When I put this race on my schedule, my goal was to hit 36:59, but as go-time neared and the forecast refused to cooperate, I revised my time goal to 37:30ish. I believe I'm in shape to break 37:00, but I'm going to need 45* to do it; a temperature in the 70s with high humidity isn't going to cut it! I finished in exactly 37:30. This is a new road PR for me, and while it is not as fast as my track PR of 37:09, I believe it was a stronger performance due to the weather (it was in the 40s for my track PR), the course (this one had 170 ft of elevation gain), and running this during a 64 mile week (also it was kind of my third race in 8 days). The field was deep, and I was 8th overall female and 1st in the 35-39 age group. I ran smart and strategically with my competition, and could really only be happier with this one if I could have found 5 seconds more in the last mile and/or it had actually been 45*! It was a huge relief after not feeling like my fitness showed at the Run for a Child 10K on Labor Day, and I am now ready to tackle my half marathon goal (which I get a taper for!) on September 30, weather permitting.
|Clock shots are my husband's specialty|
I was oh-so-hopeful for cool weather for this one, because we saw morning lows of 45-50* during the week preceding the race, but Mother Nature wasn't ready to hand me those conditions yet. I contemplated pulling out of the race because I wasn't pre-registered, I was coming off of a fatiguing week at work (hello, 10-11 hour days!), and the main reason I put this one on my schedule was for a PR attempt, which would not be happening in the 70s (my Labor Day race had sure reminded me of that!). I decided it would still be good for me to run it in order to race in a competitive field, and with the pressure of a PR attempt lifted I got pretty excited to just get out there and compete!
Race morning I did all of my usual routines and lined up at the starting line ready to roll. There were a lot of very fast women on the starting line; some who I knew, others I knew of, and a few who just looked super speedy. I knew pretty quickly that I wouldn't place in the money (top 4), but I also welcomed the competition because I always run best in races I do not win.
|10Ks make Albani yawn|
|Start -- Can you find me?|
|If you look good in your race photos, you're not running hard enough!|
I went pretty deep into the pain cave in the final 2 miles. Dropping to 10K pace is challenging during marathon training, and doing so without being rested even more-so. However, it is amazing what a difference small variables and a different day can make. There was no difference in my fitness on September 4 vs. September 10, but there was a huge difference in my performance and how paces felt, and about a minute difference in my 10K time. 6:10ish felt like death on September 4, and 5:59ish felt maximal but do-able on September 10. This further illustrates the need for ideal conditions for any of us to run our best, and also shows the benefits of being rested. The Plaza course and weather were slightly better than the Run for a Child course and weather (85% humidity vs. 100%; 170 ft of gain vs. 240 ft), and I was a tad more rested for this one, but I sure can't wait to see how an actual taper feels! This was a great check-point in my training cycle that showed my training is working; I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to find that out and I am ready to push forward to my next step. I also still believe I have a 36:50 in me, but it's going to take 45* and a taper to find it (and perhaps also not running 3 races in 8 days!)!
Official results are here (the 5K splits are about 15 seconds fast for everyone, though). Look at those smokin' top 4 ladies (33:57-35:15!).
"Anything is possible if a person believes." - Mark 9:23
|Splits shown one way (missing first 0.4)|
|Splits shown another way (also missing first 0.4)|
|It pays to be old|
|One thing Albani and Jon did during my 7 mile cool-down...|
|Also in our hotel, hah|