The Rio Resolution 10K Run - Jan 1, 2012

An annual tradition. This year, the Delucchi's had their 20th annniversary Dec 31 and were in no condition after the party to do any running. So that left Ferrell and I. Rick had just notched an 800+ mile 2011 and I was fresh off a string of 6 straight 4000 yard swims, as well as a couple of 7 mile run's the previous weekend which felt very good. I expected to have a decent race.

The night before, I spent New Year's Eve with the von Ahnen's up in the mountains, then drove to Cabrillo Observatory to spend the night, saving me a few miles in the morning drive to Rick's. Also, the observatory was good for a good night's sleep - cold, pitch black, and dead quiet. I turned off the lights at 10:30pm, and woke up at 6am with a pretty good night's sleep. I did some roller work on my left leg, had a couple of cups of hot mocha, and drove off to pick up Rick for the drive to Carmel, under clean, clear skies with the sun just poking above the horizon as we came down through Watsonville.

Still haven't had a chance to get Cabrillo to fund warranty work on the Lumix, so the plan was to have Rick bring along Kim's pocket camera for the documentary duties. When we arrived at the Rio Grill in Carmel, alas, Kim's camera was sans battery, and my Canon battery wasn't the right size. I did bring my Lumix and it doesn't ALWAYS fail, and luckily enough it roused itself to give a few shots this morning... at least till near the race start.

We ponder the shirt. Rio shirts are always colorful, but......

Be careful with those pins, Ferrell



There were lots of dogs at this race, including this elderly veteran who would be getting a free ride. Kathy Frank should be here with Jack.

Temps were still in the 40's, nippy for someone not running. Better don the jacket

One last task before the start...

I was cautiously optimistic about my race; I'd been faithfully focusing on good running form, engaging the glutes on each step, not overstriding but instead letting glute contraction propel me forward rather than reaching forward with my hip flexors, and it was paying off with better times, a measurably longer stride length (by 9%, averaged over my calibrated mile to the beach at home, using my step pedometer), and less pain. I thought if things went fantastically well, I might break an hour. Last year, I did the race in 1:07 (although that was a 6.3 mile course compared to the new course this year, an honest 6.2 miles = 10K). My first mile, uphill, was 9:50. At mile 2 my watch read 21:24, that was at the top of Carmel's park which we'd just run up. It was crowded, and the run up the hill is always slow, including a bridge in which you have to wait your turn. But at the top, entering the city streets, I could go at whatever pace felt right, and from here I red-lined all the way to the finish. I felt great, was able to go fast downhill, and keep good form going uphill. Towards the end of the race I decided not to look at my watch, as I felt I was on the ragged edge of what my heart and lungs could deliver. I couldn't possibly go any faster no matter how smoothly my legs felt and worked and I mentally decided I'd be happy just to get close to 1 hr. At 6.1 miles I did sneek a peak, and saw I was going to beat 1 hr easily, and flew in for a 58:06 time. That's 9 minutes off last year's time! This was the first time in 15 years that I was able to run a full race at my cardio-vascular limit, with no handicap from my resurfaced left hip post-rehab issues. My hip felt just fine, and I credit my glute rehab work, aided by advice from Tom Smith DC, and Dave Delucchi, allowing me to focus on gluteus engagement on each stride. This headed off any hip flexor / psoas inflammation which has dogged me after mile 7 at the latest, on every run since my '07 hip resurfacing surgery. If I can hold this, I should be able to improve my cardio conditioning more easily, unhobbled. It's also possible that my previous week's marathon swimming helped in this regard - I decided on Christmas eve that I would break last year's swim totals, and that required doing 4,000 yds per day for the rest of the month, which I accomplished w/o injury.

And there's room for improvement in that 58:06 time; both water stops were very slow as the volunteers were overwhelmed, and I almost missed the 5k/10k switch-off. I had half my "Nuclear Mud" before the race, and half on the drive home (my SCTC bottle consisted of blender'ed 3 tangerines, a scoop of raw cocoa powder, a scoop of whey protein powder, a handful of sunflower seeds, and a spritz of oatmeal for smoothness).

Ferrell had a solid race as well, 43:51 and 5th place out of 90 in the 50-60 age group. I'd have been 49th out of 91 if I'd registered. So, in an absolute sense I've still got work to do... The average time for the 10K was 1hr 07min, so how did so many of these old 50-59 year olds come in so strong? Tough age group, it seems. I'd have been 16th out of 40 in the 60-69 age group, which I'll age into next year.

We both missed not having more of our compadres along this year vs last , but there'll be plenty more opportunities in '12

The Ricks were all smiles after a great race

My post-race nutrition - I saw this can of "Pure Protein" at Trader Joe's the night before and tossed it in my basket. It tasted OK, not great and not bad. 21g of protein, and very little sugar or carbs. Perfect. I've noticed I recover faster if I get a lot of protein immediately at the end of a hard workout, so I'll probably buy more of these in the future.

OK. So that was great. Now, let's get outta here.

Arriving back in Aptos, we ran into the Delucchi's, Sonia, Jim and Nancy all walking off last night's partying, doing the 3 mile Cox/Day Valley loop. I dropped Rick off, said hi to the wife and kids, and then drove back to the Delucchi's and jogged down Cox to meet them. We hung around the pool, where those party remnant salty chips and firey salsa were exactly what I needed. Thus ended a terrific New Year's 2012 holiday

Here's the Race Results page