Faster Faster Faster – Cherry Creak Sneak 10 Mile Recap
Official Time: 1:28:39 | 10 Miles | 8:51 pace
Each race I break the cardinal rule:
Don’t do anything new on race day.
For the 2012 Cherry Creek Sneak 10 Mile Run, I decided to break the ultimate rule. No, I didn’t down a glass of raw eggs or each chicken alfredo pasta right before the start. Instead, I went shopping and ran in a brand new pair of shoes. Not only were these brand new shoes, but they were a special kind of shoe: Newton Distance minimalist shoes.
While I have never really run in “minimalist” shoes, my Nike Lunars have 800+ miles on them. A 50 mile race, half a dozen marathons, and a few half marathons. That means they are essentially barefoot running shoes due to any padding being squashed out of them.
The Newton shoes are designed with large lugs on the forefoot to help training your form to run a certain way. You should not be hitting your heel first (heel strike) as should be landing more forwards. This requires a shorter step and keeping your feet under your body when you land. The large pieces of rubber make an easy target to do that.
Reading the directions in the box on race morning that say “adjust to shoes by running in for one mile and adding on from there.” Ooops. Looks like 10 miles would be my 1 mile.
The weather for race morning was quite nice … as long as you stood in the sun. As soon as you stepped into the shadow, it was like the dark side of the moon. Instant chilliness. I had my team SunRype jacket on so just kept moving about. Observing people in their race day rituals. Some people going through their stretching motions, listening to music, and eating bananas. This is why there are a hundred thousand books on running. Everyone is different and everyone does their own mental satisfaction to get them running.
I took my place in line 5 minutes before the gun was to go off. I lined myself up in the 9 minute to 10 minute block. Even that I was thinking could be optimistic. For the past month I have been training at 10:30 pace. The announcer played what sounded like an old record player recording of a version of the Star Spangled Banner. Always great to hear our national anthem, but tough when it’s done poorly.
My goal for the next 10 miles was to just to work on form. Keep feet under me and shorten my stride. Make the run effortless.
After leaving the starting line and heading around town, I wasn’t feeling the extra huffing and puffing I normally feel for the first 20 minutes. Approaching the mile 1 marker, I heard someone with a speaker calling out 9 minutes. Wow! I may want to slow down. So I shortened my stride and kept on going.
Coming up on mile 2, I heard “17:35″ … wait a minute there. That means I went 30 seconds faster on mile 2 then mile 1. What is going on?
Time to experiment.
The course was fairly flat except in Cheesman Park. Anytime I felt tired or that I had an urge to walk, I leaned forward at the ankles. Then I relaxed the ankles. Then straightened out back. Then smiled. That made a 1 mile go by pretty fast.
Seeing the finish line and realizing I kept moving the entire time was exciting. It was also interesting that I still had fuel in the tanks, zero pain, and having a good time.
Looking at the RunKeeper tracking after the race, it was the first time I’ve had negative splits in any race … or any run … ever. That is pretty cool! It opens up a whole range of ideas I have for training over the next few weeks. Some of that time will be limited with a 50k that’s a week from this Cherry Creek Sneak 10 Mile race though.
At the finish line I waited for my Team SunRype teammates to finish so we could snap a team photo. Great group of people that do everything from 5ks to Ironman to ultras. Always enjoy expanding my group of friends to include more inspiring people!