This past Saturday was the third time I raced the Breakaway 10k but I’ve probably run this course over a hundred times. No exaggeration. I helped design the course a few years ago and it’s one of my go-to routes. This race holds my current 10k PR- 37:51 from 2016. When I decided to add in the Midsouth Half Marathon at the beginning of November I knew I couldn’t really plan on Breakaway being an A race. I wanted to race it but I also needed to work it in around marathon training. I love to race but my racing schedule can definitely get in the way of my training if that makes sense.
The week leading up to Breakaway:
Saturday, 11/3- 18 miles total with 13.1 @ 6:25 pace (Midsouth Half Marathon)
Sunday, 11/4- 6.4 miles (including BA 10k route) @ 8:13 pace
Monday, 11/5- 9 miles (including BA 10k route) @ 7:58 pace
Tuesday, 11/6- 12 miles (including BA 10k route) w 10 @ 6:43 pace. This was a marathon paced workout.
Wednesday, 11/7- 6.2 miles (BA 10k route) @ 7:35 pace
Thursday, 11/8- 6.2 miles marking mile splits of BA 10k route @ 7:59 pace
Friday, 11/9- 3.1 miles @ 8:14 shakeout run (and first run that didn’t include race route!)
On the morning of the race I woke up around 6 just as John was coming home from being on patrol all night. He is a reserve police officer and occasionally works shifts as needed. He planned to take the kids around 7:15. My younger two had practice for a musical during the same time of the race which was perfect and my older two were racing in the 10k. I left the house around 6:45 to pick up 7 large containers of coffee for the race. (I’m the assistant race director and help with course marking, advertising, and some of the post race food.) I added in coffee when I learned that it would be 29 degrees at the start and in the low 30’s after the race.
Once I got the coffee situated I met up with Amanda (fellow Searcy Rush teammate) and Chelsea (a new running friend who recently moved to Conway). We warmed up and then I met up with my older two and helped them get their extra jackets stashed in our car before we headed to the start. It was cold but I would rather race in colder temps any day. I probably spent too much time trying to figure out what to wear which is not like me. In the end I settled on tank, arm sleeves, capri tights and gloves. I took off my ear warmer headband at the last minute (good decision!) and honestly I could have done shorts. Yes, even in 29 degrees. It was sunny and I tend to get pretty hot when I’m running fast. (I took off my gloves in mile 3 and just carried them the rest of the race.)
My plan was to go out around 6:10 and then pick it up after that. I knew on this course I’d need to average a 6:02 (possibly 6:03) to make it under 38 minutes. This was going to be tough but it was doable if I was having a really good day. A fellow runner I know from some other races was also trying to run sub 38 so we were going to pace together.
The first male and female runner took off from the gun but I wasn’t worried about placement for this one. I focused on finding the right pace. It didn’t feel very easy and I hoped once I found my rhythm it would get better. I was able to pick it up for miles 2 & 3 but I was definitely having to work for it and 6 flat paces were not feeling very doable.
Mile 1- 6:09
Mile 2- 6:07
Mile 3- 6:04
I saw John during mile 3 and I was feeling good but not great. I was still pacing with Jeffrey and hoping I could pick it up in the second half. We went through the 5k right around 18:59. It was going to be tough to break 38. Still possible but I’d have to have a faster second 5k.
Just after mile 4 Jeffrey started to push the pace. By 4.5 he pulled ahead. I wanted to go with him but I was really just trying to hang on and maintain. The good thing about knowing this course so well is that I can break it down into so many small pieces. I focused on getting to the trail and from there I focused on making it to the bridge, then the trail exit, then the track where the 6 mile marker was.
Mile 4- 6:04
Mile 5- 6:07
Mile 6- 6:05
I glanced at the overall time when I hit the track and it was already at 37 minutes. Ughhhh. I knew even sprinting all out I couldn’t make it so I guess at this point I lost a little motivation. I ran the final 300 meters at a 6:06 pace although in my defense it felt much faster than that.
Official Time- 38:22. (2nd Female Overall). Official Results can be found here.
Post Race Thoughts
Initially I was a little bummed about not making my sub 38 goal but I knew it was a lofty goal given my recent half and recent workout. Why do I set the bar so high for myself sometimes? I did run my last 3 miles a few seconds faster than the first 3 but I would have needed some sub 6 miles to make it happen. My overall watch average was 6:06 which happens to be my second fastest 10k ever so for not really tapering at all I’m definitely happy with this. Yes, a sub 38 would have been great but I think I would have needed fresher, more tapered legs to make this happen.
The kids did well and I’m glad I was able to see them. Abi finished in 49:13 and Anthony finished in 51:03 which is a new PR. I also had two clients run and they did great. Cymber ran a 51:02 and Katherine ran 49:34 which is a new PR!
After I cooled down with Amanda and Chelsea we went inside where it was warm for coffee, scones, and the awards ceremony. Usually we have the awards outside at the track by the finish but we decided to move everything inside since it was so cold and I’m glad we did!
Marathon training continues but I do have one last 10k for the year- the Spa 10k. It’s a challenging one but I really like it. Stay tuned!