|Our NOTC singlets.|
|It got me going.|
I was a little unsure how to run this race. I've only actually raced one 10k before, and it was a disaster (last year - mid long run - included an urgent bathroom break). I talked to Andrew Lilly, who coaches our track group for Varsity Sports, and asked for advice earlier in the week. Since neither of us knew how fast I could race (given my low mileage, nagging injury, and general out-of-shapeness), he told me to start a little faster than half-marathon pace and divide the race into 10-minute segments with different goals. I followed his advice.
Segment one: Goal was to not go out too fast or too slow. I let the other girls go at first and ran easily. My pace at 10 minutes was right at 6:40.
Segment two: Goal was to choose and settle into a pace. I felt fine, so I stayed where I was. I caught up with Jennifer on my team and left Lauren a little behind. I stayed about 10 seconds behind Jennifer for the majority of the race. Pace? Still 6:40.
Segment three: Goal was to assess place and "race" this part (passing people, speeding up if possible). I didn't do any of this. I kept Jennifer exactly 10 seconds ahead. I am queen of saving energy for later miles...even when there will not be any later miles. Marathoner at heart! Also I will go on the record saying I do not like passing people. Pace...6:40.
Segment four: Goal is hang on and don't die. I hung on. I didn't die. I got a side cramp, but it went away. I enjoyed the smooth, easy, fast course and suddenly I was at 6 miles! Pace: Yeah, 6:40.
End of race: Then I finished, just seconds behind Jennifer. I felt good, a little leg pain and a little sore but not very tired. My time was 41:30, which is like 6:41 pace, but Garmin overall pace was 6:40 and every mile split was 6:40, which I think is hilarious.
The Azalea Trail race is an insanely fast course: I am positive it is all downhill (although it's almost a loop, so that can't be), but still, I didn't feel like I put very much effort into this race. So I think I can take some time off for next week's Crescent City Classic unless I just don't recover well this week (read: hamstring becomes a monster again). The team did well: the top three (Liz, Jennifer, and I) finished within 25 seconds of each other and we scored for some kind of team placement (um, this race is kind of a cluster and I think they scored all the teams wrong...I believe we were second but the director insisted we were first and sent us home with an award). The guys easily took first, once the scoring was corrected (yup, theirs was wrong, too). I absolutely loved running with a team, and I realized that this was the first time I "played" for a team since soccer when I was four!
Next up is the Crescent City Classic, and I welcome any tips for 10ks before that race. I liked Lilly's advice and I think it's smart, but I can use all the help I can get and need your advice, too!