Sunday, April 10, 2011

Race Report: Scotland Run 10k

I'd been dreading this race since I signed up for it. I've developed a distaste for the shorter races, especially 10k's. Of all race distances, they seem to hurt the most. Additionally, I've been mired in a running funk of self-doubt and I had not raced a 10k since last year's Scotland Run. To relieve some pressure, I decided to treat this as a baseline race for the year. It would be a reflection of the cross-training and the treadmill intervals I've done this brutal winter.

It was great Scottish weather today. Warmed up jogging lightly to the bag check, and when I couldn't find my colleagues, I decided to do something different. Instead of going directly to the corral, I did some warm up hill repeats on the bridle path to get my heart rate up. I thought it might be good to get my heart rate up before the race so I could settle into pace easier.

I headed to the corral, stretched for a little bit, then waited a couple of minutes for the race to start. I was placed in the second corral this year so when the race started, I did quite a bit of dodging and weaving.

My Garmin splits for the race were as follows:

Mile 1: 6:39
Mile 2: 6:34
Mile 3: 6:26
Mile 4: 6:45 - Bottom of Harlem Hill to Engineer's Gate, hardest stretch on the course.
Mile 5: 6:31
Mile 6: 6:37
.31: 1:56
41:32 Unofficial

My official finish time was 41:28. Woohoo! A PR by 19s. I'll take it. Completely unexpected. I remember feeling like I was going to fall apart after 4 miles, and at the same time trying to outrun a loud and heavy breather who, just by being around me, was draining me. Luckily he faded back. And the one thing I can't forget today - I was outkicked by a girl the last 10 meters. She came out of nowhere and I didn't have time to react.

After the race, I brunched with some friends and colleagues, one of them a first time NYRR racer. Whole wheat pancakes with strawberries and pecans. No syrup for this (mostly) sugar-free month.

Lessons learned today:
- age hasn't quite caught up with me yet as I've feared
- strength, speed and stretching training works for me as an alternative to lots of miles
- raising the heart rate before the race helped to settle into a pace quicker
- I think I can get faster


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