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My 2008 Cowtown 10K race report

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5ksandcabernets: My 2008 Cowtown 10K race report


Monday, February 25, 2008

My 2008 Cowtown 10K race report

The last weekend in February has brought some strange weather to the Fort Worth Cowtown. Last year, it was windy and 60-plus degrees. The year before brought crazy rain. There was an ice storm during the first Cowtown, in 1978. But last Saturday brought perfect running weather. Temperatures at the start were in the high 30s, it was sunny, with little wind.
I got downtown Fort Worth some 20 minutes before the 7:30 start time. Stretched some. Jogged some. Then I squeezed in line with nearly 2,000 other 10kers and waited ... waited for the National Anthem ... waited for the race official to make people get behind the start line .... and finally, the starters gun.
I spent the first half mile doing two things: trying to catch my breath because my lungs felt like they were on fire, and pulling up the strap on my heart rate monitor. It seems like every race, something happens body-, or equipment-wise that never happens during a training run, and it just seems like the strap on my heart rate monitor had a mind of its own. It kept sliding down to my stomach and I kept pulling it back up. Finally, at about the half-mile mark, I yanked it up to just under my armpits and it stuck.
The first half mile was also spent dodging slower runners who lined up at the front of the race. This is where Cowtown can be a little better. The race organizers should make sure all the 6- to 8-minute milers get at the front of the line and everyone else in back because I was dodging people who couldn't have been faster than an 11 or 12 minute mile. Some people in front of me would just stop. This meant I had to suddenly swerve out the way or stop so I wouldn't run over somebody.
But this is something that happens in most races when there are thousands of competitors and I've just learned to deal with it.
I finally got some clearing at the half-mile mark and after I got my breathing under control I was feeling pretty good.
The first three miles was mostly downhill or flat, but I held back some because I knew, from running this course in 2007, that there would be monster hills ahead. So, my minute-per-mile splits for the first half were: 8:05 (lost time avoiding the slower runners); 7:26, and 7:27. My total time for the first three miles was 22:56.
The hills started near the end of the third mile. And just past the four-mile marker, it got crazy. We made the turn out of Trinity Park onto 7th street and there was basically 1 ½ miles where the course elevated 72 feet. That's about the equivalent of a six-story building. My heart rate, which had been at a hard _ but manageable _ 176 beats per minute quickly jumped into the 180s and would sky to the mid 180s at the end of this hill.
Despite the slow first mile, I was pacing along at a 7:37 mile-pace before getting to the Hill, which turned off on Henderson Street for a flat quarter mile stretch, then picked back up on Lancaster for another hill that lasted nearly half a mile.
I got through that stretch and looked at my watch: 5.62 miles in 43:05. That's a 7:40 pace. So even though I slowed, I was still in good shape to go for a PR. I picked up the pace and just ran the last half mile like it was an interval. At mile 6, I basically went into all-out sprint mode and passed a few people.
I'm not sure if the race photographers got a good picture of me, but I got to the finish line, hit the stop button on my Garmin (my heart rate had skied to 189), and tried not to throw up on the guy cutting the race chip off my shoe.
My time of 46:57 was a PR by 50 seconds.
Average heart rate was 189, which is 88 percent max.
Here is the race course:

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