On Saturday, I ran the Milford Labor Day 10k. This race wasn't planned very far in advance, as I won the race entry from Renewal by Anderson (check out their Facebook page). This was the second race entry I won from them, the first being the Big Heart, Big House race this spring. Thankfully, this one was much less rainy.
The race was one of several offered. I could have entered the 30k, but (probably wisely) decided it wasn't a good idea to go from 10 mile long runs to an 18 mile race. There was also a 30k bike race and a 30/30, which was the 30k bike race followed by a 30k run.
Upon arrival, I was surprised at the turnout. I knew this was going to be a popular race as they have run it for several years and because of the distances offered, but it was a bit bigger than I anticipated. Besides the Crim, Brooksie Way and maybe the A2 Turkey Trot last year, this seemed to be the most "happening" race day, with many vendors and a fair-like feel to the proceedings.
My race wasn't until 8:30, so I wandered around and waited for the 30k race to start. I saw Ty (from This is How Ty Runs) and Irina and talked to them a bit before Ty's 30k adventure. After the 30k runners got out of sight, I started to warm up a bit and got ready to go.
Soon, we were underway. My legs felt really tight. Not sore at all, but more stiff. I'm guessing this was mainly due to last week's race and that I really haven't been training to run "fast". My training has been geared towards a half marathon and I haven't done
Once we hit Hill Road, the hills kicked in. Not as bad as the Crim or Run Thru Hell hills, but they were significant and several. I realized that this was a main reason why, in my pre-race studies, that people who ran 48 minutes in this race ran a couple minutes faster in other 10k races (yes, I look uo "the competition" in Athlinks prior to many races to see how fast I should run and where I should finish.) I thought I handled the hills fine, but there was no way to keep the same pace over these hills as I did on flat ground. The other hill phenomena is that, once the hills are done, even if they don't take my legs out, is that I never seem to be able to resume a pre-hill pace. They just throw off my rhythm.
I did get back to an 8ish pace as the hills lessened a bit, with more downhills than up. My legs actually felt better after 4 miles, but I didn't speed up much. I really wanted to break 50 minutes and finally managed to turn it up in the last 3 quarters of a mile. I was running by myself at this point and there was a pack of runners ahead. I was never able to catch them but came close. My finish time was 50:16, a PR but obviously short of 48 and 50 minutes, my "A" and "B" goals.
It was 12 seconds off my previous best, but that was back in March. I think I've come a long way since then. I was good with how I did considering the differences in courses (286' elevation gain vs. 52', weather (warmer on Saturday than in March) and because the March race was a "target" race, where this one was only on my radar for a week.
Finishers received a nice medal and after a little while, the race provided burgers and beer. Both were welcome as we waited for Ty to finish her 30 k. I think she did quite well and ended up 3rd in her age group.
Free races are among the best races, so I have no complaints with the Milford Labor Day 10k. I ran pretty well and had a nice time. I would even consider paying for this race next year and would likely choose the 30k if my 2013 Detroit Marathon plans remain in effect.
I have one more race scheduled before the Brooksie Way Half Marathon on September 30. It is the Camp Lael 5k, where I am participating as the DEFENDING CHAMPION! Yes, it is true, I won this race last year (which says more about the competition than my great speed, but you can only race who shows up, right?) I just want to do well and WIN AGAIN! :) If I race older people and kids again, I have a good shot. If a camp counselor or two decide to participate, it will be more of a challenge.