07 March 2010


What a beautiful day for a race. I was on my third cup of coffee when I left the house for the race. How did I manage to drink that much coffee before leaving for the race, you ask? Easy, the race was at 2 in the afternoon and the start location was a mere 2 minutes from my house. This was the first time I had the chance to actually think about the meal the morning of a race. I opted for a couple of home-made French toast slices as an early lunch or late breakfast at 11 AM. I usually just eat a banana with a cup of coffee as races normally start between 6 and 9 AM. The sky was clear and sunny and the temperatures were in the mid 50s with no wind to speak of.
This race would also be my fiancee's first 10K race, but you couldn't tell by looking at her. Instead, I was the one with pre-race jitters. I had not been this nervous in a long time. It was probably the result of my PR goal for this race. I was aiming really high, a 6:30 pace. It was unlikely that I could maintain that pace over 6 miles, but I wanted to try. As a backup, I targeted a 6:45 pace, which would still be a PR. I always want to compete, but lining up at the starting line, I quickly realized that the race had some really strong runners participating this year, so a top three age group finished was completely out of my reach. A PR would be my only goal today.
I started the race with a 6:16 first mile and realized that I had come out too hard. However, it was my goal to get out ahead of the main field just behind the lead pack to be able to find my own running rhythm, which would be around 6:30. I settled into a 6:50 pace after the first mile, loosing pace only on the slight inclines of the road. My average heart rate stayed just above 180 for most of the race, but I maxed out at 190 on the final mile of the race. While I did not maintain a 6:30 pace, I only missed my secondary goal pace of 6:45 by one second. As I just heard someone say on a running podcast this week, you should never complain about anything if you managed a PR at a race. I think I am going to make that phrase my own. 12 hour race, here I come. After looking at the official results, I noticed I finished in the top 25, but notop three finish in my age group. That's what I get for being 38. I will do some serious tapering this upcoming week, so I am ready for the Delano Park 12 Hour Race. Tapering is my biggest challenge during any training schedule.

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