Completed the 2012 Route 66 10K for the first time today. Only my second 10K I've ever competed. Up to this race I've been working on a small injury in my right leg/adductor, but have successfully gotten back into running more consistently since ridding myself of a larger injury in my lower abs. The race was designated as the Road Runners Club of America Illinois State 10K Championship for a second year. So all participants are eligible for State Championship awards.
The night before I came down with a stomach illness, probably the potato salad at the company picnic, and didn't sleep well until about 2am. With the combo small injury and now a stomach bug, I didn't plan on running in the race in the morning. However, awoke in the morning feeling just a little weak and thought I should give it a go even if not feeling 100%. So packed up the family and drove an hour to the race.
As usual, I didn’t eat anything before the race and only drank water and a cup of joe. Wasn’t feeling too bad, but could just tell if I ate something then everything would quickly change. We got to the race in plenty of time. Picked up my packet and then just hung out talking to other people. The small town charm, sunny sky, and low pressure atmosphere picked my spirits up.
It was already feeling warm at the gun, but started off with no problems. Here is a mile-by-mile:
Mile 1 – 6:15 Felt out of sorts a bit. Legs were moving good, but system needed to catch up. Right leg injury was hardly noticeable.
Mile 2 – 6:24 Lungs still felt out of sync, but as I warmed up I could feel better energy flow.
Mile 3 – 6:41 Backed off some to get the lungs in sync. Didn’t mean to back off this much though. Stomach and GI were complaining a bit.
Mile 4 – 6:41 This pace felt better and I could tell my bodyweight is the drag. Can feel that extra 20 lbs. and the rising heat.
Mile 5 – 6:47 Slipped again, but wasn’t watching the clock anymore. Focused on pushing ahead as fast as I can without blowing up.
Mile 6 – 6:30 My fire finally started to burn stronger as I passed people on the way back into town. However, was “chicked” by a girl that I passed earlier on mile 5. Tried to hang onto her with plans to pass her on the finish. No dice.
Finish – 1:30 Started to get mad and just ran as fast as I could. Finished feeling like I was going to puke, but didn’t. I pushed myself just enough. Gave a big congrats to the girl that passed me.
Final chip time of 40:48 with an average pace of 6:35 per mile. My overall finish place was 22 out of 553 finishers and age group finish place was 3 out of 34 finishers in the Men 40 to 44 age group. We hung out for the Route 66 festival and collected my age bracket medal. Kids had fun and our oldest now wants to run a 5K. I didn’t have a PR in me today due to several reasons/excuses, but plan to make this an annual race on my calendar. I was only a minute off the winner of my age group. Already had the "if only" thoughts running through my brain. Plus the fellow competitors are really great to hang out with afterward. Some said they had a target on my back after I passed them, but couldn't catch me. That made me feel good. Overall, a really neat event.