It was a good news/bad news story for the race today. The good news is that I was pleased with my time, knocking more than four minutes off my personal best (such as it was). I must be happy - look at that beaming face in the picture above, courtesy of the Capital City Road Runners club. The bad news is that any training runs in the future at 10k pace will be tougher.
A year ago I ran this as my first race ever, and finished in 57:15. Today I finished it a little more than 10 minutes faster, at 47:11. That's also 4 minutes and 12 seconds faster than my previous 10k, the Cobscook Bay 10k of June 7th.
The weather was perfect today, slightly overcast and about 10° celcius, and this 10k route is about as flat as you can find. With that in mind, I was really thinking I could do better than 48 minutes today.
As per usual, I started way too fast, with my first mile clocking in at 7:18. The second one was also a touch fast, at 7:27. After that, my paces were what I would have expected, with my final overall pace being 7:36 per mile (4:44 per kilometer). For my next 10k - the Dam Run in Perth Andover - I have no idea what the elevation pattern is, but if it's relatively flat in the first mile or two, I'll do my best to control the adrenaline, and see if it helps me out in the last couple of miles.
After the first mile, my heart rate averaged over 93% of max, and I could definitely feel it at times. Around mile 5.3, I actually felt a bit nauseous, and slowed down my pace for just a bit. However, after that I didn't feel bad at all, and kept a steady pace coming down the stretch.
My buddy Drew (subject of a future blog post!) calls me the "most uncompetitive guy he knows". Actually, I may have said that first, and he just repeated it ... but I'm not sure. Well, he would have been proud of me over the last couple of minutes of this race. I heard footsteps gaining on me over the last minute or two, and with about 150 or so yards to the end, a guy drew even with me. I glanced to my right at him, and threw an insult his way. Hopefully he knows I was just kidding around - sort of! Then I said "Wanna race to the finish?", and kicked it into "high gear". I finished a second ahead of him by the clock, although his chip time was a few seconds faster than mine. Here's a picture below of us as we crossed the line.
In the draws for the post-race prizes, I got myself a Saucony t-shirt. Both last year and this year, there have been almost as many prizes as there have been runners. I say "almost", because Faith Ann's name wasn't drawn either year. Last year they even resorted to "Anybody with blue shorts who hasn't got a prize yet, step right up!" Not many people have worse luck than her when it comes to prize draws. I tell her that eventually she'll make up for it and win something big, like an acquaintance of hers from New Zealand who won a trip to the London Marathon.
Speaking of Faith Ann, she continued her amazingly consistent streak of almost identical 10k times. All three of her 10ks have been within just a handful of seconds of each other. It also marks the second race in a row that she had a rough week health-wise leading into it.
Having the 10k today, on a Sunday, interfered with my normal routine of doing my long run on this day. Instead, I plan to leave work a bit early tomorrow, and get in my last 20 mile run before the marathon. That will likely make the week a bit heavy on the mileage side, but this past week my mileage was down. However, the decreased mileage last week may have been timely, since the plantar fasciitis in my right foot has been bothering me lately. I'll monitor it over the next couple of weeks, but to be on the safe side, I may replace the odd recovery run with a bike session. I am looking forward to the taper weeks.
The next race for me is next Sunday, in Saint John in the half marathon of Marathon by the Sea. I am going to try to finish that in 1:45, which would make me quite happy. The weekend after that it's the Dam Run 10k in Perth Andover, two weeks before the PEI marathon. I have some thoughts on that marathon, based on recent over-analyzing past results. There are also some pacers in that race, and I'm debating on whether or not I'll stick with them. More on those thoughts later this week.
Here's a finishing shot of Faith Ann wrapping up her race, giving us the "thumbs up" !