Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day 10k

Although I was hesitant to do another race the week after the Crim 10 mile I decided to take advantage of the last free race that was part of my training package. I had heard from others that the course was difficult so on Friday I decided to go pick up my race packet and check on the course.

Holey Moley… The hills were much more difficult than I expected. I was very close to changing my mind, but after talking to my training director (who was working a booth at the expo) I found out that the people that told me about the course actually ran the 30k – which was a much more difficult course. Although the 10k course still had hard hills (noticeable even when driving) I figured that it would be a great way to get some great hill work done in preparation for the Half in Oct.

I am so glad I decided to run! The hills were hard, but I kept my pace pretty steady even on the longest hill. Or at least I think I did. Unfortunately, the mile markers were not correct. Grrrrrr…. We knew that they were off since there were two mile three markers, but it seemed that things had been corrected. I realized that was not corrected during mile 6.

That was one really long mile! At that point I also realized that I had no real concept of what my pace was. I thought I was blowing away my goal pace - which I have done in shorter runs, but as my pace for mile 6 got longer and longer I realized that something was really wrong with the markers. 

Since the course was harder than any other I have done before, my goal was simply to be under my 5k pace from May.  Around mile 4 I realize that I was easily beating that pace (or so I thought) so I "secretly" changed my goal to be 1:30.  I kept thinking how wonderful that would feel.  By the time I realized how bad the mile markers were I gave up on that goal.   Had I realized how close I was to hitting that goal I would have sped up during that last mile. As it was I got very close at an official time 1:30:33!!

Even though I didn’t hit my stretch goal I take a lot of pride that I completed when I did. I had my best race pace to date at 14:36. That puts me in a great place to finish my half within goal. It also gets me very excited for next year. This year, as I mentioned before, isn’t really about speed. It is about finishing. About doing something that I couldn’t do before. Next year is about improvements to pace.  But with that said I have already improved my pace so much this year. I have gone from almost a 16 minute mile pace to a 14:36 mile pace (at twice the distance) since May.  My single mile pace has gone from 20+ minutes to 13:10.  I may not hit my goal of doing a single 10 minute mile this year, but I know now I can really do it.  I can’t wait to do a 5k in the spring actually see what a year of training has done!

Here are a few charts from the race:

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