The week leading up to the Expo 10K, I considered a DNS.  After all, I hadn’t trained for the race at all, registration was $5 after coupons/discounts, and I had company coming into town.  Somewhere along the way my mood shifted, and I got excited about the race.  My 10K PR was set during a virtual racealmost 2 years ago. 

 Despite the difficult nature of the course, I knew something disastrous would have to occur to prevent me from setting yet another PR this year.  I decided to go for more ambitious goals.  After Covenant, I decided all my races should be ran sub 9 m/m over all, making this race’s secondary goal averaging a 8:XX pace.  My super-ambitious-probably-not-gonna-happen goal was an 8:30 average for a finishing time of 52:49.

I didn’t really have a race plan, but Daily Mile Joe (one of my teammates) talked to Kelly & I about the course layout.  He said miles 1 & 2 should be the fastest given the downhill portions.  Miles 4 -6 would be hilly, and then we’d end on a nice downhill finish.

I lined up with Kelly, but then made no attempt to keep up with her once the race started.  She’s gotten significantly faster than me, and I didn’t want to wear myself out keeping up with her.  Instead I settled into a comfortably fast pace and enjoyed the rolling first couple of miles.

Mile 1 – 8:39

I tried to focus on strong downhill running in mile 2, in order to maximize pace early on.  Apparently, I did fairly well, given that the mile was a faster pace with no more effort.

Mile 2 – 8:32

The next few miles flattened out.  Since I hadn’t carried my hand held water bottle and the morning was fairly humid (although remarkably cool), I walked through the water stop for a drink.  The 3 mile turn is a sharp 180, followed by a quick left turn, and I know my pace slowed a bit.  Mentally I had to push to quicken my turnover and pick up the pace.

Mile 3 – 8:58

Cool or no, the pollen was evident and really getting to me.  I could smell the honeysuckle in the neighborhood.  My lungs hurt, despite the rest of me feeling good.  I tried to keep pushing, and finally decided to switch on my music for distraction.
 

Mile 4 – 8:45

Leaving the subdivision, racers tackled a pretty steep incline heading towards the freeway. 

 
Mile 5 – 9:29

Thankfully the first portion of the next mile was flat/downhill and I once again was able to get my momentum going.  I pushed up the long/steep hill heading towards the finish.  I just kept reminding myself the end was just around the corner.  Once again my energy level felt good, but my lungs were on fire.

Mile 6 – 9:04

One final bump up, then it was a downhill finish.  I felt incredible as I crossed the finish line.  Gotta love getting a little extra help for the final kick from the terrain.

Mile 0.2 – {8:00}
 
 

According to my watch, I averaged an 8:54 more than meeting 2 of the 3 of my goals.

Garmin time: 55:16
Chip time: 55:19

Age group: 16/36
Overall: 239/463

I am excited to have a marker set for this distance.  Perfect timing to train for another 10K in a couple of months.  It’ll be another hilly course, and most likely very hot/humid.  Even still, I’m hoping for yet another PR at the distance.
Advertisements