Last November I ran in the Dinosaur Dash 10K put on by Renegade Race Series. My fitness level was comparable to that of which I ran the Hope 4 Hanna 10K just a few weeks prior. However, this course was almost dead flat (in contrast to the brutal hills in the Hope 4 Hanna race) so I was looking forward to getting a solid PR over this distance.
Naturally, I woke up very late. The event started at 7am and I recall waking up just after 6am. I quickly threw all my things together and rolled out the house at 6:20am without taking in any calories, fluids, or checking my blood-glucose levels.
I did some quick mental math, coming to the realization that I would have to average 30mph to make it to the event by 6:45. I was driving my motor bike, my new toy that was never able to go faster than 25mph prior to race day. When I considered the time I would lose at red lights, I thought it would be impossible to make it to the event on time. However, I remembered that I had recently changed my fuel ratio to include less oil (and thus a greater concentration of gasoline), so when I turned the throttle completely I hit 35mph on the flats.
33 minutes and an album of Taking Back Sunday later, I rolled into the venue with seven minutes to the gun. I quickly locked up my motorbike, changed into my running attire (just removing A LOT of layers), picked up my bib, and threw on my running shoes. I found a table to hide my bag under, and ran to the start line as they were counting down from 10. By the time the gun went off I was still 50 meters back from the start line, and I now had to weave through all the ten-minute milers. This may have been a blessing in disguise because my heart rate was way too high and the slower running helped get me to relax a bit.
It took me about a full minute to catch up to the lead packs. It seemed like there were at least 100 other runners who went out faster than I did (5:50/mile). I wasn’t bothered by this because I assumed most of the them went out too quickly. This was apparent when I ran by most of them and heard their breathing patterns.
I spent the first half of the race moving through the field, rolling into eighteenth place at the turnaround. My pace was relatively controlled and consistent, running the first three miles in 5:50, 5:50, and 5:54, respectfully. My 3-mile time was 17:34 (which was actually a PR for me) and my 5K time was 18:08.
After the turnaround I felt my blood sugar begin to drop, so I ate 4 Shot Bloks (32g carbohydrate, 130 calories) and tried to stay under 6:00/mile. My pace began to drop very slightly, but I noticed that a lot of other runners were slowing down at a greater magnitude. This allowed me to move into fifteenth place at the 8K (5 mile) marker, running miles four and five in 5:57 and 6:02. Just before the 9K mark is the only “hill” (if you can even call it that) on the course. I noticed the two runners in front of me were hurting, so I used this opportunity to make a pass. I technically didn’t speed up, I just ran up the incline at the same pace as the flats.
I came through mile six in 6:03, putting a 20-30 meter (5-7 seconds) gap on the runners that I just passed. I did everything I could to hold onto my position to the finish, and it certainly took its toll on both my mind and my body.
I ran through the finish in 37:25, which seemed a little slow to me. I checked my watch and it clocked in 6.32 miles: 200 meters (about 45 seconds) too long. I confirmed this distance with other competitors who all got distance readings of 6.3X miles. I just did the math with the pace for every mile and calculated my 10K time to be 36:42 (5:56/mile). I ended up finish in 13th place overall and 2nd place in the M16-18 age group.
Official time: 37:25
10K time: 36:42 (5:56/mile)
Place: 13th/611 overall, 2/9 M16-18