So quite literally I decided yesterday to run the Brentwood 10K Run instead of a longish trail run. While I do have another 50 miler coming up, it's not until mid-July and next weekend I will be running the San Diego RnR 1/2 Marathon (where I am attempting to PR). So I thought a 10K might be more appropriate.
The route is a double loop down the rolling, wide streets of the famous San Vicente Blvd. I parked a few blocks away about 15 minutes before the gun, so I used that time to warm up on my shuffle to the start. After saying hello to a couple of people, I positioned myself in the crowd probably about 15-20 yards from the start and right around 7:30am, we were off!
After the usual dodging and weaving near the start, I finally broke free from the main herd and focused on running an even-paced 1st 5K and attempt to pick it up and negative split the 2nd half. I seriously don't know how to run these things and figured that was a good a plan as any. That was the plan anyway.
Mile 1 - 7:05
Mile 2 - 7:09
Mile 3 - 7:08
After making the turn to go out for the 2nd 5K loop, I was started to fatigue. My breathing, which was fairly easy for the initial 5K was now more rapid and shallow. My effort definitely dropped here and while I never focused on pace, I knew intuitively it had slowed some. A whole barrage of 'fight words' crossed my head but nothing really seemed to work. So instead, I just kept focus on form and breathing. I did some picking off and was never really passed myself until around the last .2 miles. When I saw the 5 mile mark, I picked up the intensity with the needle already red-lined.
Mile 4 - 7:22
Mile 5 - 7:21
Mile 6 - 7:08
Thankfully and mercifully, the race came to an end and when I stopped my Garmin, I was pleasantly surprised at my time of 44:50 knowing my PR was somewhere in the 44:XX (looked it up later and saw that it was 44:42 - 8 seconds! Rats!).
Giving my little medal a kiss post-race.
These races will never be my thing as I was never blessed with speed, but the mental fortitude that comes from being able to push yourself when every part of your body is screaming to stop is something I can look back and reflect positively on. In other words, I left it all out there.
I'm sure if I actually bothered to do speed work in my workouts, I'd net better results. But right now, I enjoy running for the sake of running and these races are always a good excuse to meet up with friends and do some hard breathing for as long as you're out there.