A quick re-cap. I struggled at the Monument 10K. By mile 3 I was wasted. I credited my starting too fast on that race with that miserable feeling. I also thought it was because I was over tired, 24 miles in one week, 19+ at race pace really did me in. So, my plan was "take it easy", do some "easy runs" and race again a week after Monument and kick some booty.
Right. About that. Who's booty? Because the only booty I saw today was all the booty passing me on the run. My trusty running mate and I had a plan. It was a genuinely good plan too. Start fast for 1/2 a mile b/c the adrenaline makes that easy, slow down to exactly the pace that we need to run to get the time we wanted. 54:+. Anything under 54:59 was totally acceptable. Instead of busting out onto the course and running in fits and starts, we would run a steady tempo of 8:45's (or so) until we cruised into the finish feeling easy and refreshed. Ha. HA HA HA HA HA. ha. I guess the joke's on me.
We bolted out at a sub 8 minute start, and "checked" back at .25 miles. And, then we slipped up again at half a mile, and had to slow down again. And up. And down. And fast. And slow. And then we settled into our 8:45's. As planned. Except that the plan was easy. The plan was not hard. Certainly, on paper, I wasn't gasping for O2 the entire way. And once again, I struggled through my race, finishing a few seconds faster than Monument, but only a few seconds. 8 to be exact. On "fresh legs" I only realized an 8 second increase in speed over a 6.2 mile course. Yea, that's what I said. A second + per mile. Fab. SO worth it. Well, actually it was, when you consider the trial and error race strategy... "let's don't do that again".
At the end of today's race, AKA perfectly paced Tempo Run for a sub 2 hour half marathon.... my running-mate turned to me and said, "and that's why I think the 8K is my distance". My gut instinct was to agree. Sure, maybe 6.2 miles isn't my distance... maybe it is too long. And then I pictured all my "best" races, and realized, no, a 6.2 mile race is not long enough for me. It takes about 3 miles for all the aches and pains in my joints to fade away. Then around 7+ miles I get the adrenaline burst that pushes me. At mile 9 I have to dip into my will power to continue with speed. I think my distance is the 15K. I'm never going to have the fast twitch speed that propels me into the top 5 over all finish in a short race. S'ok. I'm cool with that. I placed 13th (lucky, eh?) in my age group in this race, which is not too bad. I'm OK with that. I'd just like to get there w/o feeling so much pain from miles 4-6.1!
Ok, one more realization I had this week is that I did the calculations and today's miserable gasping for every step 8 second PR race is the reason I'm going to make 100+ miles. SO. There's that.