Why a 10K?
Sunday night I looked ahead at what this week’s marathon training had in store. With my last 21 miler done and the Little Rock Marathon just around the corner I knew I was in the home stretch of my training. I am sort of using a cross between Hal Higdon’s back to back marathon training and a little of Pete Pfitzinger’s from Advanced Marathoning. Pete’s schedule included running 9 miles as the hard run of the week with 6-7 miles at 10K pace. I really, really don’t like 10K’s. I have run 3 (2 in high school and 1 two years ago) and I felt awful during them all. Basically I started like I was running a 5K and then just hung on for dear life. Not exactly the best 10K racing strategy which is why I have always hated them. Anyway, when Pete’s schedule called for one at the end of this week I immediately went to arkansasrunner.com to see if there were any nearby 10K’s this weekend. No such luck. There are not a lot of racing options when you live in the middle of Arkansas. So I decided to race my own 10K at the track. You can’t beat a 10K that is close, convenient and FREE!
Going into the race
The first part of this week felt so easy compared to last week. I had 2 easy runs, a track workout and a cross training day. Last night my legs felt fresh. They were ready for a challenge. I prepared mentally as if it were an actual official race. I ran 2 miles with my friend to warm up. She was doing a 9 mile tempo run at the track so at least I would have company out there. My pre-race goal was to run around my last 10K time (41:42) and average in the 6:40’s. I tend to run faster in a race environment though so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I also wanted to start slower than my last 10K!
Mile 1- 6:33. This was a little faster than I planned on starting but I felt good. The pace felt slow compared to all the 800’s I’ve been running lately. (Of course, with the 800’s I get to rest after 2 laps and today I had to keep going!)
Mile 2- 6:26. Found my pace and got in the zone.
Mile 3- 6:21. My 5K split was actually 19:59 and I was still feeling really good. I challenged myself to keep up the pace to see if I could break 40 minutes.
Mile 4- 6:22. Feeling good and thinking positive!
Mile 5- 6:24. I knew if I just stayed with it 1 more mile I could break 40!
Mile 6- 6:15. Almost there!
Mile 6.2- 1:12 (6:05 pace)
Total time for my unofficial 10K: 39:37 (6:24 average pace)
Can I count this as a new PR?
You bet I am! Yes, I KNOW it was run on a nice flat track AND it was 100% unofficial but I’m counting it!
A little FYI- I AM planning on running a legitimate 10K in April… 🙂