Friday, March 23, 2012

Thinking Ahead to the 10K

After a lot of preparation - maybe not enough, but a lot all the same - the Shamrock Half Marathon at Virginia Beach is in my rear view mirror. Just ahead, just around the bend, is the Monument Avenue 10K. It is my eighth time participating in this run, but for the first time, I am coming into it from the standpoint of having already completed a much longer event. So it gives me a unique opportunity to look on this 10K as a short race, and see where that leads.

My PR was set three years ago, at a time when I was less than a month away from running the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. So I was used to longer runs, as I am now. But this time, I have the added advantage of having completed a half-marathon just five days ago. I hope that will give me a psychological edge of treating the 10K differently. I'll still respect it - hell, 10K is a long way to run, a distance that frankly I doubt the majority of Americans could do - but I am going into this race thinking PR!

Nearly two weeks ago, I used my last pre-Shamrock training run of 6.3 miles in 68 minutes to use basic math, with some assumptions, and compute my running pace. Who needs a fancy GPS when you have a stopwatch and math? And from that, I have calculated that if I change my run / walk splits to 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking, I can attain a PR of less than 63 minutes. For the half marathon, I basically ran 1.5 minutes and walked 1 minute, so this is a dramatic change almost overnight. But to make it less dramatic, I will try this in a training run this weekend: run 2.5 minutes and walk just half a minute. If I can handle that for say 4 miles, I am going to think I can for 2 more miles next Saturday. I think I can handle this, because for most of my training the last couple of months, I was running 2.5 and walking 1.5 minutes. This got really tiring after about 6 or 7 miles, but with a 10K, that is not an issue.

Time will tell if my strategy will work. I've not run all week, so anything might feel like a lot. But that is my plan, and I'll see if I can make it work and go for a 10K PR on the 31st. It would be a great way to celebrate 10 years surviving cancer once again!

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