I ran a local 10k this Saturday, and was looking for some proof of improvement over last year when I ran the same race in 46:25. With temperatures in the mid 70’s and humidity at 95%, this race was a pure sweat fest. At least the sun was covered up by cloud cover. Be thankful for little favors. The course is the usual rolling hills on back country roads, an out and back with a downhill finish. There were about 200 runners up for this early Saturday outing.
The local speedsters went out fast, I laid a little back around 40-50th place. With my Garmin busted and without a spare watch I had to just go by feel. Running at what felt like a 7:45 pace, I see sawed with a half dozen runners towards the turning point. The lead runners were on their way back, looking strong and fast. I counted them as they passed, each successive runner looking a little slower, a little less fresh. I reached the turning point in 38th place and I knew I had some in the tank to gain a few places. I was hoping for a split time at the half, but no, I was going to run blind the whole way in. No worries.
I pushed the pace towards 7 minute miles shortly after the turn. At least that’s what I thought I was running. Picking off one runner after another, some more stubborn than others. The last mile I turned it up another notch at what felt like an all out sprint. At the final downhill towards the finish I could see the time on the finishing clock. It was just passing the 45 minute mark. I had a little sinking feeling at this point, thinking I was on schedule for a 44 and change race. Well, no luck. I ended with a time of 45:29, and 29th place overall.
One minute faster than last year, it’s an improvement, but a little less than I was hoping for. At this rate I’ll never reach a sub 40 minute 10k, which means a sub 3 hour marathon is going to be very tough indeed.
I felt I was lacking some speed in my legs. Considering this is the fastest I’ve run since last year’s race, and that I don’t ever do speed workouts, I think it’s holding me back a little on these shorter races. My muscles are just not used to high turnover and the push-off needed. I even got a blister under my big toe. I can run for hours and hours in training or for a 50k and all without getting blisters. But change my gait a little for some faster running, and I get blisters…
the plan from here
Having said that, I still improved, even without any speed work. My body felt good, no pains. My aerobic engine is getting stronger, although not as fast as I was hoping. At no point in the race did I feel out of control. Running without a GPS watch was surprisingly easy. I kept a good pace and negative split. I felt physically better at the finish than last year, and I feel like I’ll recover much faster as well.
I’m still sticking to the plan. I’ll be doing my 6th MAF test here shortly and I’ll take it from there. I may deviate from the purist base building and introduce one speed session per week in the fall. Especially if I’m not improving as much as I want.
It’s the day after and I put in 19 miles running through town. So much for taking it easy the day after a race. Seems my body can handle it though. Got caught in a storm, my Google Glass got a little wet and is now recovering (I hope)