I ran the Rocky's Run 6K today. It's on the women's course for the Roy Griak Invitational at the U of M's Les Bolstad golf course. The race is fundraiser for the family of Rochelle "Rocky" Racette, who died in 1981 in a car accident. She was damn fast, for lack of a better description. Proceeds from the race fund a scholarship in Rocky's name. Her sisters were on hand today and dolled out baked goods to finishers.
I ran it on the open invite from John Storkamp. I've never raced the course myself, as I was an alternate (our number eight guy, usually, for a seven-man team) if my memory serve me right one of the years my high school CC team ran there.
I was an odd trail runner among much thinner, visually sinewy specimens of the human form. As Storkamp, BJ Knight, Steve Quick and myself joked while we were on the light, the four of us had some huge trail runner calves. Everyone else was tall, lanky, and waif-like. I felt grossly out of place.
I thought on a really good day I could put down a 24:00, which is essentially a 20-minute 5K just extended out another kilometer. That mean going out in a 4:00 first kilometer and about a 6:26 mile, which is what I thought I was capable of knowing that I have had a sub-6:40 tempo/threshold pace from earlier in the 2014-15 running season. That said, I had no predilections about running well. This was a run-like-you-stole-something, an effort that was long enough to require endurance but fast enough that it's going to hurt to push hard. I also thought I could keep the last member of the U's women's team in sight. Sure thing, boss.
I was tight and sore from this week's all-to-jittery runs, but loosened up plenty in the low 50's weather with 15 mph winds after I put down a solid 4K on the course at an easy jog.
I went out in a 3:57 first kilometer, and felt pretty proud of myself for letting the huge pack go. This was going to hurt, but I didn't want to implode.
But I knew it was going to get harder, and that 240-second per kilometer pace wasn't going to hold. The first mile was 6:35, 2K in 8:20, 3K in 12:45, two miles in just 13:55 ish (meaning I ran a 7:20 second mile?). Things got better consistent after than, and I ran mile three in 7:19 for a 21:12 or so.
It was in this last 1,200 meters that I felt like I had plenty of gas in the tank, and that I could have run another kilometer or three at that pace, but couldn't go much/any faster. As I described it earlier on Twitter, I felt like I was a two-cylinder car that had a 25 gallon gas tank that got 45 mpg at the Indy 500. Low top speed, but the ability to hold that speed for a hell of a long time. I guess I need to do some 1,000 meter repeats (again) in training this year.
I came in at a 27:06, approximately, about 20 seconds behind the last member of the U's women's team. All in all, it was a damn good day.
2016 race plans are up in the air. Like many, my schedule will firm up on Dec. 7 when Western States holds its lottery. I put in for the race this year, my first ever entry, and so my one ticket and pitiful chances is only there to help me in years to come. Also on the radar: Zumbro Midnight 50; spring Superior 50K; Bighorn 100 (need a hard rock qualifier); and Superior 100; etc.