I ran the “Boo Run for Life” 10K this morning as a tempo
run, in perfect weather on a flat and fast course (my PR on this course is
40:53). I finished in 42:34, which I’m
happy with as a tempo effort. I’m
happier still with how I paced it – I didn’t want a fast time, just a
I hemmed and hawed on whether to run this as a tempo run, or
just skip altogether. There wasn’t
really any question that I wouldn’t be racing it. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing problems with a)
fatigue and a sense of weakness and b) a loss of coordination in my right leg (accompanied
by a lot of pain in my lower right leg).
The fatigue and weakness seems to be some mild bug that I’m fighting – I
was really struggling with my runs earlier this week, but felt like I was on an
upswing by this weekend, if not 100%.
As for the leg, I’m still not quite sure what’s going on
with it – the best guess seems to be some sort of nerve issue, based on the
fact that it gets better the more I run and that physical therapy work that
“frees” the nerves on that leg helps a lot.
I saw a podiatrist on Monday who examined it and then encouraged me to
run on it, as long as I taped it up and wore a compression sleeve. The more running I do, the better it does
get, especially when my running includes hills and sprints, pointing (again) to
a nerve issue of some sort.
So, I was debating whether to use this race as a tempo or
not. Pluses: clear marked course, it’s
always easier to run a workout with others, and I’d get the run out of the way
first thing in the morning (I knew that once Chicago Marathon results came
rolling in, I’d have a hard time stepping away from the computer). Minuses: having to wake up in the am, not
spending Saturday night with Brian, and possibly having to miss part of the
Showjumping “final four” at the World Equestrian Games (as it turns out, they
were over by 9:30, so I did get to watch the whole thing).
On Saturday morning, I went to register, just to keep the
option open for running it on Sunday (no race day registration for this
one). And…they gave me #666. The woman giving it to me was apparently
expecting me to be upset, but I was thrilled.
No choice now, I had to run a Halloween themed race with a bib like that
So, I showed up on Sunday morning, dressed
thematically. Black top, black shorts,
black compression sleeves, black nail polish, black lipstick, heavy black
eyeliner, and fishnet stockings that I converted to gothic “arm-warmers”. And…bib 666. I also wore my HR monitor – I don’t wear it for races, as it
constricts my breathing slightly, but I like getting the information for
(Brian did point out to me that the # of the beast is
actually 616, not 666. *pouts*)
My warm-up went horrendous.
I only ran 3.5 miles yesterday, and it showed with a horrible hobbling
that kept my first warm-up mile to ~10:00 pace. The leg stayed sore and uncoordinated for the next mile, but
finally loosened up to the point where I could run 4 minutes at tempo pace (but
still not good). I debated whether not
to run at that point, but reminded myself that the leg would only get better
the more I ran. So, I decided to start
the race at an effort on the slower side of tempo – if the leg wasn’t holding
up, I’d slow up and look for someone who was struggling and try to pace them. I did one stride for the heck of it, but
otherwise skipped my final race prep.
The race started, and I immediately settled into ~ 7:00 pace
(I had intentionally seeded myself back in the pack, and off to the side so I’d
be easy to pass). For the first 2
miles, it was really a matter of riding the brakes. The pace started feeling like more of an effort for the next 2
miles, but still well under control, as I hit each split in ~7:00. And with each mile, the leg felt a bit
better. At around 3.5 miles, I popped a shot block (just as I would in a 10
miler or half).
At the 4 mile mark, I started getting a bit impatient, and
also a bit competitive. So I gave
myself permission to start chasing people down, and picked up slightly. At the 5 mile mark, I opened up some more,
passing two other women and a few men.
As I approached the 6 mile mark, I debated whether to kick
it in. I normally believe that you
_always_ kick at the end of a race – it’s good to practice finding that next
gear. However, I didn’t want to be one
of “those” people who sandbag a race and then pass others in the last bit. However, as it turned out I was pretty much
alone by the 6 mile mark, and so could kick without worrying about ruining
someone else’s race.
Mile 1: 6:58 (HR of 163)
Mile 2: 7:00 (HR of 171)
Mile 3: 7:02 (HR of 172)
Mile 4: 6:58 (HR of 173)
Mile 5: 6:50 (HR of 176)
Mile 6: 6:36 (HR of 179)
Last .21: 1:09 (pace of 5:29, HR of 175 – not sure why the
For comparison, my tempo HR is generally 174-182 (interval
workouts get me into the high 180s/low 190s or higher), so I kept the effort
right where it should have been.
Final time was 42:34, good enough for 7th female
overall and 2nd in women 35-59 (behind a women who completely
outclasses me – my only hope for an age group win when she’s in a race is for
her to get an overall award). So, no
award for me, but I’m pretty happy with the pacing and the control for this
one. I wish I was slightly faster for
this level of effort, but don’t we all :).
Followed up with 8 miles easy to bring the total mileage for
the day to 17. Tomorrow I get my bum
leg “hot needled”.