Similar to the John Rudy 5 miler, this was actually my first year of running the Indian Rock 10k. Last year I deemed the weather too dangerous due to snow and ice and also hadn’t felt the greatest. Also like the 5 miler the race was ran on the York Rail Trail though a different portion.
It was also my first race running as a member of the Flying Feet racing team. I asked Les, an older guy who I’ve known for years and who I couldn’t beat most of the summer, at the start of the series how someone gets on the racing team. He jokingly told me if I beat him that he would talk to the owner of Flying Feet for me. After beating him three races in a row, he kept his promise and I picked up racing shirts and singlets this past week.
Yesterday morning was very cold with feel like temps barely above 20*. The saving grace was that there was no wind. I wore several layers for my warm up run with my dad, but thanks to the awesomeness of Under Armour’s cold gear, I was able to take off my windbreaker pants to run in just my leggings. I like to think that I’ve finally gotten the hang of figuring out how to dress for cold weather races.
Dad and I hung out with the majority of the runners in the elementary school until 5 minutes before race time. I figured keeping warm for as long as possible would help my hands and face, the two body parts that felt bitterly cold after the warm up. At 9am we took off from the parking lot down a slight grade and across the road to the rail trail.
I went out faster than I did in the last race. Even doing that my dad only stayed with me for about a quarter mile before he took off from me. I ended up running beside a woman who I ran near in the last race. I need to find out her name because we’ve talked in the past and enjoy pacing next to each other particularly because we’re in different age groups. The first mile was a 7:40, twenty seconds faster than last race.
The race was ran on a portion of the rail trail that I have ran often. Oddly enough despite running faster and having plenty of people around me, it seemed to take a long time to get to the second mile. Dad and I have often discussed how the rail trail is mentally deceptive in that way; you feel as if you’ve ran for a long distance but really haven’t.
My high school assistant cross country coach cheered me on as I passed by him as his wife was running the race. I skipped the water station and hit the second mile in 8:06. I kept an eye out for any ice during the third mile as the race director warned us there might be a few spots. Fortunately the one mud-turned-ice spot we were able to go around. The lead runners began passing us on their return and I was able to distract myself mentally by watching them. Likewise once I reached the turn around point I watched those still heading out the trail. It never ceases to amaze me how many people of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels come out to run the winter series.
I utilized the water station on the way back, but only took a bit once I realized there were some tiny pieces of ice in it. I was decently warm by this point, but didn’t want to chill myself.
After placing third in the last race part of me kept focusing on every female in front of me, wondering if the woman who beat me by four seconds was ahead of me. I knew I was running fairly comfortable and needed to work. I began trying to catch as many females as possible without increasing my pace too much. With 1.5 miles to go I was feeling very good and decided to pick up my pace. I was hoping my pacing partner would choose to go with me, but I realized there was still a lot of race to be ran and normally I wouldn’t have even started a pick up that early if I hadn’t felt so good. Unfortunately she didn’t, but I had plenty of people to work on catching. I didn’t count how many people I passed, but it seemed to be more than I usually do that late in a race.
With less than a quarter mile to go I turned off the trail and started striding harder to cross the road. I pushed up the only “hill” into the school parking lot and across the finish line. I finished in 48:48 and placed third in my age group. A different woman had placed second; I had beaten the one who beat me in the last race, so I’m currently still ranked second in my age group overall for the series. I have to miss the next race due to taking my track kids to an invitational, but I should have enough points accrued to not lose my position. After that it’ll be two races remaining!