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2009-03-21 - Piece of Cake 10k

6+ miles @ ~7.6 min/mi

As Ron Ely once noted, "Training does make a difference!" Today my double-secret plan is to try to maintain an ~8 min/mi pace and come in under 50 minutes at the MCRRC 10 kilometer "Piece of Cake" race. It turns out much better than anticipated. I finish in 46:57—a ridiculous improvement of ten minutes over my previous 10k PR.

At Seneca Creek State Park more than an hour before race time I park next to Nick, who returns the "Superman" cap that I loaned him at the 2009-01-17 - Super Starr run. Temps are in the upper 20's and the ballpoint pens are balky as we sign in. Friends laugh at my bare legs and photograph my goosebumps. I snap pictures of a few folks and when Cara Marie Manlandro arrives admire the cake she's baked for today's after-race competition. (It's a huge chocolate-frosted slap of "asphalt" with white stripes and actual tiny running shoes on top!) Veteran ultrarunner Mark McKennett visits with CM and me. We line up at 9:15am and we're off!

I'm feeling suspiciously good except for frigid hands, but even they soon thaw. The first mile is crisp at 7:38 and CM, who is running with me, decides then to throttle back to a saner pace for the hills ahead. I push and start passing people to do the next mile, including a nice downhill to the dam at Clopper Lake, in 7:09. Then comes the slow climb back up to the pair of loops on the south side. I skip the aid station and focus on a lady in bright pink tights ahead of me for the next 7:41 mile, and finally pass her near mile marker 4, a 7:43 segment. Descending back to the dam comes faster in 7:25 and then the final climbing mile is the slowest of the day, 7:49, plus 1:25 for the fractional 0.215 mile to make 10k total. Whew!

^z - 2009-03-29