Sunday, March 11, 2012

New 10K PB!! (Vitality for Fitness 10K Recap)

As I think I've mentioned, I've found that the Marathon Talk podcast has been invaluable in my marathon training. I love the mix of marathoning news and the interviews that they do with famous runners (current and former), as well as the training advice that always seems to anticipate my latest training crisis. One of the things they've done is to host a spring motivation challenge on their website. In January, we had to say how many runs we were going to do each week and log them. In February, we had to log our number of weekly runs and say in advance how long our long run would be each week. In March, we do those things again, but also have to chose a distance to race and put down a time target that will really push us to run all out.

I have to admit that my OLD 10K PB/PR (the Brits say "personal best," the Americans say "personal record" - I like PB because it makes me thing of peanut butter and Paddington Bear) has never been my favorite. I was annoyed from the moment I set it, because I so desperately wanted to run that race in less than an hour. Just as the sub-30 minute 5K seemed like an important indicator that I was a "real" runner, I NEEDED to get my 10K time down to under an hour. 1:00:42. Stupid 42 seconds. Ugh. Of course, since my last 10K was in December 2010, I've clearly put a lot of effort into bringing down that particular PB.

BUT, this was going to be my month. After a stonking tempo session where I pushed out a 10K in 57:53 (but with water stops where I paused my Garmin, so I didn't actually run this straight through), I took a huge leap and announced to the Marathon Talk community that I was going to do a 10K in 57:30. And then promptly announced that I was very nervous about my chances.

The hardest part, honestly, was finding a 10K that I could actually do! I knew it had to be on one of the weekends when I only (only, she says) had to run 12 miles and after booking a trip to LA for my other "short" long run weekend - it had to be now! Trust me when I say that there aren't very many non-trail 10Ks in the Seattle area right now. Particularly if you don't want to dress up as a leprechaun. After a lot of searching (I miss how always had all of the DC area races), I found that Vitality for Fitness was holding their last race in a three-race series at Seward Park on Sunday and that I could do my 10K. Awesome. Booked the zipcar and off I went.

The race was really great - it was a two lap out and back right on the shore of Lake Washington. Lovely views, but the wind was fierce. I was going to wear my awesome green Brooks PR shirt from the track meet, but ended up switching to a long-sleeved, lined shirt. And my blue Nike capri skirt (with compression sleeves, so it was more like tights, really). The only time the wind was really bad was just as I was closing for home! The first lap was definitely better - there were fewer people to use as rabbits after the 5K-ers finished their races. My miles were 9:18, 9:18, 9:18, 9:26 (boo), 9:16, 9:21 & 7:37 for the very end SPRINT(!). Final chip time: 57:37. Consider that one-hour barrier CRUSHED. *happy Joyce*

After the race, I stood around for a bit to watch the awards, which was a really nice opportunity to chat with the other runners (and I found out that there's a Brooks outlet OMG). It was a small race and there were even fewer of us still around at the end, because it was so cold and the 5Kers were long done with their races, but I liked that a lot. And, then, I trotted out 5.8 more miles at a much, much slower pace, because I had to get in my full 12 miles. I'm pretty sure I'm going to use the Lake Washington loop for next weekend's super long run; it's just so beautiful along there!

Anyway, GO ME! I can't wait until after the marathon, when I'm going to focus on SPEED!
Done & dusted. Thank you, short run week!