Running Vs. Racing and a 10K PR!

I think I finally know the difference between running a race and racing a race! Running a 10K is fine, racing one is kind of brutal!

Pushing yourself for 6.22 miles is hard. Doing a 5K is so much different. In a 5K, you push at 90 or 95% pretty much the whole way, which is usually 30 minutes or less. The whole time you know it will be over soon, there is just another mile (or two).

In a 10K, you have to find the delicate balance between pushing hard enough, but not so hard you can't maintain it for over six miles. You push at maybe 85% to 90% and then at 95-100% for the last .22.

Today I really pushed for a sub-1 hour finish. I finished in 58:23, a time I'm truly proud of. I would have been happy with 59:59 though! I just wanted to FINALLY run a sub-1 hour 10K. My average pace was 9:23/mile on my Garmin. I didn't walk, I didn't stop at any of the three water stops, I didn't chat, and I didn't stop pushing the whole way. I even found my music distracting. I put on my MP-3 at mile 3, but found I had to turn it off to concentrate on my breathing to maintain that pace. My Boston Qualifier friend Lana* had reminded me that many of the faster runners don't listen to music when they run. They instead focus on their pace and breathing--- what a novel idea! :-)

(*When a BQ friend gives you advice, you take it! She also told me to remind myself when I was feeling discomfort throughout the six miles not to put a negative spin on it, but just to think, "This is what it feels like to race." It's how it's supposed to feel. It's not supposed to feel good, it's supposed to hurt a little. Or a lot.)

Oh, and my other speedy friend is still speedier than me, but this time only by 11 SECONDS. I can live with that. We are usually 2-5 minutes apart! Neither of us placed in our age group unless you count 5th and 6th out of 9 as placing. That 35-39 year-old group is a tough one.

All in all, it was a good day.


Runnergirl said…
Congrats on running a sub-1 hour 10K!! Interesting that the faster runners don't listen to music.. I guess I will have to try it, maybe I will get faster! ( : Have a great weekend.
MCM Mama said…
Great job on the 10k!! And I have to agree, I'm looking forward to the 40-44 age group. It's gotta be slower, right? LOL
Run Mommy said…
I totally agree with you. I find the 10k to be the toughest race out there! For some, it is a sprint and for others it an impossible distance but what about all us joe runners?? I also strive for sub 1 hour every time and I sometimes get it and sometimes not. Good for you!
tamara said…
Congrats!! You did great!! I can't imagine it without music, though. I always needed something to take my mind off what I was doing. Maybe that's why I didn't make it to your level. Sounds like you had an awesome race!
Kim Hayworth said…
YEA for you!!! Way to go on the 10k you sound like you have it down girlfriend. Practice makes perfect
Jules said…
ok so my pants/tights, them at Target...they still had some versions when I was in there on Thurs. They are not thin like tights (I guess there ARE realr unning tights?, I have never seen them). But they are more like bike shorts know? fitted and tight but not thin. so they are good. I love them.
RUN to target and get you some!
And CONGRATS ona great time! YOU GO!!!!

You are an amazing woman!!!!
Amy said…
Awesome job!!! Wow, that's a great pace! 10ks are my least favorite race distance, because of that "delicate balance" you mentioned. Way to go!
Lisa said…
Congrats on your PR!!! That one hour mark is such a big one to hit. The 35-39 age division is a tough one, but in many of my races 40-44 is even tougher. In my 5K this weekend, I would have actually placed higher in the 35-39 age group.

I agree that 10K is a tough one!

WTG on a great race!!!