This morning was the Carytown 10K, my third race in 14 days. I went in with one goal, and for once it wasn't to beat my friends. It was to run faster than I did in the Monument 10K (53:17). So in an attempt to run "my race", I didn't start with my usual partners in crime. (I did see them about 20 feet in front of me at the start, but I couldn't get their attention). Anyway, I started at what I felt was a "comfortable" pace. I felt good, and I wasn't pushing it. Or so I thought.
I checked the Garmin at mile marker one (the first of about a zillion watch checks - I need to stop doing that.) Back to my point, I was through mile one in 7:58. I should have slowed down right then. I knew I was going out too fast. If this had been a 5K I would have been fine, but a 10K? I knew I was in trouble.
I still felt pretty good through miles three (23:58) and four (31:50). Have you noticed yet that I was averaging 7:58 miles through the first four? Once again, I still knew I was going too fast. But I was on pace not only to beat my previous 10K time, but to go sub-50. (Which I believe both E and C did - you girls rock!) So, instead of letting up, I kept the pace. BAD IDEA!! At about mile 4.5 I hit a wall. I started getting a little lightheaded so I decided to walk. (I ended up walking for a total of three minutes! AHHH! I am so angry at myself!!) The last mile was TORTURE.
But I finished (barely) and was kind of out of it for a good five minutes after the race (lightheaded and dizzy). So what was my time? ... on my watch, 53:28 (and my Garmin said I ran 6.3 miles not 6.2). Either way, basically, I'm bummed. There are several things I could have done differently and easily bettered my time. Not walked, kept an slower (even) pace, or maybe calmed myself down and not gone out so fast. When will I learn? I do the same thing EVERY time!
So I've made a decision (and it's not to break the legs of my friends so that they slow down.) I am going to start running strategically. Here's my plan.
5K's will be "balls to the wall" fast. All out, who cares how fast you go out because it's only three miles. Any races over three miles (which right now for me is the half marathon), I am going to attempt to run even pace, or negative splits. No matter how slow that makes me feel like I am going in the beginning. I know this will make me a stronger racer and I will enjoy racing a heck of a lot more.
So, since the half is my next race (other than the sprint tri, but that's a different story) I've laid out a course of action. I want to run a sub-2:00:00 race, which equates to 9:10 miles. So I will attempt (I say attempt, because who knows if I'll actually be able to do this) to run even pace nine minute miles. Do you think I can do it? Maybe I'll be able to convince someone else to join me in my quest and then they can keep me in check. Any volunteers?