Monday, September 19, 2011

Prefontaine Memorial 10K Race report

No PR.
No Sub 40.
No problem.
Sometimes it's worth sacrificing a  PR just to learn something new, gain some first-hand information or try taking on the seemingly impossible.

I put some goals out there and worked my butt off for them. I researched. I was nervous. I hoped. But I didn't do it this time.

After racing the Prefontaine Memorial 10K, I can now say:
  • I didn't PR (for the first time in two years)
  • There are some terrific people who were pulling for me. They left comments on my preview post, sent gifts by mail (you are both AWESOME and you know who you are!!), and gave cyber (non-)coaching advice (you are awesome too!!). Love was poured out on me! THANK YOU! I am incredibly blessed.
  • Without a doubt, this was the hardest 10K course I have done yet (I am still pretty inexperienced, though).  I have avoided this one, and purposefully looked for easier, flatter races. I found a challenge here, (but not a sub 40- not by a long shot- or even a PR).
Pre Race:
I got a pretty good night's sleep thanks to my parents who went out of their way and booked a hotel for us on the bay. It was a breezy 49F at 8 am- but warmed up by race time (which was 10).

For breakfast I ate oatmeal and drank coffee with milk and sugar (usually I use stevia). I also had some Gatorade about an hour before the race, and had been drinking a bottle of Powerade Zero for each of the 4 days leading up to the race. I put on my Brooks Launch and headed to downtown Coos Bay, OR.

When I got to the start it was still pretty early, so I looked around and ran into Ronda. We visited awhile and then I started my warm up.

After about a mile and a half of easy running I did some strides in an alley way (6 x 50-100 meters fast), since the crowd was getting pretty thick at the start. The high school runners started their 5K (due to OSAA rules, they can no longer compete in the 10K with all other racers- boo!).

There was a good-sized crowd for such a small town (The late Steve Prefontaine's Hometown), and no timing chips or mats.

I ran into an acquaintance who is the cross country coach for Yoncalla High School. I asked, and he told me he was shooting for under 45 minutes.

The community college cross country athletes lined up on the line and I got right behind them. Behind me were about 800 people, many of them in crazy costumes. Lots of fairies and a few dinosaurs and even a pair of gorillas. Music from the 80's and early 90's hair bands was blasting, and they played "The Final Countdown," just before starting us on our way.
     Not sure where this photo (above ) was taken, but if it looks flat, it is deceiving.

    The course was essentially out and back: uphill for the first mile, downhill for the second, uphill for the third, downhill for the fourth, uphill for the 5th and downhill for the last mile- until the end, which was flat for a few blocks before heading up the hill to the finish.

    My goal was to try to run under 6:40 uphill and under 6:15 downhill (I realize now that this still doesn't average to 6:25 pace, so maybe I need to work on my math too!). My splits are messed up due to my hitting the lap button 12 seconds into the race, but more or less they show where I struggled:
    12 secs..
    mile 1 -6:40 (on goal)
    mile 2- 6:14 (on goal)

     Heel striking and trying to catch the man in the neon tutu.
    mile 3- 6:52 (12 secs slower than goal, nice hill)
    mile 4- 6:20 (5+ secs slower than goal)
    For a while I could see the second female in front of me, keeping a steady pace and leading by 50M or so. I finally caught her and we ran together part of miles 4 and 5 in a stretch called agony hill. People were cheering because they knew we were 2nd and 3rd at that point. Then she got ahead of me on the downhill.  I tried to reel her in, but to no avail.

    mile 5- 7:24 (way off of goal- 44 secs slow)
    mile 6- 6:20 (5 secs off of goal)

    As I entered the track for the last .2, it seemed as though the finish line was so far away still. I did my best to put some power in my kick, but got passed twice! First, the coach from Yoncalla came out of nowhere, and passed me like I was walking. Hitting his top speed, he left me in his dust! Then, as if that wasn't enough, as I got close to the clock and could see the BIG old 40 (turning to 41) already on there, another guy sprints by me. DUDED TWICE! ha :) I had nothing left.

    When I finally crossed the line at 41:09 I wasn't upset about it. This time I knew I gave it my best and just couldn't hit that time goal on that course. Nothing really went wrong, I just couldn't hit three hills that were a mile long each, and maintain my goal pace. I still feel I could hit a sub 40 on a flatter course right now. I want to do the Scandia Run over again!
    Post race refreshments were all types of Gatorade on the Marshfield High School football field.
    Thanks to Ronda for sticking around to watch the chaos of a super-long awards ceremony.

    There's a lot more I could put in here about the stress of awards ceremonies and mostly potty trained 2 year-olds, but I will save that. I am just glad I found my bag with my wallet after I left it in the bleachers.

    41:09 gun time
    3 / 391 females
    1 / 51 35-39 age group (AG record on this course is 38:05)
    35 / 803  overall

    Late Edit: You can read the online newspaper article about the race HERE.


    Afterwards we found Danny! Everyone except my parents (way too exhausted after watching the boys all morning) went to a pizza and play place.
    Danny got in the bounce house and ALL the kids came running! 

    Matthew and Nathan found some moose and bears to hunt (that is a Lollipop- not a cigarette!)
    Ronda let Danny win at air hockey. :)

     Levi made some hoops!
    We were blessed to have some exceptional weather on the coast. 
    It was a beautiful day at Sunset Bay on Friday (day before the race)- so the boys and I relaxed there for few hours soaking up the sunshine and the last days of summer.

    Here I leave you with a few photos:


    1. Congratulations on your third place after giving it your best on a challenging hilly course. Wish I could still run 41.09! Smashing report and photos too. Well done Raina.

    2. Congrats Raina! A 41.09 on this course translates easily into a sub 40 or sub 39. Darn hard course. I can't imagine holding those paces on such long and steep inclines. You are a superstar! And 3rd woman overall on such a big race is super, Raina. I say, do another flatter 10K if you can!
      You look awesome in the pics (love your form in the first one) and your family, too!

    3. Congrats! I'd take that time on a flat course!! Your posts are always a nice read.

    4. ok, so i've been gone for way too long...but you are amazing. your spirit and determination are super inspiring. i love that you set such a challenging goal and went after it with everything that you've got! my hero!!!!

    5. Congratulations on an amazing race, even if it wasn't the time you were aiming for! Sweet hardware! I love, love, LOVE that photo of you and your little men on the field!!

    6. What a great race, Raina. People talk hills and I in the world do they run that fast on the hills?? us hill walking people, You amaze us! Sorry you didn't get the PR you were searching for, but MAN!! your placings look good to me!

      Love the lolli, not cigarette picture!

    7. Well done, you are a super fast runner and a true star! 35th overall is awesome, congratulations! Love your great attitude towards everything.

    8. That course is brutal. RR put up the elevation map, crazy hard! Well, I'm glad you learned something, haha. And, the OBC loves sticking around to watch you receive your medals, you know that!

    9. I'm so glad you got the picture of the little guy IN the basketball game. It was so funny when I saw you walking all over looking and then I see this little child just hanging out in a cage!

      Such a great day and such a great finish time for you! Congratulations, again!! I had such a great time spending such a beautiful day with you!

    10. I think it's wonderful that you enjoyed the race for what it was. And in that "not really flat" running picture, your form is so beautiful! I'm envious.

      If you want a screamingly fast 10K, come to Moab in early December! The Winter Sun is net downhill and has only one serious uphill in the first half of mile 3. You'd rock it so hard!

    11. Great job on a hard run and enjoying it! I hate getting passed right in the end before the finish line, especially when my legs are dead and they seem to just float by. Ugh. But seriously great job with the 10k those are some killer splits!!

      The kids looked like they were having a great time on the beach and playing games!

    12. I so love your attitude! You are super fast and, yet, so humble and appreciative of all you have. That is seriously a great race and you should be proud of your accomplishment!!

    13. you and your late night postings...I almost missed this!!! If it weren't for posting on your fb wall just now I would have. I'll be back in a bit here. Is that my skirt??? Darn you look GOOD!!! :) :)

    14. Wonderful recap. Felt like I was racing with you! Only I wouldn't have been able to hang. So proud of you! Come up and stay with me on Friday night (bring your kids)!! and we can run that 10k on Saturday with Nicole. You'll have a great chance at breaking 40 minutes and if you don't (which you will) then we will have fun! low pressure and fun! Bring your hubby and you guys can sleep in the girls' room and share the trundle beds. ha ha! And then we can all get up early, go pick up Nicole and head on out to the race! :) Sounds like a hoot! :) Or come up and just you stay. Or stay with your parents (they live in portland right?). Sounds like a good course to fly on !!

    15. And it is only $20 so this is a low price for a 10k! I'd pay the entry fee just to see you and see you smash your PR! ha! :)

    16. haha, run math is more challenging than regular math. It sounds like you ran a great race and it was just a really tough course. Nice job!

    17. Pretty freakin awesome job on a pretty flippin hard course :) You'll get that sub-40, I have no doubts that will happen soon for you :)

      congrats on your AG finish and on third woman!

    18. Ah Raina! You already know how impressed I am by you but once again, amazing race!!

      I'm laughing at your math!! I do stuff like that all the time! I'm really impressed seeing your splits laid out here that you pulled a 6:20 mile 6. After mile 5 not going exactly according to plan you had enough mental strength to pull it back in and knock out a great mile!! Nice job!! Really, 1st in AG and 3rd overall female in a big race in Oregon!!!!

      Love all the pictures! Great form in your first running picture. You know, the one where you're running like that long 2 mile flat stretch...the beach looks SO awesome!

      OK-sub 40 in there for sure. I love that you KNOW you have it:)

    19. That's a solid time on a tough course! Great job! Winner!

    20. Awesome job on the race! Sounds like overall it went perfect, that course just sounds tough. I still think doing a 10K over an easier course will yield you a sub 40 10K for sure.

      And lol at being duded twice!

    21. Congrats on the fast finish and 1st AG award! Looks like a fun day for the whole family!

    22. Raina, do you know HOW incredible it is that you were only a minute and change off your goal on a course THAT Hilly! you would have been WELL under 40min a flat course! WAY to go! you are a FORCE to be reckoned with my dear!!! HARD CORE!

    23. The necklace is really pretty...someone in blogland loves you :).

      Way to put forth a very strong effort, 10's are not easy, they require you to flat out run as fast as you can...for a long time! I know you have that sub-40 in you, it's inside you and given a better course, it will happen. I say take Amanda up on her offer - how fun would that be!!

      Congratulations on your AG award, that is so cool! You did well, girl - very happy for you!!!

    24. So amazing, Raina! congrats! You are one gifted runner! What a difficult course--let's call it a hill pr!! You inspire me to train harder, learn more, and believe in big goals. thanks.

    25. Fantastic! 1st in AG!?! Outstanding!! Remember: RUN rhymes with FUN. :)

    26. Hi Raina! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog (isn't Jill the best??).

      Wow, you are super fast. I must pore over your posts and glean some knowledge. Looking forward to the future posts, too.


    27. Thanks for the kind words on my blog! As for the has a long way to go and can always get back to you if you want.

    28. 41:09 on that course is blazing fast and you'll always be a rockstar in my eyes! Congrats on another fabulous race. I love your attitude!

    29. I'd say that a first NON PR race is 2 years is impressive. You deserve a medal for that. Well, actually, learning from races is what makes you better.Right? I still am impressed, as always!

    30. No Pr, no sub 40, but you are a champ. You are a real and fast runner, congrats.
      Great pictures.


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