Tough to be in your 50s…. CSUB Valentine’s 10K

I wanted to do a 10K to sort of test my current fitness. I have this plan to lose weight and to shoot for my first Boston Qualifier in years, but the weight is being stubborn and I don’t feel like I am getting faster…. Anyway, I got in the truck and drove to Bakersfield for their CSUB Valentine’s 10K.

It turned out to be a pretty nice morning for a race in Bakersfield. The temperature was in the upper 50s. It felt too warm for two layers once I did my warm up. The course was held all on the campus. I could not tell from the maps whether it would be all paved, and the potential for dirt (mud) or very soggy grass was a little unnerving.

Several hundred runners lined up, they had a 5K and a 10K to be run concurrently. We started off and from my position about 4 or 5 tows back there was very little passing or being passed…. well except for passing all the little kids that always seem to think that they should start in the front of the crowd.

Before the race I had looked up my recent 5k times – a 22:27 warrior run and a 23:05 Turkey Trot. I put the 23 minute 5k into McMillan’s race calculator and it said I should do a 5k in 47:46. So, my main goal was going to be to beat 47:46…. My secondary would be just to be faster than 50 minutes…. after all it has been a couple years since I have raced a 10K.

I set my Garmin pacer for 47:00 and took off. As stated before, the first half mile was easy and relaxed. I noted the “projected finish” time was around 45 so I tried to hold back. But little by little for the first 3 miles I wove my way past other runners. I noticed pretty consistent half mile splits- usually right at 3:45 plus or minus a couple of seconds. I did notice as the miles went by my projected finish crept up into the 46 plus range.

Taking off for the second loop, the competitors got very scarce. I caught one guy early in the forth mile and I could see a lady a 100-200 meters ahead, but I could not seem to gain on her. I felt like I was starting to struggle with fatigue and slow down, but those half mile splits stayed right at 3:45. I started to lap the back of the 5K pack at about 4.5 miles. I felt worse and worse, but managed to speed up the last split at 3:41.

So, I finished, according to my Garmin at 47:07. I waited for results. They seemed to have a timing chip issue as I noted them manually entering the finish order from the pulled bibs. The finally posted a list of finish order without times. I was pleased to see myself in 14th place….. but I was 4th in the 50-59 age division!  I would have won the 40-49 age division, but I was only 4th in the 50-59. Today, it was tough to be in your 50s.  The good news was that once I saw that there was no need to hang around any longer to receive an age group award.

The exciting news about the race was that in spite of how I felt, I maintained a very consistent pace. Whether upwind or downwind (8 mph breeze out there once we got running) on pavement or on the dirt stretches the mile splits were essentially the same. After an opening 7:19, they were 7:31, 7:34, 7:34, 7:29, 7:31.

Putting the 47:07 in Runner’s World race predictor calculator it comes out with a marathon prediction of 3:36:45.  That would give me a 3 minute cushion on my BQ needed time. Of course if I lose weight it will be all the easier.

Speaking of weight loss, I am noticing some of my pants getting baggy, so perhaps I am losing some waist size but not weight…. too many upper body and core exercises I suppose..

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