Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turning on the Afterburners at the Spring Run 10K

On Saturday, Sean and I drove to Nevada City to run in the 23rd Annual Spring Run 5K and 10K. This was already the second race in the Gold Country Grand Prix. I had missed this year's first run--the Daffodil Run--last week, because I was running the River City Marathon that day.
Before the Start
One interesting thing about consistently recording data about training runs and races is that you can see trends and patterns. Something that I started noticing only this year is that I typically run a really fast 10K training run five to seven days after a long race (marathon or longer). For example, I ran some very fast 10K training runs exactly 6 days after the Pony Express 100K and the Rucky Chucky 50K earlier this year. Those runs were not supposed to be tempo runs or speedwork, but everything just felt good and I was able to easily handle the fast pace.
Larry Defeyter (4th in the 5K) Rounds the Final Turn in the Steep Uphill Finish
Since the Spring Run 10K was held just 6 days after the marathon, I could put this "afterburner" theory to the test in a real race setting. I felt recovered from the 2:59:50 marathon, but had not run that much yet, so it was hard to tell how everything would hold up at race pace. Either way, it was a gorgeous day and it was great to see all the familiar faces from our local running community and fun to catch up after a long winter.
Thomas McAtee Wins the 5K in 18:34
I warmed up with Larry Defeyter who was running the 5K. We caught up with Andy Harris, who has run every single one of the 23 Spring Runs. Wow! This was (only) my fourth straight year of running this race, but that was enough to know the hilly course pretty well (See elevation profile).
Steve Bond Powers Up the Final Hill to the Finish
Chris sat this race out to install a dining room floor, so I actually had a shot at winning the 10K overall. The race started out fast with a steep downhill and after a little more than half a mile I found myself in first place at the 5K/10K split. I ran the first mile in 5:45 and then hit mile 2 at exactly 12 minutes and mile 3 at 18 minutes, clocking 6-minute miles comfortably. At the turnaround, I saw that Neel was not too far behind me, followed by Nevada Union's XC coach Sarah Freitas.
Sean on His Way Back in the 5K.
Mile 4 came in 24 minutes (still running 6:00), but keeping that pace would not be possible due to the steep hills on the way back. I hit the 5-mile mark in 31:10. Hmm, it would be cool to run this course in sub-40, but then again, the last part was mostly uphill and there was nobody pushing from behind to give that little bit of extra motivation.
Mike Buzbee Picks Out a Tomato Plant, Included in the Race Entry--Very Cool!
When I hit the 6-mile mark in 38 minutes, I knew I really had a shot at breaking 40 minutes (according to Andy Harris, only about 20 people had broken 40 in the history of the race) and I started speeding up. Larry joined me for a few minutes and he kept an eye out for people coming from behind (Thanks Larry!). I crossed the line in first place in 39:58. I guess my afterburner theory of suddenly running fast a week after a long race is correct; I might just plan some more short races like that in the future!
Chatting with Neel and Sarah Freitas (2nd and 3rd in the 10K respectively)
Sean, who just started running again after a long snowboarding season, finished the 5K in about 30 minutes. After the race, we picked up the hardware and joined Steve Bond and Andy Harris and his girlfriend for a great breakfast at the South Pine Cafe (voted best breakfast in Nevada County for good reason!
Steve Bond and Andy Harris (Finished the Spring Run 12 and 23 times respectively)
All in all, it was a fun way to spend Saturday morning. Thanks to all Terry Boyer and the volunteers that made this race a success. I'll be back next year.
Next Up: The Jenkinson Lake 50K in two weeks.

8 comments:

andyb said...

Congrats Peter! You are tearin it up this year. Keep up the great running.

Anonymous said...

Keep up your great dedication Peter. You're doing great. Don't change a thing.
Andy Harris

Gretchen said...

Dang Peter, you are getting speedy out there on those short races! You make it sound so easy. Nice job!

slowrunner77 said...

heck-it looks like your right on the right side of the barriers so far this year...2:59:50...39:58...no more 40:0-anything for you! Way to go. Sounds like an awesome run, especially with the slow last 2 miles. Keep it up speedy!

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Nice job, Peter. Way to kick some serious butt!

Alan Fletcher said...

nice win, and some nice HW!

Donald said...

Peter - thanks for visiting my blog. Congrats on a great race, and kepe running strong this year. Maybe we'll say hi on the trail someday.

Will said...

good work peter. you're knocking down some great performances of late. Keep on churning 'em!

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