A lot of my friends joke that I run a race every weekend. Typically, I scoff at that. It’s not EVERY weekend. But yes, this Saturday was another race weekend. After my less than stellar Rock N Sole, I signed up for the Run to Exile 10k in Des Moines.
This would mark my first 10k since Midnight Madness last year, and my first standalone 10k since the Leprechaun Chase. I didn’t complain much about the heat at Rock N Sole, but I certainly could have at Run to Exile. It was a warm one which didn’t provide much of anything with cover.
Having looked at past results, I figured I would have a shot to win, or at least place. This also allowed me to think that, if it looked winnable, to run for place instead of time, allowing me to potentially use the heat to my advantage. At the start line, I saw some other runners whom I had competed against before. One of them, multiple times, and I knew he could take me easily. That didn’t stop me from wanting to beat him, though.
When the gun went off, a few runners predictably shot out to the start. Including one who went almost sprinting past me. My only thought about him was “Ok bud.” Yes, I passed him in the first mile.
Still, at mile 1, I didn’t feel as effortless as I did at Rock N Sole. Of course, a 6:20 probably shouldn’t feel entirely effortless. Still, I was a little worried that the heat might already be creeping in, and being about 10th here didn’t help causes.
Of course, at the 5k split we lost a few runners who were running in the shorter race. This bumped me up fifth heading around the lake. Instantly I could tell I was going to reel in places 4 and 3, which I did over the next mile and a half. Then, I was able to target the second place runner, who was slowly falling back to me.
Just after we started mile 6, I made the pass. I instantly went into survival mode, knowing that I didn’t have much in the tank. Fortunately, I was able to create some distance heading over the final bridge. Not only did I roll into a second place finish, but finally captured an official sub 40 10k, in what was probably the most complete and consistent race I’ve run.
Run: As a bonus in this post, I’ll include my Sunday run as well. It always amazes me how tired my legs really are after a race, even if I don’t think they are. I got in a solid 8 miles while exploring Cedar Falls in Iowa. I might have liked more, but with an impending flight down south, I had to get done. It wasn’t terribly fast, but it was a beautiful morning run which allowed me to shake out my body and mind. I didn’t get a run in this morning in Alabama as my hotel was not too convenient, and I had places to be early in the morning. Despite getting back to Ames late tonight/early tomorrow morning, I expect to get a run in before motoring over to Wisconsin later in the day.