What can I say? I’m officially addicted to PRs! For the 3rd time in as many months, I’ve set a new PR. In February, it was the 5K. In March, I set a new half marathon PR. And today, I have a new 10K PR! Can you really blame me though? I mean, what’s more satisfying than setting a goal, working hard to achieve it, and then taking care of business (as Elvis would’ve said)?
Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders, a local running club, puts on a 5K/10K race every 4th Sunday of the month. The registration is cheap, the field is small, and the feeling of community is abundant. Plus, the start line is within walking distance and the races start at 9am, both of which are major bonuses. When the Gypsy Runner said he wanted to run the April LMJS 4th Sunday race, I figured that I’d sign up for the 5K and take it easy. But then, as I compiled the data from past races, I realized that I’ve only run two 10K’s, and that my 10K PR was set at my very first 10K race in 2003! I actually have very fond memories of that race, but I knew I could run faster than 1:01:52 (9:57/mile). So, I decided to go for a new PR. Knowing that I just ran a half marathon with a 9:36 pace, I set my target for 59:00 (9:30/mile). This past week, I focused on training specifically for this race and also on building confidence, which I find is a major weak spot for me.
I woke up this morning pretty well-rested. We ate breakfast (toast and a banana), got dressed, and walked over to the start line (ah, it’s awesome to be able to walk to races!). Since it was hot yesterday (highs in the mid-80s), I was a bit worried about overheating and opted to go sleeveless. We met up with AW, BD, and SA. Everyone except for me was running the 5K, which started 2 minutes before the 10K. So I wished everyone good luck and then they were off! More on the Gypsy Runner’s performance later… I know, the suspense is killer!
Here’s the mile-by-mile breakdown of my race:
Mile 1 (9:33): Started off a little too quickly. My plan was to start at a very comfortable pace (9:45) and run negative splits. But I couldn’t help but get caught up in it all. I felt good though, so that was all that mattered.
Mile 2 (9:35): So here, I think I started to kick myself for starting too fast. I actively slowed down and then I felt a little sluggish.
Mile 3 (9:22): I finally started to hit my stride in this mile. I felt good finishing the first lap around the lake (the 10K race is 2 laps).
Mile 4 (9:16): Despite my mishandling of water at the rest station, where I wasted time and messed up my rhythm, this was my fastest mile.
Mile 5 (9:29): Not sure why I slowed down so much during this mile. Perhaps the previous fast-ish mile caught up to me, or perhaps the feeling of running by myself dragged me down mentally. (By this point in the race, all of the 10K runners are spread out around the Lake. Since it’s not a closed course, it’s impossible to tell who’s actually racing.)
Mile 6 (9:24): I started battling fatigue and kept having to tell myself that I wasn’t that tired and that the race would be over soon. Luckily, I found a 10K runner ahead of me who seemed like the perfect target. I caught up to her with 0.5 miles to go and then I passed a couple of older gentlemen in their 60’s. Those guys were really hustling!
Last 0.2 (8:01/mile pace): With the finish line around the bend, I started sprinting. I think I picked just the right moment to start hauling butt — not too soon and not too late.
Overall, I feel like I ran a bit inconsistently and too conservatively. I think I could’ve finished at least 20-30 seconds faster if my pacing was better. I was afraid to go too fast in the beginning, but I should’ve used momentum to my advantage. Anyway, none of that really matters now. What’s important is that not only did I set a new PR by over 3 minutes, but I also beat my target time by 20 seconds. Woot!!
As if all of that wasn’t exciting enough, the Gypsy Runner WON the 5K! Yes, that’s right — my boyfriend is a champion runner. His time: 19:39 (6:20/mile). Amazing!! I am so proud.
Wait, and that’s not all! AW was the 2nd place female finisher in the 5K, and BD, SA, and I all placed in our age groups. I was shocked to come in 2nd in my age group, but I just found out there were only 3 ladies in my age bracket. Oh well, who cares? I’ll take it!
Official data: 58:40, 6.2 miles, 9:27/mile.
(Garmin data: 58:42, 6.26 miles, 9:23/mile.)