I’m running my 5th 10K tomorrow (the Statesman Capitol 10K) and it’s the first time I really want to PR at this distance. The other 4 10Ks I’ve raced I only did because a) they were a convenient way to gauge my fitness prior to a longer goal race or b) I had to run them to complete the ARC Distance Challenge.
I don’t like 10Ks. They’re too long to run all out like I would for a 5K but they’re too short to start out relaxed like I would for a half marathon. So why am I running this race tomorrow? I am running it because I got a discount on the registration after running the 3M Half Marathon in January and because I unofficially PR’d twice this winter and I really, really want to make that sub-47:00 official.
10Ks and me: A retrospective
1) 2009 Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge (51:27, 8:16 pace)
This race starts in New Jersey, goes over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philly, then back over the bridge and finishes with some flat miles through Camden, NJ. It was my first 10K and I was nervous about the hilly portions up the bridge. I was conservative at the beginning–which was smart, given that it left me with energy to negative split the much easier second 5K–but probably a little too conservative since I was able to run a faster paced half marathon a few weeks later. Ah well, live and learn.
2) 2010 Northeast Road Runners Winter 10K (47:00, 7:33 pace)
This was a small race that I randomly found on Facebook and decided to run as preparation for the Broad Street Run. It was super flat and the course was out and back on the path where I did 95% of my running when I lived in Philly. I was quite pleased with a 4+ minute PR and negative splits (something like 24:00 for the first 5K and 23:00 for the second 5K).
3) 2013 IBM Uptown Classic (47:54, 7:42 pace)
This was one of my first races after a 3+ year hiatus from running, so I had no illusions of a PR even though the course was pretty flat. I’d been having some knee pain in the weeks prior to the race but decided to just focus on finishing in 48-something since it was the first Distance Challenge race.
4) 2014 Rogue Distance Festival “10K” (official time: 48:36, 7:49 pace)
Another Distance Challenge race, except this one took place at the same time and in the same area as a 30K and half marathon (hence the “Distance Festival”, I guess). The temperature that when I woke up that morning was around 45 degrees, so I dressed for the race in shorts and a light long sleeved shirt. At some point between leaving the apartment and the race start the temperature plunged and it was around freezing when I started running. The cold–plus a nice flat course–helped me breeze through the first 5K in around 23:00 and realize I could easily PR.
Unfortunately, the presence of simultaneous races and a lack of volunteers along the 10K route lead a lot of us towards the wrong line of cones and down the HM or 30K course. I only ended up running an additional .3 miles (some of the faster runners ran closer to a full extra mile!) but the extra mileage plus stopping twice because no one knew where the course was ruined my chances of a PR.
The silver lining? All of the 10K runners got a $40 Rogue gift certificate a few days after the race.
5) The first 10K of the 2014 3M Half Marathon (45:55, 7:23 pace)
Per my Garmin my 10K record happened during this net downhill race in January. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can beat this time tomorrow. The Statesman course is way hilly at the beginning and my left shin has been giving me some trouble this week. But I’m hoping that devoting myself to 10K-specific training for the past 4 weeks (vs. running a 10K in the midst of half marathon training) will have some sort of payoff. If not, hopefully I can find another redemption race before it starts getting insanely hot.