The main thing I wanted to do this week is start getting rested. After my exhausting long run last week, I felt like I needed to pull back a little to be ready for Kentucky. I took two full days off before my first run on Wednesday, which was less than 3.5 miles. I did another run on Friday, which I originally planned as 5 miles, but later decided I’d probably go 5-7, depending on how I felt. As it turned out, I felt great. For both my runs, I ran rather quickly and only stopped my Friday run at 6 miles because of imminent rain.
For the race, I planned to be somewhat conservative. I knew the course was going to be tough and I didn’t want to overdo things before next weekend. I figured a goal of around 1 hour would be reasonable. The Clyde’s 10K is pretty famous around here. This was the 35th time they’ve run it and they’re known for the great brunch they served afterwards. After the long commute to DC for my last race, I appreciated being able to get out of bed at a reasonable hour and just walk down to the starting line. I even took out some trash along the way.
The race started rather suddenly. I thought we were going to get a late start because it looked like people were still walking over. I didn’t hear any horn or announcement that we were starting, I just realized it was time when the people in front of me started moving. The first couple miles were rolling hills, which was completely unsurprising since I know the area well. Despite the hills, I was keeping a pretty good 9:40/mile pace. It wasn’t until about mile 2.5 when we hit a huge hill that lasted for almost half a mile. I was pretty relieved when we got to the top and figured that was the worst of it. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After a short break, we had an even longer and more difficult hill. I knew I was going to have to walk a little bit as we went up this one in order not ruin myself for the rest of the race. That wasn’t quite enough, though, as I still struggled for the remainder of the race.
It got a bit easier with around a mile to go, as we finally hit a long downhill. I tried to push hard and made it to the finish in 1:02:28. It wasn’t quite my goal and wasn’t even quite 10:00/mile, but it was good enough for today. Next year, I’ll have a rather modest goal to beat. :)
Looking forward to next week, if I’m going to break 2:15, which is kind of my goal, I’ll have to run this pace for pretty much the entire race. It’s hard to say if that’s possible. On the one hand, the course should be flatter and my muscles will be even more rested and ready to go. On the other, I have to keep up that pace for more than twice the distance. I guess we’ll see how it goes. It’s also possible that the course is a lot hillier than it looks from the elevation chart. It’s possible there are lots and lots of very small hills, which could prove quite exhausting. I’m a veteran at that distance now, though, so I’m used to adjusting my game plan on the fly.