Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Hustle 10K Report ... & New PR!!!

Gasping for air at the finish line after tough hills
Halloween Hustle 10K 
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Unity Village - Lees Summit, MO
Official Time: 42:46 ... New 10K PR
Avg Pace: 6:54
Finish: Overall ... 6th/208
40-44 Age Group ... 1st Place

Avg HR Overall: 170bpm
Weight: 175
Calories Burned: 898
Elevation Gain: 338 ft
Total Distance Ran: 6.34 miles
Temperature: Starting Line, 28 degrees
Finish Line, 28 degrees
Wind: 5 mph NW
Humidity: 70% 
Comments: Ran decent race, but not great - very cold conditions & crazy unexpected hills on the back 5K, but new PR!!!

Hmm, how would I describe the 2012 Halloween Hustle 10K that Michael and I ran on Saturday ... I guess it was probably the "tale of two races".  I didn't run nearly as fast as I had planned (do I ever???), but at the end of the day I was fortunate enough to win my age group and set a new 10K PR - pretty cool!  I breezed through the first 5K, but the up and down course on the final three miles about killed me.

Michael and me bundled up with cool-guy glasses on the stocking caps!
This was the second year that Michael and I had competed in this race, which is sponsored by Bodies Personal Training in Lees Summit.  We're both pretty familiar with Bodies.  Michael has done some personal training there, and we both get leg massages from our friend Christa at the gym.  It's a great local small business, ran by really great people.

Last year I ran the 5K race with my son, Gage. It was his first race ever and we had a great time.  But this year Gage couldn't join us, so I decided to use it as a nice speed workout for my upcoming marathon in two weeks.  After recovering for most of the last two weeks from the Prairie Fire Marathon, my legs felt fairly fresh and I thought I probably had a fair race in me. Also, I was hoping to set a new PR since it was only the second 10K I'd ever ran. Honestly, even though I won my age group in the first one on a pretty tough course last year, the time really wasn't much to crow about.  Plus, after a disappointing finish at Wichita, I needed a little confidence booster for my fragile runner ego ... even if it was at a small local race.  So I had looked forward to it all week.
2012 Halloween Hustle Finisher Medal (left), and 1st Place for 40-44 Medal (right)
It had been in the 70's all week in the Midwest, but on Saturday we woke up to 28 degrees!  That's not that bad if it comes in February and you've been dealing with it all winter.  But in October, when it's the first morning below 30 ... it's FRIGGIN' CHILLY!!!  As I was loosening up with a couple of warm up miles, I just found it really tough  to get my legs to operate with any bounce or fluidity.  They just seemed really tight - especially my hamstrings.  I was a little worried about pulling  a muscle, so I decided to take it slow the first couple of miles and kind of ease myself into it.

2012 Halloween Hustle Technical T-Shirt
I'm always very careful NOT to criticize small local races.  These events aren't ran by the large race timing and charity corporations.  They are put together with very limited staffs - usually volunteers - and they do the best they can with limited resources.  The Halloween Hustle is a shining example of this.  The staff does a GREAT job with all the peripheral activities like face paining, a bouncy house, and pony rides for the kids - an awesome Halloween costume contest - post race pancake and sausage breakfast - and awesome finisher and age group medals as well as a great Halloween themed technical t-shirt.  However, the actual race itself has room for some small tweaks here and there.

The 5K & 10K races are basically two loops around the beautiful Unity Village complex in Lees Summit, MO.  The 5K runners make two, 1.5 mile loops and are finished.  Last year, the 10K runners made four loops before crossing the finish line.  This year however, the 10K runners ran the first two loops, and then headed off on a gravel trail for the second half of the race.  The biggest challenge comes where the loops begin and end and merge together.  There is a short narrow out & back portion at about mile 1.2 and 2.5. Unfortunately, it was a tough chore to not run over walkers who were just beginning the first loop, and runners coming toward you in the opposite direction. There was a sign warning runners to stay to the left, but many didn't and it was a little chaotic during this portion of the run.  Everyone tried to be courteous,  but with folks pushing baby strollers, walkers, and racers all mixed together - it was a little tough to navigate.  A huge race would have been able to have many volunteers in this area to help avoid the confusion, but the small staff obviously did the best they could.

Me, second from the right chasing Teen Wolf ... he was FAST!  But in fairness, he had already morphed into a wolf,
I don't think I would have any trouble passing Michael J. Fox
When the race started, I eased into a 7:00ish pace that felt comfortable.  I had gone with a sleeveless shirt, shorts, arm warmers, gloves, and a stocking cap, and I felt like I was perfectly dressed.  Other than a little stiffness in my legs, I never really noticed being cold.  My breathing wasn't labored at all and I felt really comfortable on the flat looped path for the first half of the race.  Everything was lining up well and felt my pace gradually getting faster and stronger when I hit the second half of the race.  My pace for my first three miles was 7:06, 7:04, 6:43 and I felt great ... but then came the second half!

2012 Halloween Hustle elevation chart - some steep climbs on the back half
The race map was posted on the race's website, but I hadn't bothered to check it out.  I just thought we followed the same flat four loop approach from last year for the 10K ... but I couldn't have been more surprised.  As we wrapped up the first 5K, we headed into the woods on a gravel road that basically was all down hill.  At first it was great, I had ramped up to a 6:19 pace for mile 4 and felt great. I was getting my time down around where I wanted to be for the second half and I was cruising.  But then a horrible thought hit me ... "We've been going downhill forever ... we're gonna have to climb back up this bad boy!"  And about the time things started to change.

Thumbs up on a decent day of running
At mile 4.4 we began a 135ft ascent back to the top of the hill ... but this time we did it over the course of a 1/2 mile ... and it was FRIGGIN' STEEP!  We were still on a gravel road and I lost my footing on the loose steep terrain several times.  It was almost impossible to keep the same pace and mine fell of to 7:10 for mile five.  Once we reached the sixth mile, it leveled off for a while and I was able to run it at a 6:08 pace.  The race didn't allow you to build any kind of a strong finish, as it ended with another 100ft climb over the last 1/3 mile ... seriously another straight up hike to end the race!  My splits for the complete race are as follows:

7:06, 7:04, 6:43, 6:19, 7:10, 6:08

I ended with a PR of 42:46 and won first place in my age group since there weren't any blazers running in my division.  Also, I hit 2,700 miles today and it's not even November yet and I still feel really good. I felt okay about the race considering the chilly weather and inclines on the back side.  I really wanted to be a little closer to 40 minutes, if not under it - but all in all it was a decent day.  I've got a 20-22 miler on Sunday, so hopefully I didn't burn up too much energy at the race, but later in the day my legs still felt great and I feel like I'm making my way back after the bad marathon a few weeks ago.  Hope your running's going well!
... be great today!


  1. No pre-race dance moves? That's probably why your didn't have any pep in your step at the start!
    Congratulations on the 10K PR Jim!

  2. Congrats on the new PR! Mile 4 was a doozie- steep and with gravel. Find a good course and you can have another PR. :)

  3. I'm so glad you had a good race (PR) after your marathon two weeks ago--you deserve it. That course looks hard (nothing like hills in the Midwest)--but I would have liked those temps! Cold=fast (as you found out).

  4. It's good to drop your PR only a bit at a time. That way there's much more potential to PR in subsequent races. Looks like a tough course = especially when I consider speed bumps hills.

  5. Congratulations on the 10k PR! The wolf really made me laugh.

  6. so happy you got a good race Jim! congrats on the PR on a hard course also...! I like the new look on the blog... :)

  7. No one can beat Michael J Fox silly, he travels in the Delorian.

  8. You are pretty much The Man! What's really impressive is to see all your hard work and preparation pay off.

    Well done.

  9. Nice job on the race! Congrats on the PR!

    And that teen wolf costume was awesome!

    I bet you could get sub 40 for a 10K on a decent course too, sounds like that race had a lot of hills on it. Your time you got was my exact 10K PR too lol

  10. Congratulations on that pr man. you looked amazing.


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