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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dialed In

I'm officially getting excited for my 10K.

For the first time in many years, I'm running in a race of less than 26 miles and I'm doing it with adequate preparation. The last couple short races I've done have been Turkey Trots here in Austin, but both of them have occurred during times of less-than-quality training.

The first was a couple years ago, and I hadn't been running at the time. It was fun to just get out and put in the miles. The second was just this last year, and I hadn't run a step since the Marine Corps Marathon 25 days earlier. My time was very good, but not as good as it might have been had I actually been training for that specific race.

In order to achieve one of my goals for this year (run a PR at another distance), I decided to sign up for more local races, so what could be better than the largest 10K in Texas? While my primary focus has been amping up the mileage in preparation for the next marathon, I've kept my shorter goals in mind, and today, I did a workout specifically tailored to that goal. Half mile repeats.

Instead of pushing myself as hard as I could for all of them, I ran very specifically to what I expect from myself next Sunday. I figured out the pace that I needed to run in order to break my personal record (set over ten years ago), and then ran six half-miles at just under that pace to try and get my body used to running that speed. Granted, this was on my little neighborhood lap, so the hills weren't quite the same that I'll be dealing with, but I'll get a better look at the actual course this weekend. For today, it was all about the pace.

I couldn't get my watch to pick up a satellite signal, which actually made the workout mean a little more. Instead of determining my speed (and whether it was slipping) by checking my wrist, I had to tune in to my body and figure it out that way, and the results surprised me. I was about 9 seconds ahead of my pace on the first one. And every subsequent time was within one second of that. Without using too much technology, and just going on how I felt, I was able to dial in very specifically to one pace for the entire three miles of the workout.

When I get onto the course the day of the race, I have to make sure that I don't go out too fast, so I'm glad to have this experience under my belt. It's a huge confidence-builder, with the added benefit that I didn't push myself too hard to have a solid run tomorrow, when I hope to run negative splits.

You've got to love short-term goals.

Thursday's Workout:
75 Degrees, cloudy, pretty standard these days
6x800, 1:00 rest between
2:51     2:51
2:51     2:51
2:52     2:50

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