On Saturday I ran in the Toad Suck 10k as part of the Grand Prix series. This race is held every May during the Toad Suck Daze festival in Conway, Arkansas. There are actually two races- the 5 and 10K with each race having over 500 runners. I ran the 5K in 2010 and 2012 and last year was my first year to run the 10K. At the time it was a big breakthrough race for me (broke 39 minutes) and was a huge confidence booster going into the summer.
This year I was hoping for another breakthrough- I really wanted to break 38 minutes.
The 38:11 I ran in Capital City last month
was a PR but I wanted another shot at going sub 38.
I knew the Toad Suck course wouldn’t be quite as perfect as Capital City but I still had a good chance of making it happen.
We left our house by 6:25 which was cutting it close. John and I were bringing all the kids and that was the best we could do. I hated waking them up on a Saturday morning but it is what it is. They won’t have to wake up for any more of my races for while now. We got to Conway with about 30 minutes to spare which didn’t leave a lot of extra time. I got in about a mile warm-up (wanted a little more) but I guess I spent too much time in line for the bathroom. My daughter and two of my running buddies were running in the 5K which started 10 minutes after the 10K. The weather was mid 50’s by race time.
As I mentioned, my “A” goal was to break 38 minutes. I knew it was within my reach but it would definitely require the right pacing and staying positive and focused. I was hoping I might be able to hang with another runner out of Little Rock who has consistently beat me by 10-20 seconds at recent Grand Prix races. He recently broke 38 minutes at Capital City and I thought if I could just hang with him I could do it.
Mile 1- 6:04. Right on pace.
Mile 2- 5:55. A little too fast for me. This is more of a 5K split so I knew I might be paying for it later. I also knew I was going to have to let Ron go. He was cruising along but I felt like I was already having to really work at it. I remember reading somewhere that in a 10K the first few miles should feel easy. You shouldn’t feel like you are really working for it until mile 4. By mile 2.5 I was working for it.
Mile 3- 6:09. I knew I was slowing down but I really couldn’t afford to let my time drop much more past this.
5K- 18:45 (unofficial). I had about 15 seconds to spare (or less depending on tangents) so I knew it would be tough.
Mile 4- 6:09. Still holding on but it was rough.
Mile 5- 6:14. I was losing it and weaving in and out of 5k runner/ walkers wasn’t helping anything. At this point in the course the 5K and 10K runners merged together and ran almost a full mile together.
Mile 6- 6:11. I was doing mental math at this point and knew the chances were very slim of going sub 38. I wasn’t sure if I would even beat my Capital City Classic time.
Mile 6.25- 1:25 (5:38 pace). This race finishes around the high school track (which I normally love) but it was a little challenging trying to get around the 5K runners. I was sprinting as much as I could (in lane 2) but I just couldn’t make up for that time I’d lost that last 5K.
|10K and 5K finish last lap around track together- it can get a little crowded!
Official Finish Time:
38:08 1st female overall/ 11th overall (out of 534), 6:06 (Garmin average), 6:10 official average.
Official Results can be found here.
When I finished I wasn’t sure if I had beat my previous PR or not. John immediately found me and told me how Abi did and suddenly my time did not matter to me at all. She had run the entire 5K on her own- usually I come back and find her after I finish to run the last bit with her but since I was doing the 10K I couldn’t do that. She ran a 1 minute PR to finish in 24:50.
|my little 9 yr-old cruising to the finish
So proud of her for running it by herself and staying strong. I know it’s only a matter of time before she will be leaving me in the dust!
My friends each did well in the 5k for the women. Kem was the overall 5k winner for the winner and Tish was 3rd overall- only missed 2nd by a second. I wish I could have seen them finish as well but that’s the downside to having the 10k and 5k going on at the same time. We all went on a nice 3 mi cool-down together right after I finished and of course we all had to dissect our races! You’ve got to love running friends!
|Kem, Tish and I after the awards ceremony
Obviously I have some unfinished business with the 10k. Don’t get me wrong- I am happy about my new 3 second PR. I really am. I ran a hard race coming off of peak mileage week for marathon training. A sub 38 is so close I can taste it. It will happen. I just don’t know when it will happen because I don’t have a 10k coming up anytime soon. I really like the challenge of this distance. I love breaking it into two 5k’s and the strategy pace-wise that goes along with that. I know if I want to break 38 I’m going to have to get more comfortable with rolling out the 6 minute pace miles. For now I better switch gears and focus on my 26.2… Less than two weeks to go!!