Early Prediction: TC 10 Mile

>> Thursday, September 17, 2020

It hit me in July that I could possibly train for a 10 mile race this fall. I never planned on signing up for the TC 10 Mile, but I figured I could go do my own race around that time if I wanted to.

Remember, I didn't run (as I was injured) from August 2019 through mid March of this year. But then we figured out that my pain wasn't going to lead to any permenent issues, so if I could deal with it, I could run on it. By June, I had a long run of 6 miles. In July, I ended the month hitting 7 miles. Here's the last partial week in July (starting when I first hit 7 miles as my long run) through the beginning of this week, and I'm noting what I did as my long run on each Monday:

July 27th was "just a run" - no harder effort, and nothing fancy.

After that, I started doing some harder miles in the middle of those runs. Nothing TOO hard, but definately some effort. Notice for 3 weeks, my "pace miles" kept getting faster: 6:37, 6:30, and 6:22.

But then on August 24th, I had my crappiest run of the year. I added an extra "pace" mile (going up to 6 instead of 5), and I just never felt good. My pace dropped to a 6:50/mile average for those harder 6 miles. That should NOT be a "harder" pace for me - that's commonly around my warm-up pace. Yikes.

So I backed off the next week (and only went 8.5 miles), but the pace miles felt good!

And I hit 9.7 miles the week after that, with 5.5 solid pace miles!

And earlier this week, I hit 10+ miles for the first time in over 13 months! And again, for that run I ran 6 pace miles in the middle, and I didn't crash and burn like I did 3 weeks before!

So what can I do on "race day" in 2.5 weeks?

When I started thinking about building to a 10 miler back in July, I figured I'd be happy with 6:30 pace. But I think my training has shown I could do a bit better than that. So I expect to be able to keep it sub-65. My PW (personal worst) 10 mile is from 2015 when I ran 1:03:05 which was the 2nd year I did the "Loony Challenge." (So I raced the TC 10K and 5K on Saturday, and then came back and raced the TC 10 Mile on Sunday, and my calves were SCREAMING during the last part of that race.) I think I'd make THAT my "A" goal: sub 1:03:05, AKA *not* a PW. But I expect to be in the 1:03s or 1:04s.

But this also depends on how hard I'm planning to race it. I KNOW I won't be going crazy in those middle miles. If you're a long-time reader, you know I commonly say things like "nearing the finish, I realized I could have gone harder and suffered more in miles 6-8 of this race" for example. I will NOT think that during this race. (It WILL be true, but I won't care! I don't plan to kill myself on this first race back!) I know I'll start out easier, and I'm TOTALLY OK with that. I figure it will be a negative split, and not because I'll be going so hard at the end, but because I'll have started off conservatively.

There's a chance I'll keep it more casual throughout. And I won't complain. I could still push hard, but not quite like a race - maybe just make it like a solid tempo run. If that's what I'm feeling, I might do that.

I imagine I'll race it much like I did the Halloween Half Marathon in 2017. After that race, I noted that I didn't hurt too bad at all especially compared to the TC 10 Mile (a different year than my PW noted above) which was a few weeks before. And here's what I said about that: "there's a big difference in 100% effort and 98% effort. The last mile of the TC 10 Mile was ALLLL out. I was hurting and still gunning for glory. The last mile of this race [half marathon] was hard, but I didn't go into an all-out sprint. That SLIGHT difference in effort maybe did a lot for my tight calves and beat-up feet. My calves were just a BIT tight, and my quads were a little sore. But I felt good overall!" And THAT'S how I see myself running this upcoming race: push hard, see what I can do, but no all-out sprint to the finish.

We'll see if I can get a few more good runs under me before the "race" in 2.5 weeks! Happy training, everyone!


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