|Beginning in my traditional position toward the middle-back of the pack. (5/17/15)|
Route: Highland Hospital Rochester Lilac Run (10k)
Time (Pace): 48:10 (7:45 min/mile)
Pre-Race Observations: After finishing the Flower City Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I began searching for another goal run. While the Lilac 10k is not "it," I did sign up for the 6+ miler this past week due to its proximity to my home (I can easily jog/walk the mile each way) and the distance. I am beginning to build longer back-to-back weekend runs, in addition to adding a day (now 5 of seven days rather than 4 of 7), so with my familiarity with the course, it seemed like a no-brainer. Having competed in this particular road race previously, the most recent effort was in 2008, there was a much smaller likelihood that there would be any surprises.
The out-and-back course, which starts and ends in beautiful Highland Park, has a number of challenging elements to it's layout, the most interstate being a number inclines including an uphill finish. The start of the 10k starts immediately follows the conclusion of a 5k, so there are sure to be many folks there to run as well as "sort of" run--just which group I will fall into on this day is yet to be determined. Given my 1:50.31 (8:26 min/mile) half three weeks ago, and that this will be my longest run by about 2 miles since then, I am shooting for a 54 minute finish time.
My son and I walked to and from the race together and perhaps that helped my "warm-up" prior to the start. We arrived on site about 5 minutes before the gun, so there was not much waiting around other then to put my running shoes on (I walked to the course in my CROCS, naturally) and weave my way to the middle of the pack. The weather was very nice and the sky was cloud-free in contrast to the forecast, and things did get a little steamy once the course went outside the park area as we ran in direct sun for about 4 of the 6.2 miles. Once again, the community did a fantastic job cheering on all participants and the volunteers and police who managed the course (which went through some "busy" areas) were incredibly supportive and attentive. I did a much better job pacing myself with other runners during all phases of the run, which resulted in a stronger (though spent) finish than in my recent road races. The race also reminded me of how much fun running a well-organized 10k can be: it's a manageable distance that offers challenges but is less inclined to leave you physically or mentally beat-up.
I am glad I signed up for today as I left it feeling more like a "runner" than a slug ( and a part of this self-satisfaction was having my son there cheering me on); an important sense to have as I continue easing myself back into a running lifestyle.