minutes and I did it. In 2010, my goal was to beat 2009 and I failed. In 2011, my goal was to beat 2009 but was also to get around 55 minutes and I only half did that.
  • After the Great Race in 2009 and 2010 I basically didn't run for at least a month. I will not let that happen this time. I will be posting my workout goals like I did in December so I can be accountable
  • I notice each year I have the most thoughts racing through my head after the Great Race than any other race. The first year I did so much better than I thought I would do and the previous two years I did so much worse. 

Race + Mowing

Everyone talks about the course being mostly downhill, well it is but even the elevation gain is more than most of my runs.
Around the 5k mark, I stopped for water and walked for a bit (like 10 seconds) so that is why there is that drop in speed at that point.

My husband made fun of me for making a bulleted list in a blog post. He said people don't do that. Well I guess I do. He also glanced quickly at the one part and said he could tell I was an engineer.

Well there you have my race summary with a little more details than normal.


  1. Great race! It looks like this was your best time yet, so congrats on that! I've never raced a 10K before but I hope to do one this year - it seems like such an awkward distance to race. You can't just sprint the whole time like a 5K but you want to go a lot faster than you would for a half marathon. Tricky!

    I'm always nervous before a race. I think it helps with adrenaline fueled speed. And I think lots of people write posts with bulleted lists - I do it sometimes, especially if I have a lot of points I want to make. Great post and great race! Congratulations!

  2. My pace for the half I did was 9:23
    Official pace for this race was 9:01
    Pace for the last 5k I did was 8:22

    I never thought of comparing paces before your post. If I'd extrapolate, I wonder what a pace would be for a full marathon.

    Oh let me check my 30k pace... 10:43. It was 19 degrees if I remember correctly, we had on tons of layers, and I hadn't properly trained

  3. Well, you ran a little faster than '09, and if the weather was anything like here, it was unseasonably humid.

    I ran an 18 mile race yesterday. It was 20 seconds faster than last year, a measly 1 second per mile. But I'll take it. Even that has been hard to come by lately.

  4. Wow...over six miles in under an hour? That sounds amazing!

    I don't know much about running yet, but I would imagine that the longer the race, the slower your pace should be just because it's much harder to keep up a faster pace over a longer distance. Several marathoners I know have told me that they usually jog/walk throughout the race, which I'm sure brings down the pace a bit but makes the race more bearable.

    That's really cool that you've done the race three times already and can compare...I'm considering trying a half marathon in January, but since I've only been jog/walking for a week, I'm not sure if I'm ready to commit to anything yet.

  5. I ran 1 other race 3 times. I think I did 3 more twice. I keep trying to do the same ones each year for comparisons. In general I did the worst the first time and the best the 2nd time. then close to best the third time. and the ones I did twice just don't count the first "worst" one and I did better the first time.
    My husband keeps trying to tell me I'm past my prime. I need to prove him wrong.

  6. Alex: 20 seconds faster is better than 20 seconds slower.