Friday, April 29, 2011

Get in Gear 10K Race Preview

Have you ever had one of those workouts where you wish you could harness your performance, put it in a bottle and drink it before a race?  Last week, I had that type of workout.  I had recently been getting over a nagging knee injury.  It wasn't serious; just a bit of a pain in the butt (er...knee).  The result was that I hadn't really done any hard-core running for the last couple of weeks. 

Anyway,  last Saturday, I left the house for a tempo run.  For those of you not in-the-know, tempo workouts are used to increase your speed over longer distances.  For example, one may run a 5K at their 10K race pace, or a 10K at their 1/2 marathon pace.  In my case, I wanted to get in a solid 5-6 miles to prepare me for the Get in Gear 10K

Well, I took off on my run and, after a little complaining from my legs ( we HAVE to run today?  The couch was SOOOO comfortable) I was able to find a nice, steady pace.  I felt great, and everything seemed to be clicking.  When my Garmin chimed in at the first mile at 8:15 I was pretty surprised.  That's the fastest mile I've run since the downhill portion of the Chaska Tri last year

I still felt fresh, so I tried to keep the pace the same for miles 2 and 3.  They clocked in at 8:05 and 8:02.  Mile 4 was 7:47, but that was mostly downhill, so I was cheating a little.  Mile 5 was flatter, and I managed an 8:11.  I was starting to really feel it at this point, but was able to push through the last .62 miles at a 7:44/mile pace.  So, I covered 5.62 miles in 45:08.  That's an average of 8:01 per mile.  Holy Cats!

So, that brings me to the preview of the Get in Gear 10K race this Saturday.  I'd love to have a repeat performance and finish with splits at or below 8:00 per mile.  That would mean breaking 50:00.  So, that'll be my lofty goal tomorrow.

The course is flat.  Like, pancake flat.  The only real hills to speak of are to get on to and off of the bridges over the Mississippi.  So, if I fall short of my goal, I can't exactly blame the killer hills.

The weather is supposed to be in the low 50s tomorrow morning, which is right in my wheelhouse for fast runs.  Unfortunately, it's also supposed to be rainy.  I don't mind running in the rain too much.  It's standing in the rain waiting for the race to start that can be a pain.  Of course, hopefully I'll be working hard enough so that I'll be worried more about my achy legs and less about getting a little soggy.

One other thing to keep in mind is that this could potentially be a very crowded race.  Last year, it took more than 20 minutes for the 10K runners to cross the start line.  I'm hoping to start far enough back in the pack that I won't get trampled by the real runners - you know, the folks averaging under 6:00/mile.  Then again, I don't want to start so far back that I have to weave through the crowd for 6+ miles.

So, lets recap:

Super-Lofty Goal: Break 50:00
Not-Quite-As-Lofty-But-Still-Pleased Goal: 51:30
"Meh." Goal: 52:30

I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how it went. 

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