Monday, October 19, 2015

100 10Ks

I've been running for some time now. And keeping track of everything. And my race coming up this week will be my 100th 10K race. So I am taking the opportunity to dig into the numbers and summarize. Because that's what I like to do.

First 10K: June 17th, 1978. I was 16. Just finished Sophomore year in high school. I had a couple years of cross country and track under my belt, so I was already "a runner". But this would be my longest race yet. It was the Diet Pepsi Race Series in Minneapolis, which was a big deal then during the early running boom, with 50 races across the country. I ran the whole race with my brother and finished in 36:55, or 5:57/mile. And that was only good for 143rd place! And 50th in my AG! Lots of fast runners back then...

Before then most races were in miles. 5 miles, 10 miles, 3 miles, or just random distances between landmarks. 10,000 meters sounded exotic and European and Olympic and like we were "real" racers. After that, 10K became the norm for new road races, of which there were many. For years it was the dominant distance. Rarely would you see a 5K, and we "serious runners" would sniff at them as not worth our time. It wasn't until the late 90's when I started piling up 5Ks. (63 of those).

I continued to get faster for a few years until I ran my lifetime PR of 34:03 at age 19, while a freshman at Stanford. My roommate paced me for that one. He had a PR of about 30 minutes, so it was a training run for him, but it sure helped me stay at 5:30 pace. Then I got hurt, discovered partying, and gave up serious running.

I ran:
17 10Ks before age 21
40 10Ks before age 30
72 10Ks before age 40
92 10Ks before age 50

I have run at least one 10K in every calendar year since 1978, except 1984.

Age Group PRs:
16-19: 34:03
20-29: 39:32
30-34: 40:10
35-39: 44:08
40-44: 41:25 (I had a 39:55 at age 40, but I think the course was short)
45-49: 44:16
50-54: 42:58

I've run 18 races under 40 minutes, 9 over 50 minutes, and 72 between 40-50. I made a scatter graph.

10ks You can see how I peaked early, then gradually got slower, and then had a rebirth after 2009 when I joined the Loop. And still getting faster. A 10K this February was my fastest in 12 years (42:58).

I have run one local race 18 times, another one 15 times, and a third one 13 times.

Slowest race: January 26, 1986. My first Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K, the one I have done 18 times. Abdominal travails made me drop in mile 3 and spend at least 15 minutes in a restroom of a bar on the course. Then I slow-walked the rest of the way to avoid further disaster. Finished in 95 minutes just before they shut down the finish line.

I pushed my son in a baby jogger in 7 10Ks from 1994-1998. He was under 3 months on the first and 4 for the last. (BJPR of 43:09 when he was 2)

It's fun to review my spreadsheet and relive memories from all these races. Good thing I don't keep all the t-shirts. I remember little snippets from the races. People I ran with. Different girlfriends or loopsters or wives that accompanied me. Racing Sassafras to a tie in 2011 in an early Loop meetup. Finally getting a top-10 AG medal on the 13th try of my local race. Racing (and beating) my first wife's ex-boyfriend on a hot day in Huntington Beach in 1995. Jogging a course around Stanford's campus during my 10-year reunion. Running alone through a beautiful, deep forest in San Diego county in a race with only 25 people. A race on the track where I discovered 25 laps is not a fun way to do 10,000 meters. A fourth of July tradition for 5 straight years in Excelsior, Minnesota. A getaway weekend in Laguna Beach for a 10K up and down the canyon. A cross country run in a park. A run around a refinery sponsored by Mobil. A trek across the desert near Las Vegas. Getting beat by a Christmas tree. I could go on and on. And that's just the 10Ks.

I've done one other trail 10K, my 2nd slowest in 60:15. It was a brutally hilly turkey trot. This week's also has a nasty hill, so I expect to be close to 60 again. It will be fun to run with my old high-school buddies in a beautiful setting in Napa Valley. And beat them.

Looking forward to the next 100.

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