Against my better judgment, I did sign up for Get in Gear, even though I basically felt terrible all of last week. In addition to feeling terrible, the weather looked terrible too with the forecast calling for 40-45 degrees and rain. Throw a $38 entry fee on top of that and I had all intentions of not racing. But like I said in my last post, I was curious to see where I stood compared to my Human Race performance. In the years I’ve run both events, I typically try to shoot for holding my 8K pace from Human Race for the 10K of Get in Gear. That means I needed to run around 41:30 or roughly 6:40 pace. Remember, since Human Race I pretty much replaced all speed workouts with hill workouts and lots of trail running.
At the line, I tried to move behind all the people I recognized. I thought I was in a pretty good position, although the gal right in front of me was wearing yoga pants, headphone and a hooded sweatshirt. Anyway, I didn’t think I was too far back. Then when the gun went off I was amazed at the number of people that were in front of me. No worries, I just went with the flow. After about 2 minutes I finally started to recognize some friends just up ahead of me, so I figured I was in a good spot. Mile 1 came and went in 6:32 and I was pleased with that. I felt comfortable so I stayed where I was at and hit mile 2 in 6:34. Mile 3 goes over the Mississippi River, so there’s a little climb. I knew it’d be slow, so I didn’t even look at my watch. Later I learned I ran 6:45 for that mile.
I passed halfway in 20:35. Of course, that’s 41:10 pace, so I’m ahead of my goal. With the St. Thomas hill coming up and what I thought would be a second half headwind, I figured I was still on pace for 41:30. Once I recovered from the St. Thomas hill I started to race more, instead of just going through the motions. I started working with the people around me and trying to catch the people ahead of us. This lead to a 6:39 mile 4th mile, followed by a 6:33 5th mile. Some quick math revealed that my 8K time was about 35 seconds faster than my Human Race time.
I was still feeling good and trying to reel in some familiar faces ahead during the last mile which was my fastest of the day in 6:27. I closed in 1:19 for a final time of 40:52. That means I ran 8 seconds faster than Human Race for 2K more. Of course, I have to keep in mind that it was 75 and windy at Human Race, so it’s a little difficult to compare.
I was thinking back and it’s probably been 20 years since I ran slower than 40 minutes for 10K. However, given where I was a month ago, and how I felt last week, I’ll take it.
Today I closed the books on April with 225 miles. Not great, not terrible. The problem I’ve had the last 2 months is that I can’t close out the month. After 3 solid weeks of training, I plan on a cutback week. However, instead of cutting back to 45 – 50 miles, I’ve been cutting back to 30 - 35 miles. Maybe that’s what my body is craving at that point of the training cycle.
Up next in May: New Prague Half Marathon and the Brian Kraft 5K.