So after the disaster that was the weather of my half marathon I decided I wanted one more shot to have a good race after all the hard work I put in this fall. I didn't think that my workouts were targeted enough for a 5K PR so I found a rare 10K (around here atleast) to run in since it would require more of the endurance that I was tapping into. The Reindeer Run was the winner - it was 3 weeks after the half marathon giving me ample time to recover from first race, get a good hard week of running in and then have a mild taper. It was also the day before I went on vacation which would be a good point to give my legs a good week of rest. Everything seemed like a great idea so I signed up.
I had no clue how big the race would be until the morning of, and even then it was hard to tell because it was run on the same course as the 5K at the same time. At the start of the race it appeared that there were about 200-300 people running, I could be totally off since I was toward the front though. The course was an out and back with a slight detour around the half way mark - 10K ran the course twice. Going in I wasn't crazy about this set up, but it turned out to be a great thing so I could judge how the wind would affect me along the way, and to give me a landmark to put in the final kick on my second lap.
Once again it was a blustery day in Oklahoma - winds about 12mph out of the North, not to bad if it wasn't a bitter cold wind! Thankfully most of the race was run east-west so I only had to deal with the wind in small sections no more then 1/4 mile in length. Right as the gun went off and I went to hit Garmin start, Garmin went to screen saver - so as I'm navigating walkers off the start line I am also trying to restart Garmin...lost about 11 seconds off the overall time in the mess, but worse was that Garmin couldn't find my pace - it was saying I was running a 6:15 pace for awhile, 7:30...finally it settled at about 8:30. That had me messed up on the first half mile because I couldn't figure out how fast to go out. Once I got it settled I was already stuck in an 8:30 pace mode (was shooting for an average of 9:10) so I figured I was in for a long day and a massive bonk at the 5K mark. I worked to pull my pace down slowly so I wouldn't loose too much speed and feel like I was walking. Somewhat successful because I had the best positive splits in a race that I have ever had.
There were a lot of people running around me the entire race, lost about half the field at the 5K turn around so the second half of the race I ran quite a bit on my own, but I was focused so that didn't bother me. Also kept my mind occupied by watching the front runners come back in and watching the walkers and slower people pass. If I hadn't had that to keep me entertained I might have crashed. Some how I managed to push through. In the final mile I finally had to stop at the water stop and take a quick walk break. My pace had been so fast that my legs were turning to jello. This saved my PR I'm sure, if I had kept pushing I wouldn't have made the last mile without slowing to a 10minute pace.
Anyways - this is rambling so I will tie it up...writing a race report 2 weeks later is tough, I just don't remember enough. As you can see on my splits I started out really fast but managed to slow down throughout the miles to keep from crashing. Going into the race I was hoping for a 9:10 pace which would give me about a 3 minute PR. Due to my fast start and being able to push through the pain I ended up with a much bigger PR (about 4 minutes I think). Hopefully with my adjusted training plan for the spring I can pull this into longer races and finally make it through a half marathon without crashing. My secret is in endurance, I don't have the mind set for the longer races so I have to prep better in training.
Mile 1 - 8:36
Mile 2 - 8:47
Mile 3 - 8:58
Mile 4 - 9:04
Mile 5 - 9:05
Mile 6 - 9:17 (walk break and into wind)
.2 - 8:52
Avg - 8:57, overall time 55:41
4 people in my age group finished in the 30 secs before me so I thought I was going to be in 4th place but ended up in 8th, oh well - 30-35 is a really tough age group in our city. I will get there!