Dam run to Irmo 10k
This is a large 10k that has been around for 24 years, usually draws a very competitive crowd. The course is point to point and a net downhill, so pretty PR friendly. It does have one loop through a neighborhood that is fairly hilly, however. Race time temps were 70 degrees and high humidity, not very pleasant given some recent cool temps we’ve had. I had given myself 2 days off in an attempt to really kill my PR (43:18).
The 2 miles are flat across a large dam and then downhill into a neighborhood area. From the gun, I tried to pace myself with two women that run very similar 5k times to me. I had thought I should probably be in the 6:35-40 range for the 10k, though it had been greater than 6 months since my last. With the rest and the pancake flat first mile, everything felt pretty good. They had time callers at each mile, and the guy yells out a 6:18. I thought he was mistaken, but Garmin confirmed it, and that was where I sealed my fate. I was still going pretty strong until pretty near the second mile marker. I had tried to rein it back in and go a little slower, hit mile 2 at 6:38, though the timer told me 13 flat for the two miles. After the second mile marker was that hilly neighborhood area. It really is probably only a half mile loop. The inclines there hit me pretty hard, and the wind sucking commenced. After that loop we came out onto a straight road with a few rolling inclines, but nothing major. I was getting real nervous, because I was laboring a lot worse than I should not even halfway into a race. Not only was I breathing hard but I was feeling a lot of leg fatigue too. Hit mile 3 in the high 19’s, Garmin shows me a 6:52 now, though I didnt look during the race. I realized by then that I was in trouble, and was hurting pretty bad. I focused on just trying to get to the next mile marker and not think about how far I had to go. All I can say that I am eternally thankful the rest of the race was pretty flat or downhill. It was all suffering from there and I really didnt enjoy any part of the last 3 miles. Hit successive splits of 6:53, 6:48, 6:52. I am really surprised they were this fast. I’m used to negative splits on my races so they felt a lot slower. I did get to 5 miles at 34 minutes flat, so I knew if I could just hold on I would still get a PR. In my last mile I got passed by a few people, including some I regularly beat in 5ks, which added to me basically hating life at that point. Was so thankful to see the finish, saw the 41’s disappearing before me and no chance to break 42 ( which has been a goal for 2010), just zero in the tank to mount any kind of kick. Crossed at 42:11. 30th overall, something like 6th or 7th in my AG. I feel bad feeling this crappy about a good time and a PR of over a minute, but I think I had convinced myself that I could do 40:xx or better. Oh well, I guess this was a good learning experience in what was only my 6th 10k ever. Those two women I talked about finished 38:57 and 39:15 respectively – they clearly are better at the longer distances!