Sunday, November 16, 2008

Confusing Surprise!

I got a 10K PR yesterday! 44:17 or 7:09 pace. I got my stats wrong on my last entry. I confused the Autumn Leaves 10K with the Champoeg 10K. Both races are run in the same place but AL10K is part of a bigger event, the 50M and 50K races in Nov.. The Champoeg 10K is part of another event held in February. I had a PR there last year just before the Orange Curtain 100K. I ran a 7:16 pace last year and that was PR for this distance but not anymore!

With such low expectations and therefore no preconceived ideas of how I would do at that this race I wondered how that mentality impacted my performance? For me, I doubt it had any effect good or bad. The 10K distance is an all out effort from the start with some restraint in the beginning but all in all you run for life. The mental aspect of racing really doesn't seem to play a role for me at these shorter races. I know they're going to hurt, be over fast and what you get is pretty much preset by your fitness. Sure there are other factors like how rested you are when you line up, how tight you might be and if you did a solid warm up but really not much mental noise.
I got there early to see friends and get good and warmed up. It was a perfect fall day and the folks that were running the 50K and 50M distance were well into their race by the time the 10K started at 10 a.m.. It was nice visiting with everyone. Micheal was gracious enough to come out and pace me. He doesn't like this road stuff but maybe the 1.5 miles of trail on this course fooled him. :) We did a good 20 minute warm up. I popped a gel before the start and when I tossed it in the garbage can the other full gel I had in my hand went in right in the dumpster with my garbage. Sh_t! I opened the dumpster and could see my nice clean shiny gel but it was way down deep in the garbage. I needed Bill or Alex with their very long arms but they were home so I was left with no no choice but to do a bit of dumpster diving. It really wasn't that bad and got a lot of good laughs but some were concerned. :0

The race start was simple....GO...we are at an ultra so no big send off. I got into a comfortable groove for the 1.2 miles out and back. Micheal trotted effortless in front of me....sometimes appearing to be jogging in place. :0 After the 1.2 mile out and back my pace was 7:10....very fast but it seemed slow. Don't get me wrong I was breathing pretty darn hard and had a tiny bit of wheezing probably because of the colder weather. After the out and back we get on the 5 mile race course with the 50K and 50M runners. It's pretty darn flat. There are some tiny rollers but nothing to talk about. The course travels on the bike path at Champoeg to a turn. I was the 4th girl at this point but Micheal and I closed in on the 3rd place girl just as we neared the first aid station. Mile 3 pace was 7:17. I was working hard but felt good and relaxed in my stride. My calf was not an issue during the run. I had some tightness in my hips from a killer leg workout on Thursday but other than that I was on fire. Mile 4 pace was 6:31....yowzaa! As I tap my lap counter to record the mile split and I glanced down to see 6:31 I thought for sure the marker was wrong but still I was cookin. At this point with just 2 miles to go I pop the dumpster gel and Micheal takes my gloves. I knew I could hold a good pace. We round the corner for about a quarter of mile then hit the cross country portion of the race. The 5 mile course has at least 1.5 miles of cross county and trail. This is where Micheal went nuts with the pace, prodding and urging me to push. We gaped the 4th place girl nicely here and the 2nd place girl was within sight but still had a good lead. The trail would be slower but by how much I wasn't sure. I never let up but mile 5 posted 7:57, yikes! Digging deep and closing the gap on the 2nd place girl during the rolling trail trail section with less than 1 mile to the finish I pushed into another gear. My wheezing was really cranking now. Just before the finish with about a quarter mile to go we jump off the cross country stuff and back onto road. With the 2nd place girl within reach I pushed but so did she. The little hill before the finish wouldn't give me enough to catch her but my last mile split was 6:45!
I was pretty stoked about how strong I felt. I had no idea it was a PR until I got home to log the day. I had figured we had done faster than a 7:44 pace which is what I did last year but I had no idea we did a 7:09 pace. I am pumped! Micheal was a great pacer as usual. Beast snapped pictures as usual capturing every grunting moment.....thanks Beast. We hung around and cheered the other runners on then Micheal says, "Let's go for another loop".! But after a brief thought I said, "We're going to go slow right"? He nods with agreement so off went. Man I was stiff but after about 2 miles of good slow jogging I felt much better. I think the after run helped to stretch things back out and move all the lactic acid around. I feel great today.

I am not sure how I could run so fast. I am honestly perplexed. I have had little tempo training so far and this is faster than any of my tempo running in a couple of years. I was certainly NOT rested. I need to think about this. The only thing that is definitely different is my weight. I know Darin has talked about pounds vs. pace before and maybe the lighter Ronda can run faster....I don't know. The one thing I know for sure is now I have a VDOT and it's 46 according to Daniels. That means my track workouts, my M-Pace and T-Pace are going to be rough! My M-Pace is 7:48 and T-Pace is that is going to hurt.
Next week is a whopper! Hitting the trails hard with training before turkey day vacation.


  1. Dang, Girl - you are fast! Great to hear you had such a good run. I'm trying to motivate myself to run some shorter races for speed work, but I'm scared. Fast = Pain in my book. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Nice job, maybe race day nerves pushed you on and vying to place, I am sure, helped?

  3. Bodes well for your next season! Great job Ronda.

  4. I knew you'd surprise yourself! Great Job!!

  5. I'm not surprised at all!!! Congrats!!!

  6. You are fast!!!
    Natural or just hard work and smart training?
    Next year is looking great for you.
    I see a new course record in 2009.

  7. Your speed comes from strength. You are doing double strength training with weights but more so (IMHO) with hills. I live to run hills which is why CCC and WR50 are my fav races. But I also love to run roads and run fast when I can. I don't do weights and I don't do speed work (speed work kills!). How then do I run fast on roads? There's no other explanation for it: hills = strength = speed.

    (Best)2005: CCC in 23:26; Skagit Flats 3:13 2 weeks later.

    (Recent)2008: CCC in 24:52; Skagit Flats in 3:21 2 weeks later.

    Thanks for the advice on fueling!


  8. I agree with *tc. Hills = strength = speed. I've been running p.r.s left and right this fall with zero speed work. I ran lots of long, slow miles in the mountains this summer and fall, and now am reaping the benefits of those slow mountain miles turning into fast road times. I have kept up the tempo runs all year, but last week was my first time on the track since early Aug. I am becoming a believer.

    Awesome job on the p.r.! Can you say sub-40?!

  9. Thanks for all the "atta girls" I am still stoked about the PR. I agree with the possibility of additional stength playing a key role. I am not sure I have enough hill work in the recent months to make me stronger but I have hit my legs hard in the weight room for sure. The muscle to weight ratio is probably to key factor which just simply means I am stronger as a % of body weight which means more power. Pretty cool.....and Sean that sub 40 thing sounds pretty cool...I wonder