Sunday, March 31, 2024

2024 Eggs Legs 10K Race Recap - West Jordan, UT






Official Time: 49:55
Placement: 10th overall, 2nd in the 50-54 age division
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Upper 40's, 5 to 10 mph breeze from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: Previous Years: [2023] [2022[2021]



Mile TimeComments
18:27Thought I was running faster. Into the wind here. Biding my time
28:30Wish I wasn't really racing.  Debating on just doing this as a hard workout
38:24Wanted to quit.  Just not feeling it today.
48:16Finally a tailwind.  A little bit of encouragement from people behind me
58:13Enjoying a bit more tailwind.  Perhaps I could salvage this race. Hunting down another 10K runner in front of me.
67:58Working with a few other half marathon runners.  Giving it all I had.
Total Miles: 6.00 - 49:50




Introduction


For the last few years, one of my spring traditions is doing the Eggs Legs race produced by OnHillEvents.  It is one of the few races that is available the Saturday before Easter.  I usually sign up for the race during the Thanksgiving Day sales.




The race is held at Gardner Village, an eclectic series of shops that border the Jordan River Bike Trail.  In addition, the race is located a mere 1.5 miles, door-to-door from my house.

I know the course extremely well -- it is where I often do my weekend training runs and I've run literally a dozen races along the trail.  So I've always considered it my "home" course.

Flooding along the race route.



Normally the race is held at the shopping complex but due to flooding along the race route's underpass, it was moved to an open field about a quarter mile away.  It was the same course though, just extended a bit further to make up for the distance.

Anticipation and nerves heading to the race start line

The Race


I had picked up my bib 2 days prior to the race, so I got to the race site a little after 7:30 AM for the 8 AM start time.  I probably should've gotten there a bit earlier to do a more thorough warm-up however.  I was scolding myself  as I had a solid 5 to 10 minute walk from where I parked to the race start.

The race offers 3 distances: 5K, 10K and half marathon.  The half had started at 7 AM and the 5K would start at 9.  The 10K was the least well attended so it was pretty low stress and there was no lineup to use the restrooms.  I did less than a half mile warm-up with a few drills.  It was probably the most lackluster warm-up I've done in a while.  I was tired and just sore from a pretty solid week and my head wasn't in the game. Also, I noticed that there was a still breeze coming from the south -- the direction I'd be running.  Definitely not as bad as last weekend's Riverton Half Marathon, but the outbound wasn't going to be fun.

Sample stretch of the race course.


The race is held entirely on the Jordan River Bike Trail.  Due to the drizzly, windy day, there weren't many other people using it.  But normally you'd encounter dog walkers, cyclists and other runners.

Thanks ME


It was chilly out but not terrible.  I was dressed in typical shorts, short-sleeved shirt, the Endorphin Pro 2's, and thin gloves.  I wore a neon pink shirt so I could easily find myself in post races photos and with it being an Easter themed race, it sort of went with the day.

The race started on time and I was off.  I knew one of my age group rivals was at the race and it was going to be a major battle for me to win my age group.  I didn't see anyone else in the lineup that looked to be about my age but I never take my solace in my age guessing skills.



Almost immediately my rival took off -- a LOT faster than I could handle.  There went first place.

I was looking for someone to work with, but with about 80 people in the race, it was slim pickings.  I wound up tailing a young man and a woman about my age for a while. But there wasn't much opportunity to tuck in behind anyone.

The first mile was tough.  I felt like I was going fairly strong, but not all out.  In my mind, I was running about 8:15's.  My legs were already pretty tired.  I was exasperated when my watch hit 8:30 for the first mile.  I wasn't running that slow, was I?



Around this time I encountered some of the elite half marathon runners -- who were probably running about 1:10 - 1:20 for the half.  I was suffering already at mile 2 -- they were at mile 11 or 12 and looked speedy and fresh.

I was losing ground on the two people I was working with and no one was tailing me.  This part of the trail is pretty exposed and the wind was howling.  My pace was tanking and I knew this race wasn't going to go well.

Old picture of what this section of the trail looks like.


The 5K was spot on and I got a bit of encouragement from the volunteers.  I knew that soon after though, I should get a bit of shelter from the wind.  But I just couldn't get over how much work it felt like to hold what was about a (brisk) half marathon pace for a 10K race.  I just couldn't get anything going.

Thanks KG!


Mile 2, saw another 8:30.  I just wanted to stop, pull off the course and duck into the bushes and have a good cry.  Mentally I was done.

Nearly the turnaround point -- but on a different day.



Finally, the turn around appeared. It was at the 2nd age station.  My watch beeped 3 miles once I hit it.  In a way, I was thankful -- that at least to my watch -- the course was going to be short. I was just spent.  With a little less wind, I managed to nudge up my pace a bit, hitting an 8:24.

I had spied my rival about a quarter mile ahead of me and he was still looking strong.  If he faltered, I'd have a shot but given my current state of mind, I didn't think I'd get anywhere close to him.

Typical view at the turnaround -- but different day.


Finally the wind stopped and I felt the pressure on myself drop.  I got a LOT of much needed encouragement from the runners that were behind me.  I always tell myself "I am the old guy who is running quite strong -- give them a show worth watching!"

Turn marker along the course.


I knew the race wasn't going to be PR worthy, but now that I had some wind behind me, maybe I could turn this race into a something more than a hard training run.  And perhaps I could catch another flagging 10K runner or even a half marathoner.  I made that my mission.  Work hard and finish strong.

Mile 4 was at 8:15.  Better yet.  About where I wanted to be from the get go.

Friends moments before the race start


Finally, the 10K outbound people ended and I was slowly gaining on another 10K runner.  I managed to reel him just before mile 5.  Now that I was back in the open field, I was receiving the full benefit of the wind.  I also knew I had another mile to go.  An 8:13 mile was certainly respectable.  Could I keep the streak of a negative split miles?



I gave it all I had.  My race legs had come back and I could feel the gentle push from the wind behind me.  I recalled all the hard sessions I had done prior, knowing that I could tolerate the pain a little longer.  It wasn't an all out sprint, but I was moving pretty well, breathing hard and while there was no one in front of me or behind me, I was trying to save every second I could, if nothing more to assuage my bruised ego.




I could see the finish line ahead.  Just a little more.  I made a series of tight turns, receiving some cheers from 5K runners waiting to start and smashed it through the finish line.

Thanks ME!


Conclusion


I finished in 49:55 officially.  My Garmin read 6 miles on the button.  I think with the new start the turnaround point hadn't quite been set appropriately.  My time last year was 49:50 for a full 6.2 mile race.  

Mostly, I was upset with myself.  The first 3 miles were a battle -- both mentally and physically.  Instead of focusing on what I could do to work harder / run better, I was trying to figure out what had gone run: was I overtrained, over raced, had my training failed me, not enough of a warm-up?  Should I run more? Run less? What was going on.




Fortunately I did manage to turn it around during the final 3 miles.  I hit my faster mile at the end when I needed it the most.  My speed is there but it also needed to be nudged a bit by the wind.

I do think all of the speculation I did midrace does have some validity.  I was still feeling some fatigue from last weekend's half marathon and I have been pushing the pace midweek during my training runs.  The last few weeks I've raced fairly "flat" as well.

I managed to snag 2nd in my age group and go home with two medals.  That definitely helped my spirits and again, running the 2nd half much faster than first made me feel good. As a result there was some glimmers of redemption on it.  I do think if the race was a full 6.2 miles, I'd be around 51:30 or so.


The medals are definitely cool and well designed.  With the cooler weather (and threatening rain) the award system was sort of self-service -- show your overall result and get your medal.  Made it a lot easier and quicker.  I like the design on the front of the shirt -- clearly shows the name of the race and distances -- the material -- again, I am not a fan of.  I love 100% polyester shirts.




There was typical post race refreshments -- fruit, ice cream, drink and other snacks.  To be honest, though, I only grabbed a large free sample of a drink mix and wound up taking photos of the start of the 5K and half marathon finishers that I knew.





The course was well-marked and marshalled.  There were directional signage or a volunteer at every major turn.  Even if I didn't know this pancake flat course, I would've known where to go.  I wound up not needing any course support, but the 10K did have 3 aid stations.

Despite my dismal first 5K, I really had a good time at the race.  There were so many people I knew and it felt like a social gathering of likeminded runners who were out to test themselves and enjoy the spring morning.  I would've loved a more mild day in terms of wind, but that is spring in northern Utah and before too long I'll be complaining about the heat.



This race is well attended and a lot of fun for the casual or serious runner.  Despite being able to run on this course any time I want, I enjoy getting out there and participating.  It makes for a great time trial and is fun to see friends.

Upcoming Race


04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Deferred)
04/27: 2024 Apple Blossom 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
05/27: 2024 Run of Remembrance 10K - American Fork,  UT 
06/01: 2024 Utah Valley Half Marathon - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
06/29: 2024 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K - Taylorsville, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/05: BLOCKED OUT WEEKEND
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

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