I woke up this morning kinda dreading the departure from my warm bed and out to 30 degrees. I will never EVER get used to the cold. Despite that, I really wanted to get this race underway. My last 10k, and the only 10k I've done (outside of triathlon), was last year's Irongirl Run in Solana Beach at the end of July. I had a great race, running a 40:45, which was solid for me in the middle of Ironman training. Coach basically told me one thing for this run: "40mins or better". OK, cool- that would mean a PR and pain :)
This week has been quite intense...some 2hr rides with hard intervals, weights, 6 days of swimming, and 4 hrs of running. So, I knew if I had a good race today, it would really give me a boost for the season- as it gets underway in the next couple of weeks (YES!!!!)
I did 20mins of warm up with some accels, had my powergel and toed the line. My HR monitor stayed home, and my watch would not be looked at- my plan was simply to go by feel. I've gone out a bit fast the last few races so I would back off at least the first 1/2-1mile and then pick it up to the highest sustainable effort for 10km. I would go hard and if my legs had a sub40 in them they would go there.
At the start line I eyed a girl that I know is a very good runner and without second thought decided to let her pace me. If I discovered I was the stronger runner and could pass her with a pace I could continue to hold, then I would...if not she was my guide- no matter how hard she ran I would run right with her.
The course had to be altered due to the rain/snow/sleet/&*$^#up Dallas weather the last couple of days so it went something weird like this:
out 1 mile, turn around, pass the start/finish, out 1.1miles the other direction, tunr around (that's 5km right there), back past the start/finish, out the first 1 mile way, back to the finish.
The first 2-3min I played conservative and kept her in my sight. Then I picked it up and was right on her feet at the 1mile turn. I continued this way through the entire race. There were about 2 times where I felt that sudden energy/strength and thought of passing her but i didn't want to use this quick burst and blow up/have her pass me back (maybe I should have? I'll never know). So all the while I kept waiitng for the last 1/2 mile to pass.
The whole thing was on dirt/gravel/packed mud with two hills. I felt great- that "great" where it really hurts but realizing what you are accomplishing makes you smile.
At the last tunraround (with 1 mile left) she picked it up. I responded and decided then that I would pass her, I got about an inch from passing her and she took off- by then there was about 1/2 mile left and I had no more bursts in me- so that was that...I came in about 10-15 sec back. 1st AG 2nd overall (this is becoming a pattern- hopefully in triathlon it will be broken and there will be no more 2nds hehe).
This was my best running race so far. I love competing like that and gained a lot from the mental aspect this race took from me.
As I didn't look at the watch, I figured out after finishing we had run a little over 40 but I was still stoked as I am positive on pavement this would have been a PR for me. I ran better than ever before.
Next weekend the St. Patty's sprint will mark the official start of the tri season for me. I'm ready and fired up for 2008 to begin :)