I’ve been trying to find a local 10K to race, but my luck just plain ran out. The weekend’s races are either too far away (3+ hours), or not 10Ks. No matter how hard I think about it, I just can’t convince myself to travel over 100 miles for a race that short.
Fortunately, I have a couple key 10K routes and a GPS watch to guide me, so this morning my roommate and I set out to run a 10K time trial. Racing with Babes definitely helped remind me that Yes, I need to do a 10K this weekend and Yes, I can do one without an official finish line and chip timing.
I was hoping I’d have a big crowd to run with and gun after, but I couldn’t convince any of my training buddies to tag along. They were either out of town, out of motivation, or out too late last night. So, off I went, with a last minute addition of my roommie, who has never ran a 10K before.
We headed to McLain State Park, because I wanted to run a bit on the Canal Run course. The Canal Run is such a sweet and fast 10 mile race, yet every year I seem to get slower and slower (by adding about 30 seconds to my time every year…). Although it’s not a goal race of mine for 2010, it is a week before my first ultra (Voyageur Marathon- 50mile), and I would like to use it as a tune-up and get some speed from my legs- and to see where I am at in mid-July. So, off we went.
We did a short warmup (~12minutes) and I wasn’t sure that was enough. My legs felt a little tight and depleted. Even though it seemed chilly when we got out of the car, after the warmup I was stripped down to shorts and a tee.
3-2-1-, off we go. My roommate hung back from the start, and I was running alone the entire way. I worked on keeping my knees up, ankles relaxed, arms pumping, shoulders relaxed. I started to feel the heavy, humid air around mile 2. At the turnaround, I couldn’t see my running partner, and I started to wonder where he went. No- focus. My breathing is heavy, but I don’t feel like the air is going all the way into my lungs. My eyes get tired, my shoulders start to get higher. I check my form, then get distracted again. I should have passed him by now. 2 miles left, and up the Lily Pond hill, with still no sign of Sam. Where is he? Did he turn early? Must have. Stop thinking about that, Megan. Just focus. I see him ahead with 1.2 miles to go. Pick it up, you’re slowing. Focus on your form. Get moving.
I turn the corner into the park and dig deep, but not deep enough. My watch stops at 42:44 at 6.2miles, and I admit that I’m not satisfied. That was slow, and I know it. But I haven’t been doing intervals for weeks. And I’ve been sick. And I bonked hardcore in two sessions already this week… I try to make excuses but I can’t accept them. No, just deal with it. That’s the time, the watch doesn’t lie. You gotta get faster. So for the first 10K of the season, I’ll take it. That’s a decent benchmark to knock down next time, and hopefully I crush it and boost my confidence.
First mile: 6:42
Second mile: 6:47
Third mile: 6:49
Fourth mile: 6:52
Fifth mile: 7:05
Sixth mile: 7:00
Last 0.2 mi: 1:26