Adventures in Running with Maurine

It beats actual labor…

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Of either the work kind or the pushing out a baby kind.

Today I ran the Payson Onion Days 10K race. A lot of the members of the Fast Running Blog get together each year to run this race and eat an awesome pancake breakfast afterwards. I have missed it the last two years due to being out of town, so was happy that I was able to participate this year.

This is only my third official 10K. I have two previous efforts to claim: the Pioneer Day 10K in Provo in 2006 and the Striders Winter Racing Series 10K in Ogden in 2007. The Provo race provided my previous PR of 1:17 (that’s one hour and seventeen minutes). I had just started adding in some running splits and was still mainly race walking then. I remember my niece Cherie was in the race with me and finished long before I did. The other 10K was the next winter and I was alternating running and walking pretty evenly. However, it is a very hilly course and the uphills trashed my time.

I have a dream of doing a sub 60 in the 10K. (Less than one hour). I actually did a training run last year where I ran a 10K in 62 minutes, but I have not really done any speed work this year until the last week or so. I did have thoughts of trying to break the hour mark today, but changed those plans last Saturday (more on that in the next post).

Instead I went into the race with the following goals:

  • A plan – maintain an 11 minute mile pace or better during the race (1:08:02)
  • B plan – maintain a 12 minute mile pace or better during the race (1:14:04)
  • C plan – PR (personal record) and avoid walking at all during the race

I set my Garmin to alert me if my pace went over 11 MM.

Race started and I headed out a little faster than I planned, but within a quarter mile started slowing down to the appropriate pace. I had no idea of the race course contours, so didn’t want to push too hard. I did not want to be in a puke zone at all – just run this as a solid tempo run and push myself mentally. The pace was comfortable and I was able to slowly start passing other runners in the second mile. Luckily, every runner I passed after mile one stayed passed. I knew that consistent pacing usually pays off against other runners who start too fast.

I skipped the aid station at mile 3 and then we turned a corner and headed back into town and into the sun. Miles 4 and 5 were net uphill and I had to keep pushing myself when the pace alarm would go off. A couple of times I couldn’t get it back down until I got out of the grip of the uphills. Still – I was able to maintain my overall pace goals. In a quarter mile stretch on the new road I passed the yellow shirted guy, pink tank top girl and black shirt girl that I had been following for three miles.

Took a quick sip of water at the aid station near the 5 mile marker. You can tell when volunteers are not runners themselves. They fill the cups too full. I immediately dumped most of the cup of water, took a quick sip to wet my throat, and started the final push into town.

I saw Michele Lowry (female winner) and Lily out running a cooldown during the last mile. The pace was starting to feel hard and I was happy when Kelli Stephenson came out and met me at 5.75 and pushed me in the last little bit. I tried to surge and pass two runners ahead of me, but didn’t have the energy. I was able to do a bit of a kick in the finish chute – but not much before then.

Crossed the finish line in 1:05:21. This was 74th overall and 7th in my age group and a 12 minute PR. I beat my A plan (this is a 10:32 mm average) and am more than happy with that.

Next year – that 60 minute mark is going down!

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