I have been itching to set a new 10k PR for a few years now. I’ve only done a few 10ks over the years, and most of them were not PR opportunities. Like the Dreaded Druid Hills…I was lucky I survived that one with the steep climbs after being sick! My best 10k was set in 2013 at the Sole of the City (47:31). I had run faster 10ks than that in training runs, but did not have the chance to set an official PR.
I signed up for the Sole of the City again as part of the B3 series. It turns out this will be the only race of the series I can run, but that’s a whole different story. I really wanted to set a PR in this race but knew I would need to put in some work after the off-season. I spent about 6 weeks slowly adding in speed workouts and tempo runs focused on 10k pace. I wasn’t thrilled with my progress, but was getting more comfortable holding a 7:30 pace for several miles.
As I mentioned Monday, Friday evening was a bit stressful and not the ideal way to prepare for a race. I think I was a little distracted which helped to avoid getting too nervous. After Rob and I dropped off my car to get serviced we walked about a mile to the start line are and then ran a mile warm up. I did some drills, used the bathroom, and lined up to start. It was warmer than I expected, and I regretted wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt (although it was really light).
I started pretty far up front and didn’t get boxed in. There was a bit of a hill in the beginning but then that was followed by a nice downhill, and the rest of mile 1 is flat. I didn’t look at my watch until it beeped..7:14 but I was a little ahead of the mile marker.
I tried to hold on to the same pace, and this mile was flat and took us around the harbor. I ran this in 7:24.
I think this was the hardest mile of the race, most of it being uphill. I focused on maintaining the same effort but knew I would slow down a bit. This was 7:45, and would have been slower if it weren’t for a little downhill at the end.
We continued to get the benefit of the downhill as we made our way around Fell’s Point and started looping back around through Harbor East. From living in the city and running there all the time I know my satellite connection there isn’t great, so I ran a 7:12 but it was probably not quite accurate.
This is where things started to hurt, but it was a flat mile so I tried to push a bit, and ended up with 7:25.
This part of the race had a long, steady climb (although not as bad as the hills I run now), and it was a tough place for this at the end of the race. Once we got up the hill, it was downhill to the finish. Mile 5 was 7:32 and the last .2 (my watch measured .35) was a 6:35 pace.
Garmin results were 46:58 for 6:35 miles (7:24 pace), official results were 46:58 for 7:35 pace, 9th in my age-group, and 184th overall. Although my results were initially missing, it got resolved pretty quickly!
I think considering my goal pace was 7:30 I did pretty well. I do think I have a faster time in me, but considering it was my first race of the season, I’ll take it!
After the race we grabbed some food and beer, and ran into some people we knew. I was starving before the race started (9:00 is such a late start time for me!) so I made sure to eat even though I wasn’t hungry after running. Then we walked to the harbor and got an early lunch.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t sore the next day, but I still took off Sunday so I could start Monday out feeling refreshed. I am glad I finally got in my first race of the year, and finally set a new 10k PR after 3 years!
Are there any distances you have been itching to PR in for a few years?
Do you get hungry after a race?