Yesterday was the second time I ran since the Javelina 100K. My first run was an easy 4.2 mile loop in the foothills behind my house at an 11:50 minute per mile pace. Yesterday I headed out for a 10.3 mile run and ended up with an 8:58 minute per mile pace, pretty good but a far cry from what I needed and I just didn’t think my legs had a 10K PR in them.
This morning it was nice and cool and having run the course before I knew it was a pancake flat double loop lollypop-shaped course. The GeekGrl and I showed up about 40 minutes early so I headed out for a couple easy miles to warm up, as I told the GeekGrl, “Just in case I decided to go for it.”
The race started promptly at 9:00 a.m. and I took off at what felt like a pretty comfortable pace. After a couple blocks I looked at my Garmin and I was running a 6:40 pace. I knew I needed to slow down immediately but I was really glad that I could actually move my legs fast enough to hit that pace. After I slowed a bit the small lead group continued to pull ahead then there was a small group of three and then there was me running alone ahead of a small string of people followed by the main pack.
I was running hard but smooth and when the first mile passed and I was at a 7:03 pace I knew I was going to try and hold on for a PR. I knew that a 7:03 pace would crush my 10K PR so I slowed a little bit more thinking that it was more likely that I would blow apart at that pace than actually crush my PR. I ran mile two in 7:15 and was starting to breathe a little too hard for that early in the race so I backed off just a little bit more and ran mile three in 7:24.
I thought that I had found a pace that I could hold that I would beat my PR but when I hit mile four I had dropped to a 7:30 pace and was starting to hurt. Mile five was a real struggle and by the end I had dropped to a 7:38 pace. Now overall I was still under my PR pace but I was starting to worry that I would miss it by a few seconds, something I did not want to do. I could not tell if I had sped up or not but I do know that I increased the pain I was feeling trying to speed up or at least hang on.
By the end of mile six I was rewarded with a 7:30 pace. Just .2 miles left and I was really struggling to avoid slowing down. There were a couple people finishing up the 5K that was going on at the same time and they were sprinting to the finish so I tried to pass them. Finally I was across the finish line in 45:25, a new 10K PR! My old 10K PR was 47:14 and has stood since November 2007. I also ended up winning second place in my age group. Love those local races!