Saturday, February 14, 2009

14 out of 114 on February 14

As you may have guessed from my previous blog, I ultimately decided against running the "Last Chance for Boston" Marathon. I wasn't confident that I could PR (although there was a decent chance that I could have), and it took three weeks for my hip to fully recover from the marathon. Here is what my training has looked like since the marathon:

Week of January 19: 20 miles (all slower than 9:45)
Week of January 26: 25 miles (all slower than 9:30)
Week of February 2: 35 miles (all slower than 9:20)

I didn't do any speedwork for those three weeks, and my first speed workout was on Tuesday of this week, which was 10 miles, with 3 at tempo pace. I did this on a treadmill at a resort in the Bahamas!

Before I even ran the marathon, I had registered for a the George Washington Birthday 10K on February 14. I figured that four weeks post-marathon would be a good time to gauge my fitness before jumping full force into marathon training again. Seeing as how I wasn't going to run "Last Chance for Boston" and that I felt fully recovered from the marathon, I figured I would go ahead and do the 10K.

The weather was perfect. Upper 30's and sunny. I actually got hot in my long-sleeved lightweight shirt. I thought to myself that it was perfect marathon weather! I got to the race, warmed up for just over a mile, and then lined up at the start line. I didn't expect to PR (49:23) considering that I hadn't been doing any speedwork in over a month, but I was hoping for a sub-50:00 just to prove to myself that I wasn't completely out of shape.

I passed the first mile marker in 7:48. Perfect! I really wanted to just hold that pace and continue on for a PR. But things got tough as the race was a lot hillier than I expected. And very curvy with lots of sharp turns. I passed the next mile marker at 8:07, which I couldn't understand. It didn't feel like I had slowed down, so I told myself to speed up but not too much.

The race thinned out and I focused on keeping up with two runners just in front of me. We kept passing each other back and forth. I passed the 4th mile in 9:07, which I knew had to be a mistake. Unlike in past races where I really let this mess me up, I just kept going and told myself that the mile marker was off-- I wasn't that slow.

Just before the finish line, we had to run over a bridge. A long uphill followed by a long downhill. I got passed by a few runners on this uphill, but I maintained my pace. I glanced at my watch and realized that I wouldn't PR, and that my time would probably be 50:xx. Knowing this, I didn't give the final kick that I could have, and just coasted down the hill and maintained my pace up until the finish. I just didn't see a need to push the pace at the end when I knew I wasn't going to PR.

I crossed the finish line with a watch time of 50:48. I was kind of bummed about this, but I didn't beat up on myself too much. I then heard people talking about the course being too long. That actually made sense to me because mile 4 was 9:07, and mile 5 was 7:58, so it's not like mile 5 was shorter than it should have been. Within minutes, the announcer came on and said that the course was too long. He said it was 6.4 miles. I was relieved because that meant that I definitely met my goal of sub-50:00. But then I got sort of mad because I realized I might have been able to PR. If I hadn't been so far off the PR, I would have given it the final kick and probably PRed by just a few seconds.

Now the race results are posted online and it says "Today's event was measured at 6.4 miles. Pace has been calculated at 6.4 miles." All that's listed is my gun time of 50:57 and then my pace of 7:58.

Now my only question is. . . is the adjusted 7:58 pace based off of my gun time or my chip time? This matters to me because if it's gun time, then it would not have been a PR. It would have been a 49:30. If it's chip time, then it would have been a PR by a few seconds. The 10K is my weakest distance, so even a PR by one second is a huge deal!

Based on my 5K and half marathon times from the fall, I should be able to easily break 49:00 in a 10K, but for some reason, I just can't seem to do it!

I placed 14 out of 114 in my age group
I placed 201 out of 659 total runners

According to Mike (Crazy Legs), I was the first finisher with headphones! It was a nice surprise to see Mike and Katharine (Freaky McRunner) after the race. I didn't know ahead of time that they would be there.

I guess the main takeaway from this race is that I did get a good tempo run in, and I have confirmed that I haven't lost much speed in the past four weeks of light training. I ran an extra 5 miles after the race for a total of 12.7 miles for the day.


  1. Congrats on the 10K PR! That is awesome. I hope your trip to the Bahamas was nice and relaxing after all your hard training. Do you have any other races coming up before the NJM?

  2. Hi Randi! I am running the Shamrock half marathon on March 22, and the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on April 5. I know I should really only do one of those but I love them both.