Posted by: isshino | October 10, 2008

Caracas Rock (10k) Race Report

I didn’t have any special plans for this race, I didn’t train well for it, I just wanted to have fun. But it ended up being a really good and special race for me.

I started the day with the same ‘race day routine’. Wake up early, eat something light, take a shower, I didn’t do a playlist for my iPod this time, I had left my iPod on the car and was too lazy to go and get it, I figured I would use the same one I made for for the Human Race.

I got there 30 minutes before the race was supposed to start and started taking everything that I needed. My number, Visor, the HRM strap, the iPod, the headphones… the headphones… THE HEADPHONES?!?!?!?!?! OH NOES, NOT THE HEADPHONES!!!!!!

I left them in my house, what was I going to do?? I’ve never ever ever run without my iPod. I know the day would come when I had to leave them behind because some races don’t allow using them, and honestly, I’ve always been afraid of that day, I depend too much on the music that I listen when I run! I wanted to train a couple of times without music to get used to it, I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW ON RACE DAY!!! Ok, let’s try not to panic here, what are my options? No time to go to my house and get them, and everyone is still sleeping there, so I can’t call and ask if someone can bring them to me. I could start asking random people if they have a spare set with them, no… that won’t work. I could take them from some old lady that looks slow and run for it!! That’d help me set a PR!!! no… that’s just not right…. No headphones it is….

So I went to get my chip, warmed up for 10 mins and got ready. I went close to the end of the crowd, thinking that if I had planned to take it easy and I didn’t even have my iPod, I had no business going where the fast people are.Β  I think this ended up being the best decision I made that day.

The race started and everyone around me was going really slow and was reaaaaally packed!! I hate going like that, I feel like I have no space to move. So I started passing people. Without headphones I didn’t have the Nike+ to set my pace or tell me when I reached each Km. The first time I saw a distance mark was at the third Km and my time was 16:31, not too bad I thought, faster than I had expected. By that point I checked my HRM and I was at 95%, that’s too much, I won’t be able to keep it up, so I tried to relax and slow down a bit to try and take my HR down.

When I got to the 5k mark and realized that my time was 26:36 something changed. I was feeling fine, I thought that I could easily do a negative split on the race and end with a PR. So I did a quick plan of my pace to accomplish this. My HR was at 85% at that moment, I would keep it like that until I get to the 6k mark, then not go over 90% until I reach the 8k mark, then not go over 95% before the 9k mark and then… well just go all out without passing out. This way I could maximize my efforts without getting too tired before the finish line.

For the next 5k I followed my plan and everything turned out for the best. The fact that I started near the end made me start faster than I had planned and also, I had been passing people the whole time! There’s something about not getting passed even once that makes you take it up a notch if someone tries to at this point.

Also, the fact that I didn’t have music made the whole experience better. I could concentrate better on my body, on how I was feeling. I was paying close attention to my HR and listening to my body, and by doing this I knew I was going fast, but not too fast until I had to. Not to mention that I was paying more attention to everyone around me, it was a totally different experience that turned out for the best.

In the end I followed my plan for the last 5k and finished in 51:02. A PR for me!! I finished a 10k in 53:33 back in april and did 57:43 in the Human Race. And so far, this has been the best 10k I’ve ever run, it’s not just because of the PR, it was… everything else, a great day, nice people, good organization, and well yes, the PR!It’s as Lisa said: “sometimes relaxing and going with the flow WORKS!”. It does, it really does. Thanks for the support!

The numbers from the race:

Finish Time: 51:02

5k split: 26:36

Place in category (Male 20-29): 256/1258

Place in general: 1256/10500

Kcal Burned: 687

Avg HR: 90% (182bpm)

Max GR: 100% (203 bpm)


  1. Wow that is such an awesome picture. And congratulations on the PR – you are fast! You know my best races have always been when I have no feedback on how fast I’m going. Until I cross the finish line and I have absolutely no idea what my time will be and then I totally surprise myself. I find if I try too hard to stick with a certain pace and monitor it, then I hold back when I really could be running faster, or I run too fast at the beginning when I really should be running slower. And isn’t it so interesting how sometimes listening to music seems to make it easier on some races, but in others, it feels kind of unnecessary and you’re not even really listening to it. Congrats again!

  2. Great job! Running without the music definetly has its pluses. I like to be able to hear all of the sounds around me from time to time. Congrats on the PR! AWESOME JOB!

  3. I have never gone to a run without music, and I can not imagine it. Apparently, it worked very well for you!!

    It is impressive the huge amount of people running on that race!!, more than 10,000??!?!, wow!!!!

  4. awesome!! you made me laugh when you joked about stealing a pair of headphones off of an older slow lady and making a run for it!! very cool, and that is an awesome picture – wow what a sea of humanity that is – every little blob is a person!! πŸ™‚


  5. That’s awesome! Great job on the PR. I love it when things happen differently than what we expect or plan and it turns out to be a positive thing. Good stuff. I love the race pic, very cool. I literally laughed out loud when I read the part about you contemplating stealing on old woman’s headphones. πŸ™‚

  6. it’s a good thing your blog is not called middle-of-the-pack guy because you would certainly have to change it!

    i don’t think we need to worry about me switching the title of my blog anytime soon – but thank you for saying that. although, i have heard that my 10K actually had about 7000 runners, so I might have actually come in somewhere in the top 1/3!!

  7. GREAT job!! Isn’t it nice when you have no expectations of a race?? No matter what, you exceed them πŸ˜‰ It sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    I couldn’t imagine running without music unless I had a buddy with me. I’ll have to try it sometime.

    Btw… you’ve been tagged. See my blog for details πŸ˜‰

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