So, despite mentally telling myself (in addition to having a few people tell me) to take it easy during today's 10K because I'm still mildly phlegmy and it was in the low 50˚s and raining at the start, I notched my personal best in the distance. Granted, this was only my third time racing the distance, and I haven't run it in 5 years. And, it was roughly 30˚F cooler than the last time I raced the distance. This left lots of potential to be my version of speedy. You know, other than the breathing part.
Run for the Parks 10K. My race plan – cleverly devised somewhere in the first mile – was to be conservative in the first half, pick up the pace but remain steady for miles 4 and 5, and then cruise for the last 1.2 miles. As always, I wanted to negative split, but not by such a ridiculous amount that reflected being too conservative in the first half. At the halfway mark, I saw 29:xx (for the life of me, I can't remember what this number was, but looking at the Garmin, I hit the halfway point at 29:11) on my watch, and after some quick-thinking oxygen-deprived base-60 calculations, I decided that I needed to shave 2 minutes in the second half to PR.
So I shaved a little over a minute in the second half and PR'd by about 30 seconds (no Paul Ryan-ing here).
Obviously, quick-thinking oxygen-deprived base-60 calculations are not my strength.
A few takeaways emerged from this race:
First, I did decently at lining up at the start, although there were a few spots before the 3-mile mark where it got congested and groups of friends continued to run 4 across in sections that fit only 3.5 people. This was less annoying than having to deal with tourists during cherry blossom season in DC but not by much.
Second, I got really disoriented on this out-and-back course. Roughly, it's shaped like a backwards J. Except on the way back in, I forgot it was shaped like a backwards J, and I thought all I had was a straight-away for 3 miles...and then I turned into the hook part of the J. Not a big deal. Just disorienting.
Finally, my pace was slower than what I'll need to run for twice the distance if I want to go sub 2:00 in Richmond. Ack. Is it even possible to increase to that speed and distance 5 weeks before race day??? We'll find out.
The remainder of last week by the numbers:
Friday: Rest. I basically spent the day wondering whether doing the 8x400s that I was supposed to run this week would do no harm or cause my cold to last forever. In the end, I decided that they would make my cold last forever.
Saturday: 2 miles. I had intended a longer run, except the body was not thrilled, so I spun around and headed home after merely a mile. Blech. Things were not boding well for Sunday.
Sunday: 10K. An unexpected PR given all the circumstances, and only mild hacking afterward. By "mild," I mean "for the entire walk to the car and then for the next hour at home after the race." Yum.