Subtitle: Maybe 10Ks aren’t that evil…
My goal leading up this was a sub-47:00 (i.e. a PR). After the Austin Half Marathon in February I took 2 weeks to rest/run easy and then jumped into 10K-focused workouts for roughly 4 weeks. I used these three plans to get ideas for track and tempo workouts and then improvised the mileage on the other days based on my schedule, the weather, how lazy I was feeling, etc. I also aimed for one 10+ mile run per week plus an average of 1 rest day per week. With the exception of this past week my weekly mileage was about 40 miles per week.
Speaking of this week, here is what it looked like:
Monday, 3/31: 5 miles easy
2 x 800m/1600m sets @ 5K/10K pace Ended up only running 2.26 miles total because some soreness in my left shin/calf felt worse and I was convinced I had a stress fracture (thanks, Internet). The good news is that icing + rest is helping and I’m 99% sure it’s shin splints.
Wednesday, 4/2: Rest
Thursday, 4/3: 3 miles easy
Friday, 4/4: 2 x 1600m @ 10K pace followed by 2 x 400m @ faster than 5K pace. Felt OK during this and decided to go ahead with the race.
Saturday, 4/5: 4 miles easy
Sunday, 4/6: 6.2 mile race + warm-up and cool-down = 11 miles
Total: 30 miles
Onto the race!
I have a ton of flex time a work so I took Friday afternoon off to go to Whole Foods, do my taxes, eat frozen yogurt, and pick up my race packet. Before anyone thinks this is a healthy living blog, let me mention that I used my Whole Foods gift card to buy discounted boxed mac & cheese and I drowned my fro yo in mochi and Butterfinger crumbs. Also, I still haven’t done my taxes…
Aaaaanyway. The expo was at the Palmer Events Center and it was a beautiful afternoon for a walk across the 1st Street bridge.
I’m glad I was able to head down there on Friday afternoon because I had to wait in line for 10-15 minutes to get my bib. I imagine the wait was worse later in the day or on Saturday. I didn’t take a t-shirt because they were cotton and I hate running in 100% cotton shirts and already have more than enough cotton t-shirts for sleeping/lounging/
day drinking. The only freebie of note is a 7-day pass to Gold’s Gym which I may use once it starts getting super hot and I realize that signing up for a fall marathon was a questionable idea.
I had my usual pre-race dinner of a large Thundercloud Subs veggie delite on wheat. I’m not sure why this became my usual pre-race dinner but it seems to work. The veggies let me pretend I’m a healthy eater. I also had a big piece of chocolate chip banana bread (antioxidants, potassium). So healthy, so purrfect.
I slept horribly last night thanks to pre-race jitters. I got up at 5:30 to the tune of thunder and pouring rain. Had some coffee plus half a bagel with peanut butter and headed out the door a little before 7 after refreshing the Statesman 10K Facebook page a million times to make sure the race was still on.
Thankfully, the rain eased up and stayed that way for the rest of the morning. The Gentleman lent me his City Hall parking pass, which guaranteed me a free parking space close to the start line. Amazing. I warmed up with about 1.5 miles of easy jogging and headed to my pace area…which was the seeded corral at the very front?! Apparently a yellow bib means that you’re a seeded runner. I was so confused by this and even told one of the volunteers that I would not under any circumstance be running a 5:00 min/mile pace. He rolled his eyes, ushered me into the corral, and told me to just run at my own pace.
The course is hilly at the beginning, so my plan was to keep the first 3 miles between 7:30-7:45 and then drop down to 7:15-7:20. However, while waiting for the race to start I struck up a conversation with a guy who was running this race for the TWENTY FOURTH time and who advised me to be more aggressive than that. This ended up being really great advice. Rich–in the rare event that you read this–thanks so much!
Mile 1: 7:28 (gradual uphill)
Mile 2: 7:26 (rolling hills)
Mile 3: 7:30 (loooong uphill)
Mile 4: 7:08 (hello downhill!)
Mile 5: 7:04 (wheeeee!)
Mile 6: 7:15 (feeling tired…)
Last .26: 6:26 pace (WHEN WILL IT END?!?!?!)
Finish time: 45:34 (7:20 pace), good for a PR of nearly a minute and a half!
I cooled down with approximately 3 miles along the lake (“What, the race wasn’t enough for ya?!” –Random woman on the trail). Drove home, stretched + foam rolled, showered, and devoured some of these beauties.
I think doing 10K-focused workouts for the last few weeks (vs. just using the 10K race as part of half marathon training) really paid off. I did the 2 or 3 x 800m/1600m @ 5K/10K pace sets a bunch of times and the 10K pace miles felt really doable after running hard(er). I wish I could have held onto a sub-7:10 pace for the 6th mile and had a better finishing kick but honestly, it would have been a lot uglier if I hadn’t done some faster repeats like I did on Friday.
Looooong story short, I’m certainly not going to be setting any land speed records but I’m pleased with where my training got me. Hopefully I will remember this the next time I have an early morning track workout on my schedule.
Speaking of which, here is my tentative schedule for the next week…and it doesn’t have any track workouts. I am currently signed up for the Austin 10/20 10 mile race on Sunday, so I’m going to be taking it a little easy this week. If all goes well I think I can pull off another PR!
Monday, 4/7: 4 miles easy
Tuesday, 4/8: 6 miles easy
Wednesday, 4/9: REST (I have to be at work super early. Maybe I will do an evening yoga class if I feel like it.)
Thursday, 4/10: 30 minute tempo @ 10 mile race pace
Friday, 4/11: REST
Saturday, 4/12: 5 miles easy
Sunday, 4/13: 10 mile race
Now I’m off to drink some chamomile tea and head to bed. Waking up at 5:30 on a Sunday is just wrong.