Capital Pursuit 2011

I had been putting in some long hours in the weeks leading up to the race.  As the Treasurer for the Capital Striders, I have to get all the mail and make the deposits as well as all the other day to day accounting things.  Well those tasks get expanded prior to both our races as all the offline manual entries come in.  We probably had about 1/6th of our entries come in via snail mail, and all the checks and entries needed to be processed individually.  It made for at least 10-15 hours of weekly work, and I reached the conclusion I couldn’t let these entrants have all the fun.   I wanted to run too.

I haven’t been training for much lately.  My only planned race is pacing the Des Moines Half Marathon 2:10 group in October, so my training runs haven’t been necessarily focused except to maintain my base.  I wanted to prove however I had still had some speed left in my system.  My goals for the race that I posted to Facebook were:

  • Gold – <1:30:00 (less than 9:00 min/mile)
  • Silver – < 1:33:00 (9:15)
  • Bronze – < 1:35:00

To be honest, my original gold goal was to beat 1:27:00, but that seemed too ambitious of a goal.  I really wanted to have a chance to beat my gold goal, so I changed it to the above times.

Today was simply a fantastic day to race.  I felt a little guilty that I couldn’t help out more with the race day management of the race, but sometimes you have take the opportunity for yourself.  Numbers for the race already looked to be higher than previous years, and while I still don’t know final figures, it looks like we had about 300 more runners this year.  There were a number of race day registrations when I was getting my packet pickup this morning.  I think it was wonderfully cool 40F at race time and not a cloud in the sky.  I started a bit fast to get through the initial crowds, but within two miles, I was trying to figure out how much I had in my tank.  By the time I hit mile 3, I knew I had to change my listening strategy.

I changed over from audiobook to fast-paced music or music straight from VMworld 2011.  The change worked.  Mile 3 featured a decent prolonged uphill portion as we headed towards Drake.  It wasn’t steep, but the gradual nature could have resulted in slower miles, which might have lasted until the end.  I mentally tied myself to a number of the runners to my immediate front, and rationalized any desire to slow down away.    Here were my splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:24 pace
  • Mile 2: 8:26 pace
  • Mile 3: 8:48 pace
  • Mile 4: 8:48 pace
  • Mile 5: 8:42 pace
  • Mile 6: 8:45 pace

It was at this point my Garmin let me down, and it was too full to store any more lap times after 8.21 miles.  Not having Garmin give instant validation of distance to go didn’t help, but with about a mile to go, I had a coworker run up behind me.  I was definitely tailing in energy levels, but once again got my engines going for the final mile, a long straightway downtown.  I crossed the finish line at 1:26:17 gun time (no chips).

  • 173 26 M35 Kent Altena, 39, Polk City, IA 1:26:17 8:38
  •  173rd out of all 262 males
  •  26 out of 35 in my age group
  •  266 out of total 517 runners.

This was a pretty fast group of runners, so my low placement is somewhat expected. I am happy with my performance, and definitely gives me room to improve next year.


2 comments to Capital Pursuit 2011

  • Joyce

    Kent, I am so proud of you! And thanks for being such a help in the kitchen for us Atkineers! Keep up the great work!


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