Monday, June 7, 2010

Herndon Festival 10K Race Report

Well, that was disappointing.

Combine hot, humid weather with a course that was tougher than I thought, add in some silly mistakes, and you have a race that I wasn't happy with.

I knew going in that it was going to be humid. I hydrated well beforehand, and warmed up fine. The first mile was a complete downward slope, and I ran it in under 8:30 - so far, so good. There was an extreme hill right after the one-mile mark, and that slowed me down a lot in mile 2, but I was still under a 9:20 pace at mile 2. Mile 3 was flat for the first half, but then the silliness started. A car somehow turned onto the course in front of me and the group of about 8 that I was in. Our yelling to the driver to get off the course didn't help, so I played hero, and sprinted to the driver's window to voice my frustration. The elderly woman finally turned off the road, but that was only the beginning of my problem, as I was winded as the course made a 2-mile gradual up-slope.

The next 2 miles were just short of torturous. The shade of the neighborhood we ran through on miles 2 and 3 gave way to blazing sunshine on miles 4 and 5. This is where I struggled. But at mile 5, I was still sitting at around a 9:30 pace, and there was a downhill slope, which helped. But whoever designed the course was obviously masochistic, as mile 5.5 incorporated the slope that we ran up just after the one-mile mark, albeit on a parallel street. After making the turn at mile 6 for the homestretch, the finish line seemed so far away, but I crossed in 59:35, a 9:37 pace, and about 3:30 slower than I had hoped for.

What went wrong? I have come to the conclusion that the 10 extra pounds or so I put on while I was laid up with my calf imjury last Fall are coming back to bite me in the summer heat. So today begins Day 1 of trying to get my weight back to where it was last summer. I have a 4-mile early-evening race on June 27th and I'll probably run the Loudoun County 10K in early August again before the Rock & Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in September, 15 weeks away. Hopefully by then I'll be down to my old weight.


  1. Dave, Dave, Dave...ease up on yourself!

    First of all, heat and humidity can be unpredictable monsters. At last year's Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon, more than a few of us finished an hour behind our projected (and justifiable) time goals...BUT WE FINISHED. Heat can sap you despite your best hydration careful with the flogging.

    Secondly, some days are better than others. Simple.

    As for clueless granny...I get your frustration there. Of course, if you had to sprint up to catch her, she wouldn't have affected YOUR time...but she was definitely not a safe clean-up crew for the runners before her.

    I still call it a good run; attaboy.

  2. Jeff,

    Yeah, I'm beginning to finally realize what humidity can do to you. I ran an "easy" run this morning (56 degrees w/low humidity), 4 miles at a 9:39 pace on a much more hilly course, basically the same pace as Sunday (when I ran hard), but I wasn't winded at all today.

    I guess I should really lower my expectations depending on the weather conditions.