Updated: Feb 10, 2019
Today's 10k was the second race of the SLC Winter Series. This relatively flat, out-and-back race was fun, fast and cold.
This time I went out with no expectations. During the 5k, I completely psyched myself out and didn't even come close to what I hoped for. So with the 10k I decided to bring my phone and headphones, turn on some jams and see what happened.
The first mile felt good, just below the cusp of pain. So, just right. It came out to a 6:15. Hmmm...faster than I expected. So I decided to keep my cadence and see what I could do.
During mile 2, my pace stuck around 6:25. I was by myself for a bit as the really fast group pulled further ahead of me. Typical situation, where I couldn't quite hang with the big dogs, but stayed ahead of everyone else. On my own as usual.
Gratefully, a female runner with Utah Running Elite and a guy both eventually came up behind me and passed just ahead of me. I decided to stick it out with the female runner, because her pace was good and steady. I stayed behind and next to her off and on through the 5k turn around. I was hoping she would stick it out with me, but I pulled ahead and eventually caught up to the guy from earlier. I kept it steady and passed him.
I stayed ahead with a fair distance for the next two miles around a 6:30 pace. Then at the 5 mile mark he caught back up to me and I could tell that he was kicking it into a another gear to pass ahead of me. So I saw his pace and raised him 10 seconds.
In the past, I would mentally give up in this situation and tell myself to just race yourself, not the competitors, but my last few training runs and speed workouts have been good for me mentally. I knew what I could do. Mile 6 was a 6:20.
Then I could see the tail end of the fast group ahead. The last guy was about two tenths of a mile ahead of me coming up to the last 0.2 of the 10k. So I cranked it up to catch him. I narrowed the gap to about a tenth of a mile as he went through the finish. Then I noticed that I was cutting it close to finishing under 40 minutes. I pushed even harder. I didn't want to hit 40 at all and I especially didnt want to be even one second over 40.
I ran that last 0.2 at a 5:30 pace and clocked in through the finish at 39:58.8 chip time and 39:59.9 gun time--yababy--and 3rd place in my age group!
Shout out to our friend Alli and my wife too for getting 1 and 2 in their age group and 4 and 5 overall for women today!
This was the first time that I can recall ever semi-dry heaving at the end of a race, haha. More to come I'm sure. That means I'm really starting figuring out this distance running/racing thing better.
Although I have been running for awhile now, I grew up a sprinter. I only knew going all out in a race for a short time. Full speed and no let up. Distance running always scared me. So, I have never really mentally pushed my limits in the short distances, like 5k's and 10k's. I've been too scared and unsure how to judge my pace and effort.
However, since incorporating speed workouts the last month or so, my mentality has changed to more confidence--not cowering to the pain or the thought of burn out--because I now have an idea of how much I can push myself and for how long.
My average heart rate was 168, so I know I pushed myself much more than the 5k...but I think I still have more in the tank. Today's approach was a good test and indicator of what I'm capable of in a distance race. I'm stoked for more with my speed workouts and the 15k in two weeks!
ABOUT THE AVERAGE JOE RUNNER
Well, his real name is actually Dave...but "The Average Joe Runner" seemed like a catchy name for a blog. Born a sprinter, but converted to distance running in adulthood, Dave has run for more than 25 years. He is the father of four awesome kids and the husband to one amazingly talented, smart and fast-running wife.
The Average Joe Runner blog and website was born after Dave continued to get questions from friends and family alike for running tips and gear advice. However, this blog is also meant to hear from other Average Joe and Jane Runners out there. You can contribute to the blog by clicking Submit or Request. Follow The Average Joe Runner on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TheAvgJoeRun. Read More