Well at least I hoped I could because this morning I had a 10k/5k double to deal with. One gift I appreciated was the perfect 10k weather. It was not too cold for shorts, but cold enough to make me feel like I needed a tank top rather than just a sports bra, at least for the pre-race ambling about.
I was a little nervous about this double. I am sure the only reason it went as well as it did was because I ran only 4 miles yesterday, due to the sore throat.
I was clearly lacking focus since somehow I ended up in the starting corral without running a single step to warm up. Time got away from me as I chatted with people (Big Congrats to Stephen B for his 50k/10k back-to-back races!). I also waited a bit on the bathroom line, then caught up with friends, before I wandered over towards the start to see many already in the starting corral. I guess I was still in 24 hour race mode, where conserving energy prior to the race is my focus rather than warming up.
I lined up next to Mark W. and he asked if I had a goal today. I told him what I pretty much say before every race when asked that question... that I am not sure what I can do today, but I will go out trying to set a good pace, in this case I said I would aim for about 7:00 pace, and if I feel good I will try to pick it up and if not then I will back off. I explained that I just haven't felt great lately and this is my "rest" period until the fall when I hope to be in better racing shape again.
Gun goes off:
I saw Jim O. lined up just a few people over from me in the starting corral. As soon as we were off he was gone!, This race was quite large for a local race, with 1202 racers, but had no organization to the starting corral. Joggers were up front, fast people in the back. This was really not a big deal at all except the start was just a big bottle next for a bit until we got sorted out. I tried to wait for it to open up, but I was boxed in too badly. I had to weave just to get on pace if I wanted a short to try to catch up to Jim. I was hoping we would run some together. As a result, I went out a little faster than I thought I would, even with some up hills in this mile. M1 - 6:45
|Ben, Karl, and Me in the early part of the 10k|
By mile 4 I started to feel everything falling apart. My only consolation was that we did hit some ups again, all though these were not mountains. The hills were just big enough to impact my pace, but they could have easily been tackled with greater ease by person much less whiny than myself. ;)
By this point, I was slowly making up ground on Jim. I wanted to get up with him, but I just could not find the strength to push harder without risking falling apart. I felt I was already red-lining a bit and any more effort would be the end of me. I was working so hard, despite the mile splits, that Jim could hear my crazy asthma noises and knew it was me before I was even near by! M4- 7:04, M5 - 7:00
At some point into our 6th mile I finally finally caught up with Jim. I had a female right on my butt who was leap frogging with me for the last many minutes. I had finally pulled ahead and I wanted to keep that. I hoped Jim would come with me. He encouraged me to go for it and to finish strong. When we hit the decline I started to find my legs again. It felt good to open up the pace and I could feel just a bit of space being put between me and my competition, which could mean I was pulling away or she was sitting, and timing a kick to blow past me. M6 - 6:31
I wasn't about to look back to see, but rather I decided to use the only defense there is against a "sit and kick" strategy and that is to kick first. If I pull away sooner, then that makes it a lot harder to be caught and overcome before the finish. So I kick. It does not help matters that the last .2 contains an uphill finish. I manage to make it to the finish with my competition finishing 4 seconds behind. Last .2 = 1:21 (6:06 pace).
I worked so hard for that finished. Trying to catch my breath quickly turned into coughing and that turned into dry heaves. While trying to not puke in public, again, I was happy to see Jim had finished as well! (Running a PR! Go Jim!).
Time: 42:07 (6:47 pace)
The last time I attempted a double it worked out well. I ended up running pretty much the exact same pace for both races! Part of me wanted to do this again. The other part of me wasn't sure what I could do. However, I knew I was going to do what I usually do, which is to go out at a good pace and adjust as I go along.
Back in the corral, with Jim, Ben, and Karl again with Ann K behind us in the pack, we all were running the 10k/5k double (along with many others). We were peppered amongst a sea of fresh-legged 5k'ers. For some reason I still thought I had a shot to run for a good place in the 5k. The start was about 1 hour after I finished the 10k. I was tired but not feeling horrible. The 5k seemed so short in comparison to the 10k. And the 10k was a 700 pts race attracting the faster runners.
Gun goes off
And Ben and Karl are gone. Ben is a fast 5k'er so I don't see him again. I do manage to catch up to Karl and hang with him. My legs feel like they are rebelling. I feel like I am running in quicksand. I look around and can't believe how many fast ladies are in this race. I try to hang. M1 - 6:38
|Finishing up the 5k.|
Mile 3 starts off feeling like a death march. I just keep pushing forward, hoping to not see to much more of a fade in the pace, but then we start a decline and again I find my legs. I feel like finally things are starting to loosen up and I push. There are women near me but I cant take them. I catch up to Karl once more, but it took a tremendous amount of work. He mentioned that I may be able to take this one (btw him and I) but tell him I am not so sure. I know I am fighting to stay on pace. He pulls ahead. M3-6:45
However, although Karl is ahead of me, when he kicked I kicked. I had no chance of catching him, but I felt inspired. I ran as fast as I could, so glad the double was about to be over and so glad I did it! Last .11 = 38.8 second (5:53 pace).
Time: 21:04 (6:47)
After the 5k ended, I looked at my average pace and realized that I had actually managed to do it again, to run the same pace in both races!