Sunday, February 28, 2010

ConocoPhillips 10K Rodeo Run Race Report

This was my 4th running race of 2010 already.  It was the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run 10K.  Every year Houston hosts the largest Rodeo in the country.  Literally millions of people come to enjoy concerts, BBQ, games and off course, rodeo.  This is the race that kicks off the festivities and it is followed by a parade. Over 12,500 racers participated in the 10K and 5K fun run. To the right is a picture that Annie snapped about a .5 mile before the finish.  Even though it was only about 45 degree you can see from my shirt that I was working hard ... passing an elderly dude!
This race was slated to begin at 9:30am, which is a welcomed later start time giving it a chance to warm up.  Once the sun came up over the city skyline it really helped with the otherwise chilly morning.  In the past I have moaned about people slotting themselves at the wrong pace markers.  With over 12,000 racers I figured this would be a problem again so I lined up at the 5:30/mi pace marker (yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy of slotting myself wrong..hehe).  I was probably about 40 yards from the starting line and as I looked around (runner stereotyping - we all do it - leave me alone!) noticed that probably 90% of the people were once again slotted incorrect.  With the shear volume of people in the streets it would be impossible to even attempt to move up.  We were packed like sardines!

The gun goes off and it takes about 45 seconds to get to the starting line.  From here I put my head (and shoulder) down and take off.  Yes, I clipped and side-swiped a couple of people and make no apologies for doing this - tough love - maybe next time you will start were you are suppose to!  I was not alone either because some very fast world-class runners were in this race.

My first two miles were done at 6:46 and 6:44 respectively.  This is about 15-20 seconds faster than I am accustomed but I was still feeling pretty good.  Then as mile 3 began the course took us to an overpass of Hwy 59.  This thing was long and steep.  The uphill portion lasted about a .5 mile.  The down hill was much more gradual because it took us to another uphill.  This wasn't as bad but was still pretty steep.  It really slowed my pace as mile 3 was 7:15.   My 5K split was 20:50, so this is moving for me!

Then at about the 3.5 mile mark my stomach started to cramp - bad.  Not side stitch cramping - GI cramping!  Really I cannot think of a reason why this happened?  I was well hydrated and my nutrition was the same as it has always been.  But it was so uncomfortable that at the mile 4 water station I actually stopped and dry heaved over a garbage can - nothing came up.  However, I did garner some very disgusted looks from the teenage-aged volunteers manning the water station - so I had that going for me!  At this point I figured it was only about 2 miles to go and I could HTFU and just finish.  Without getting all gross and descriptive on you - since the vomiting didn't work - lots of "clinching" was done for the last 2 miles!

Mile 4 split was 7:53 (stopping didn't help!).  Mile 5 was 7:59.  Mile 6 was 7:41.  The final .21 was at a 6:16 pace.  For some reason the pain subsided some with about a mile to go and I was able to get a nice kick to finish strong.  Hello finish line and hello port-a-potty.

My final time was 45:37 this is a 7:20 average pace and was a new personal record surpassing the 46:20 that I did in 2009.  Even though it is a PR I am a little disappointed in my results. I really think if my stomach would have cooperated I could have done this in 44:00 - 44:30.  Heck, I wasted 30 seconds dry heeving.  But, this is a good learning experience because it shows that things do not always go as planned and you need to sometimes suck it up and make decisions on the course.

Overall, this was a very well done race. The post race party had a ton of things to do.  My friends came and brought their kids and they had a bunch of games for them to play.  Sponsors had tons of drinks and fruit and bagels.  Just really well put together event.

Here are my final stats:

Chip Time:  45:37
Overall Rank:  333/5520 (top 5%)
Gender Rank: 280/2818 (top 10%)
Age Group Rank:  44/478 (top 9%)

Race Day Pics:
Would love to see my time with this guy running behind me!

Pre-Race Crowd

Newly shaved headed Jeff at Start line

Bayou Place - start location

Only in Texas!

Annie and I pre-race.  My "toss" sweatshirt.

This is George (aka - Tater). We are dog sitting him this weekend!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Nice race and PR Jeff! You might take a look at what your drinking/eating before to make sure you're not causing GI problems. Or it might have been the harder pace you went out at, this is totally normal in a race especially with fast runners all around you. I hear you on lining up in the front, its frustrating when you have walkers and others that shouldn't be up there clogging the start.

    Keep up the good training.


  2. Great report and congrats on the PR!! I just found your blog and am looking at your P90's a tough program and you did great!!!

  3. Great race report, and a big congrats on the PR! That's pretty wild about the GI cramping, so yeah, maybe there was something in something you ate.

    ...and George is awesome!

  4. Hi Jeff,
    Way to go!! I am so happy that your got your PR!! That is an awesome time...super fast:) Thanks for the great race report and nice was fun to read!! I am very happy for you and you should be proud of yourself:)

  5. Glenn - good to hear from you buddy - how you been doing?

    Denise - thank you. P90X is a great program and if you put in the work you will have the results.

    Steve - George is awesome. For some reason my dogs didn't think so. Lots of dog fights to break up this weekend. His head is so freaking huge, funny dog.

    Julie - glad you enjoyed the RR. I am not quite at super-fast yet. By this time next year with another winter to rack up the high mileage months I might be super-fast.

  6. I enjoyed your race report. Too bad about the GI. I would have been pretty happy about a PR, however, I totally understand how the GI situation makes you feel about busting 45 minutes.

    Hey, how did that old dude get so far up that it took the last .5 mile to catch up? Old dudes rock!!!

  7. Congrats in the PR, but seriously, an longhorn and horses, you could have made this easiest race ever by hitching onto a ride on one of those

  8. Boomer - yeah, still a good race but could have been better. There is another 10k on March 13th that my wife wants to run. I think I might sit it out though. Those short, hard races really tire my legs out and screw up the next days training.

    Oh, and I don't know where that guy came from? I just thought that picture was funny ... he was hauling though because that was right before the finish!

    Diesel - Dude I screwed up! Could've jumped on one of those horses and won that darn race.

  9. Boomer, I'll bet that "old guy" was chuckling as he passed some young whippersnapper bent over a trash can dry heavin'. :)

  10. Steve... I almost fell over lmao when I read that!

  11. Finally able to catch up on reading blogs. You did really well, congrats! Just imagine what your time will be next time with no GI issues? Scary fast! That race sounds a lot like the gasparilla 15K which was the day before the half mary i did Sunday. Very popular and of course lots of bozo's slotting themselves in the front...urrr! i don't mind throwing a few elbows either!

  12. Nothing sucks more than to have a stomach issue on race day. You get mad enough as it is when it is during a training run... NOT SOMETHING YOU PAID FOR! haha. Great job anyways, by your chip time you would have thought you were pretty healthy through the run. Keep up the good work man!

  13. super fast race Jeff! Congrats!