Friday, November 24, 2017


Give N' Gobble post race 2013 (left) vs 2017 (right). Remind me not to do time comparison photos anymore, ugh.
I woke up around 7:45 for an 8am departure to this race. I purposefully recreated my outfit from 2013 when I last ran this race for fun. Nothing like neon orange on top of powder blue. I hopped in my car with the rain coming down hard. I was a bit afraid it would be a wet one, but the rain stopped right before the race started and didn't return until after the run was complete. So good timing there.

For some reason, out of the blue on the way to the race, I began to question if I had even signed up. I had planned on going for a long time, and signed up for a lot of races (my bank account felt it), but I had a creeping suspicion that I forgot to register for this one. Once I parked at the race I tried to find my registration confirmation in my email. No dice. Uh oh. When I went to the table to pick up my bib they couldn't find me. Fuck. This race didn't have day of registration either!

Luckily, the woman attempting to check me in was very nice. She said I could just run the race. They have a policy of letting people do that if they try to sign up on the day of or make a mistake and forgot to register, etc. When I was like "Are you sure?" she was like "Absolutely! It's not for profit, just for fun, you just won't have an official time." I still felt weird about it. I went back to my car to contemplate. I figured I could just go home and run my own 10k. Eventually though since the race itself didn't seem to care, I decided just to go for it. So my first "bandit" race, even if it was sanctioned, haha.

MILE ONE (8:38)

I lined up toward the back of the pack and waited for the gun to go off. It went off right on time at 9:05am. Unfortunately, since I was toward the back, I was stuck going at a slower pace than I wanted. I had to shuffle about a block before I could pop up on a sidewalk and run the pace I wanted. Throughout this first mile there was some more dodging around, I figure I lost about 20 seconds to all of it. Maybe it was good though, start me out a little slower and ease into the race. As planned, I didn't really look at my watch and just settled into what a 10k should feel like.

MILE TWO (8:20)

Holy shit this race is hilly. This wasn't a race with half flat, half rolling hills. It was rolling almost the entire time. It seemed like you were always going up or down. Annoying at times, but honestly I don't think it impacted my time too much other than the mostly uphill mile five. It's definitely NOT a PR course, I think I could shave 10 seconds a mile on something flatter, but it wasn't tragically hilly I guess. Still, it kept you on your toes, you couldn't really zone out and settle into a rhythm like some races.

It was also during this mile I was passed by a young woman that looked like an old neighbor of mine. It wasn't her, but she looked very similar. I could hear her breathing heavy behind me and eventually she overtook me. Once she passed me she seemed to slow down and then just settle 15 feet in front of me. Almost like she made it a point to be ahead of me. Now, I had to run my own race, but if I could beat this look-a-like, it would be a cherry on top. You use anything you can for motivation during the race.


During this mile I was beginning to have some doubts about whether or not I was going too fast. My lungs in particular were screaming, as they should in a shorter distance race. However, I wasn't entirely sure I would be able to maintain the pace the entire length of the course. I knew by my mile splits how fast I was going, which was a little faster than I expected. Regardless, I just decided to keep going at my "10k pace" and see what happened. If I misjudged things, then so be it. This mile included some country roads and nice scenery as we left the suburban homes and started running on a narrow two lane road by some farms.

MILE FOUR (8:25)

Just chugging along. I knew eventually the course would enter the city again and there would be a mostly uphill mile. I couldn't remember if it was mile four or five and about halfway through this mile I figured it was the next one. The look-a-like girl was now a solid 30 yards in front of me. I was maintaining visual contact but she was slowly pulling away. Dammit. Oh well, just focus on my race.  As you can see, my split times were remarkably consistent, especially when you consider the extra 15-20 seconds I gained on the first mile due to congestion. My "by feel" pacing was leading to some pretty even splits and by the time this mile was over I was thinking I could probably hold it through the finish. Only twenty more minutes.

MILE FIVE (8:53)

If you didn't guess it already, this was the uphill mile. The uphill wasn't visually impressive... it was just one of those relentlessly gradually uphill type deals. The uphill was enough to really slow the pace though. There was a short downhill break in the middle but then it was right back uphill again. I was slowly gaining on my target as well. By the end of the mile I was probably within 20 yards; close, but still a ways to go. Eventually toward the mile marker the course switched back to up and down rollers and dumped us onto a nice walking path through some woods.

MILE SIX (8:20)

Right back to my pace. Really happy with my pacing by feel in this sucker! The race was starting to catch up with me but I knew I could maintain through the finish line. Just like a 10k should be! In addition, I was starting to pass a few other 10k people who were running out of steam. I was slowly rolling in the look alike too. By the end of this mile I was a mere 10 feet behind her. I was determined to finish hard. I remembered from four years ago that you came out of the wooded portion and the high school was right there in front of you, it was only a few hundred feet at this point.

Eventually the high school comes into sight. I'm five feet behind the target at this point. She's sensed my presence and picked her pace up accordingly. We turn toward the school. She runs a really bad tangent. I run the correct tangent and take the lead. At this point I begin a sprint for the final two hundred feet or so. I can hear her sprinting behind me as well. That was all the motivation I needed. I went into a high gear and flew through the finish line steps ahead. Phew!


It took a minute or so to wind down from the race. I walked around with my hands behind my head gasping for air. Eventually my senses came back and I headed toward the car. I was very hungry and thirsty. I forgot to eat my Clif Bar on the way over and then refused to take any water or snacks from the race out of principle, so I needed to get home for some liquids and grub. I did stop really quick and try to recreate the photo from four years ago... didn't do a great job but I didn't try that hard.

Anyways, overall, I was very pleased with the effort. On a flat course I think I hit the pace from the 5k I ran about a month ago. So that's definite improvement! It felt good to let things fly and have everything respond appropriately. I'm slowly improving and thinking back to the Boring Half Marathon in September it's amazing how car I've come in just a couple months!

Unofficial Results: 52:19, 8:24/mile. 90/345 overall, 61/160 male, 10/23 M30-34.

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