Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pike's Peek 10k

This race was a couple week's ago, the same weekend as Ben's Run.  I did Ben's Run on Saturday morning and this 10k on Sunday morning.  This review is hard to write because I had really built this race up in my mind.  I had heard so many great things about it, it has a reputation for being fast, I've been PR'ing 5ks recently, and I really thought I was going to PR this 10k since I've only done one other 10k and that was last June.  But it was not to be.

The logistics were great, as with all MCRRC races.  Let's start with packet pick up.  There were pre-race hours on both Friday and Saturday at a local running store.  The store happens to be between my work and home so I stopped on the way home Friday.  It was super quick.  Since it was predicted to be cold and rainy for the race, I also bought a waterproof running jacket that was half off.  It even converts into a vest. Score! There was pre-race packet pick up as well and it seemed like it was efficient, according to a friend that did that. They also had an option to drop off old running shoes for recycling, which was nice.

Here's the rain jacket I picked up

The registration came with a tech shirt that I really like.  Unfortunately, I can't find it at the moment to take a photo.

It was a point to point but both the start and end were at metro stops with plenty of parking.  So you could park at either the start or finish and take the metro as needed.  My dad was volunteering at the medical tent at the finish so we dropped him off first, then Mike dropped me off at the start. There were plenty of signs and it was easy to navigate.

My dad having fun at the finish while waiting for runners to start coming in

I was at the start pretty early but that turned out to be good.  There was absolutely no port-a-potty line at that point but the lines for both that and bag check grew really quick.  I met up with a friend and we got toward the back of the pack.  The race started on time and this is when things began to go downhill for me.

There we are, running up the hill in our jackets and pants, way overdressed

Remember when I talked about the cool rain?  Nope.  It was beautiful, sunny, and warm.  I was completely overdressed in a long sleeve shirt and jacket.  Plus, the start line for the race shifted this year and started with a short but steep uphill that I went out way too quick on. I was dying by mile 2 and told my friend to go on without me.  The course was mostly a straight shot down a major local road but not all the lanes were closed so we were running in close proximity to traffic. And since it was in the middle of the road, there wasn't much shade. One good thing was the net downhill.

I had started with 6/1 intervals but shifted to alternating between 3/1 and 2/1 intervals. And since I was feeling so poorly, I was just not in a good headspace and really failed the mental game. Once I knew I wasn't going to PR but also wasn't going to be swept, I kind of gave up between miles 2 and 4.

Once I got to mile 4 and knew I only had 2 miles left, I got myself together and started pushing again. It wasn't a PR but it wasn't as bad as it could be, I guess.  My 10k PR is 1:18:52 and my official chip time here was 1:20:32.

The weather just really got to me.  But I finished strong and that's something.  I was able to see Mike and my dad at the end, which was great. The finish area party was great with lots of food and music.  A local Italian restaurant was a sponsor and they provided pizza and pasta.  I didn't feel like eating any of that but there was a cool machine making fresh squeezed orange juice that tasted like the best OJ ever!

Fresh squeezed OJ machine!

Instead of a medal, the race gave finishers a bottle opener.  I like that it's something practical that I can use.  And my dad got a hat for volunteering. 

Overall, I'm not sure if I'll do this race again.  I'll probably try it again at some point for redemption. It was well organized, there was a fun finish line festival, and it was really close to me in an area I'm really familiar with.  I didn't love the course but that may just be due to the weather and my head space.

At the finish line, after getting rid of the jacket!