O.k., so many of you probably would not be very impressed with a 50:27 10k. For me, this was an unbelievably good time.
I ran the Suffield 10k this morning. It's a pretty low key race, but it's close to home and the course is challenging.
Before I get into my own race, let me tell you - there were a lot of kids who did the 5k that preceded my race. These kids were fast - I was very impressed. There were a fair number of kids (low to mid teens) running under 7 minute pace. There was also a 57 year old running under 7 minute pace.
I actually was not feeling that well when I woke up this morning, but had been looking forward to this race so I did not want to blow it off. Something I ate yesterday was not sitting well in my stomache, but after three trips to the bathroom I was feeling much better.
Drank lots of water to make sure I was hydrated. Drank some coffee too. Ate a light breakfast and then off to the races.
I was pretty relaxed at the start of the race - did a good warm-up and stretching session and then waited for the gun. When the gun went off I just followed the group out onto the roads. I had my pace set to show on my watch and every time I looked down at it I was running under 7 minute pace. This did not make sense as I felt comfortable and my HR was not outrageous. I finally turned it to miles instead of pace as I felt keeping an eye on this would distract me. Sure enough I ran by the first mile marker at exactly eight minutes - this is more like it. I felt very comfortable at mile one, but decided that it was much to early to think about kicking it up a notch so I kept to my comfortable pace. Not to mention I knew what happened in between mile 3 and 4 - big, steep hill. I conserved some energy for the hill - strategy was to run the hill hard and then try to hold on till the end. This is exactly what I did. I passed a few people on the hill and a few right after the hill - not a single one passed me back. I basically switched to another gear after the hill and just endured the pain for a little over two miles. I think I ran the race pretty even, but the second half was a whole lot more painful than the first half.
My total time as stated above was 50:27 (8:08 pace). Two years ago I finished this race in 56:23 and felt a whole lot worse upon completion than I felt today. Not only did I beat my prior time, I have not even come close to this in a training run. Add to all this - this was a difficult course. I'm ecstatic to say the least. This is the single biggest gain I've seen in my running in a long time.
Here's another tidbit on the race results. The guy who won was 32, the second place finisher was one second behind and he was 52. I'm guessing out kicked in the end. Third place finisher was 48 - appearently all the young folks do the 5k.