You think I'd have learned this lesson already. Apparently not.
I did the 10 mile "race" on Saturday, the second of three races in the local winter distance running series. The previous race was a 10k. I'm also doing the 10 mile next month. The good thing about this series is that it is essentially the same course each month. I expect that next month's 10 mile course is identical to Saturday's, which will be a good comparison and hopefully I'll see some improvement.
Race instructions from my coach:
- take in ~100 cals about 30 min prior to race
- do a 20 min warmup. A "warning shot", telling my body to be ready to race.
- Take the first 5 miles easy, with a HR of 150-ish
- Gradually increase the HR every mile, ending up around 170 or so. Pace may not actually increase but effort will.
- Take another 100 calories around 45 min and again around 1:30
The race was at 10:30, so I planned to show up at 10 AM. I was not expecting to spend 10-bazillion years in line for the bathroom, so my 20 minute warmup was cut down to 5. But it was a QUALITY 5 minutes. There were maybe 500 people running the 10 miler, so finding my club friends wasn't hard.
It was sunny and the noon temperature was forecast to be 50 degrees. It was 30-something when I left the house, so I left wearing black capris, my navy club long-sleeved shirt, and my SunRype tank top.
Immediately after starting to run, I was roasting. I was hanging with two of my friends, using a very loose definition of "150-ish" for my heart rate. In all honesty, it was more like 158, but I felt good. Finally at the first aid station (around 2.5 miles) I had to strip. With my shirt layering (tank over long-sleeve), I basically had to strip everything off. Hat, nutrition, race belt, garmin, tank top, THEN my long sleeve. Then I got to put everything (minus the long-sleeve, which got tied around my waist) back on. During all of that, I lost my friends.
I kept on running according to plan, keeping things light and easy. I found some people to run with and hung with them until the turnaround, which was somewhere after mile 5. At that point, I saw my friends ahead of me, and my legs decided to go. I kept telling them to slow down but they didn't listen. I found my friends around mile 6.5 and just zoomed right on past them. Heart rate was at 168. Definitely not a gradual build to 170 at the finish. *sigh*. I was breathing ok and feeling ok, so I just kept going. Until around mile 7 where things weren't so good. They weren't bad, but they weren't good either.
See, the issue with this race was that my longest training run was the week prior, which was a 7.3 mile MAF (slow effort), which included 5 min of walking at the start and finish of the run. Not continuous semi-hard running. I should have had longer runs but I decided to ski for two consecutive weekends in a row. So the fact that I made it 7 miles feeling good with continuous running was pretty good. And it wasn't suprising that I started having to negotiate with myself after that. I decided to walk the next aid station, which was somehwere around 7.5 or 7.75 miles. Which I did. And I think a race photographer snapped a very flattering photo of me at the aid station. awesome!
After that point, the run became a series of negotations. I ended up with running 0.5 miles and walking 0.1 miles. So about 5 min run / 1 min walk. Which was manageable. I ended up sucking it up for the last 3/4 mile or so and ran that straight, except for walking up the little evil hill as you return to the race venue. I tried to pick up the pace a bit more as I was nearing the long end of my race goal, but it just wouldn't happen.
In all honesty, I just didn't feel like hurting for this one. I could have pushed it, but I didn't see the point. This was a practice run and I just didn't feel like laying it all out there. Next month I may have a different opinion.
I finished with a time of 1:50:03. If I remove my strip-break from my total time, that puts me around a 1:48:30. All things considered, not too shabby.
We'll see what next month brings.