A small Narrative of my long, long, long awaited PR in a 10K since the same race back in ’07.
Picture a few minutes after the finish that my friend took…they missed the bulk of the RKR! WTF?!
Talked to Mazzurco (my High School coach, whom I am still in good contact with) about my plan, knowing that I’m in no sort of 10K shape and that bonking 4-5 miles in would be pretty possible. Thus, the plan was to go out really conservative for 5K, see how it felt, then pick it up if it was feeling good. Coming into the race – as of 5PM Friday – I had been having stomach issues pretty badly. Nothing subsided up to and through the race, but was able to race okay.
Warmed up under two miles, with one pick up and some swings. I hated not having my plastic roller with me for my IT Band, so I basically slid my IT Band along a pickup truck with the flap down…and people looking at me like I was molesting a vehicle.
Got just under the 6:00 Pace area, which was crowded but not miserable like I expected. Didn’t feel confident at all in my legs going into the race, but knew my lungs would be able to pull me pretty well through anything as long as I didn’t blow them out early or on solid hills. So I made sure not to crank early on or get sucked into the stupid-going-out-way-too-fast-because-it’s-the-only-big-race-in-Maine-so-it’s-soooo-awesome hype.
Took it out conservatively (dedicated some focus to my Garmin to be sure of not overdoing it, which proved critical as it is VERY easy to go out 20 seconds under pace – which would’ve have been the end of me) in a 5:55 mile (somewhat downhill). Was pleased with the split as I was hoping for about 8 seconds under goal pace (PR pace AKA sub-6:04). So it was essentially perfect. Felt very very relaxed at the mile – made sure to take water regardless as this race was going to be longer than more than 75% of my runs. Tried to relax it back to goal pace for the second mile, and surprisingly hit 6:03 dead even, making an 11:57 and change first two miles.
At this point I realized I was pretty relaxed and was able to increase the effort level, despite planning on evaluating at 5K and going from there. I took the next mile (slightly uphill) a little quick (5:43) but it felt decent. Came through 5K in low 18:20s and at that point knew I would be breaking 37. I continued keeping a solid effort level and I could tell my legs started not liking it around mile 4 due to lack of running mileage. Came through 4 miles in 23:32 (5:52).
The 4 mile marked my first PR of the day, this one only by 24 seconds…
Miles 4 to 5 represented that point at which my stomach started coming back at me hard and the point at which I had to suppress the building sluggishness in my legs while my cardio pumped forward, but getting some fatigue. 4 to 5 is the second hardest mile, but actively worked it in order to keep mentally into the race and not let up regardless of my stomach and how fantastic the porto-potty at mile 5 looked. Mile 5 was a 5:41, which came as a really pleasant surprise…I was running a mile in a 10K at my 5K PR leading up to this spring and not paying for the pace.
The 5 mile marked my second PR of the day, this one only by 7 seconds. Accounting for an 8K (4.97 mile), I came through 8K in 29:02, where my 8K PR was 29:09 from freshman year.
Alas, the gloriously hilly mile 6 (which is may personal favorite in B2B) came along – just when my stomach tried fighting hard. The pounding associated with the very little bit of downgrade in mile 6 was painful as it sloshed my stomach. I shortened my stride overall in order to reduce bouncing and quad utilization. This came in handy on the hard downhill to button hook straight back up in about two-thirds the distance. After the hill brought the pace back to sub 6 and waited for the 6 mile mark. Hit it in 35:09, not enough to get under 36 (unless I had a 4:01 pace surge ahead of me), but easily enough to get in low 36’s. Finished at 36:11.1 (officially) and 36:11.61 (watch).
This marked PR #3 of the day (the big one!) of 1:27. The old PR was 37:38 as a hard tempo on 50+ MPW.
Overall, I’m quite pleased. Definitely need to get myself under 35 though, which is manageable in due time. Once my 5K gets mid-low 16’s (in due time) the sub-35 will be a good look. I would’ve really liked sub-36, but with all things considered and me not even knowing if I’d be able to put forth an honest race effort with the way my stomach was going it was a real good day.