Saturday morning I literally jumped out of bed because I was in such a deep sleep that my alarm scared me awake! Once I calmed down, I had my usual oatmeal and coffee and then headed to the race. I met up with my running buddy who was running the race with me.
After a quick warm up around the block, we headed to the start. I was a little nervous just because I didn't want to go out too fast in this race and then have the final few miles be horrible. Soon enough it was time to start - this was a fairly small race so there were not that many people so the start was not crowded at all.
I had no idea what the course was going to be like because this was my first time running this race and also I had failed to look up the route. My legs wanted to take right off but I pulled them back and started off at my tempo pace like planned. I let the other racers go past me as I stuck with my pace and enjoyed the first few miles when the pace felt good. There were quite a few woman in front of me and I focused on the closest one to catch and then pass. It was a fun game to play while running.
The next few miles flew by and I was already passed the half way point. I was still feeling good so I decided to start picking up the pace a bit. My legs just kept going and going. I was waiting for the feeling of wanting to stop but it never came. I continued on and felt strong the whole race. I ended up running the second half of the race faster than the first. And the second half of the race ended up being faster than my current 5k PR.
Mile 1 - 7:11
Mile 2 - 7:16
Mile 3 - 7:05
Mile 4 - 7:02
Mile 5 - 6:52
Mile 6 - 6:46
Last 0.2 - 6:42 pace
Official Time: 44:06 (7:06 pace) - a new 10k PR by 4 minutes
Age group: 1/18 (first two overall girls were also in my age group - the 25-29 AG around here is stacked!)
Keys to running a strong 10k race:
1. Don't start out too fast - For me, tempo pace was a great pace to start at. I had been training at that pace for a few weeks so I knew what it felt like and I knew I could hold it for at least 3 miles.
2. Run the tangents (aka run in a straight line) - adding on extra distance takes more time and if you are using a garmin, makes you think you are running at a faster pace than you actually are.
3. Stay in the moment - focusing on the person right in front of me helped me to focus just on that and not think about how many miles I had left or how tired I felt.
4. Run on a flat race course - not always in your control, but this race had an excellent course which was flat and beautiful!
Happy Monday and Happy Racing!