I signed up for the Mission Inn Run so that's officially on my calendar now. I got 10 percent off from the price because I'm a Loma Linda Loper so instead of 30 bucks it was 27. Sweet. Any little bit helps.
Anyway, I've not really been thinking too much about this until the last week or so. For a while I was focused on the Ragnar Relay, then as soon as that was over my focus changed to the Surf City Marathon. But with the Mission Inn 10K part of our training plan, I've got to tackle it.
This was my first regular 10K run ever. I'd run the Mud Run in 2008 about a month prior, and that was my first 10K, but it's anything but regular. So this one was just a normal 10K but still challenging nonetheless.
I set my PR that day, ran it in 52:55. The 10K I ran this year in Seal Beach was 56:00, and I kept thinking and keep thinking about my Mission Inn time, and every time I wonder if I can beat that time. That's roughly an 8:30 pace.
Now, I know that time is slow to some, super slow to others but I don't really care. That's one thing I learned pretty quickly, to not compare my finish times to others. Because if I start comparing my times to other runners' times, I will not run any more races because I will be so discouraged. I care about time... but to an extent. I want to compare my times... to my times.
Anyway, that's a pretty good clip for me, 8:30. The Seal Beach 10K pace was about 9:01. Of course, that race was not a good race for and started off badly. I was much more prepared for the Mission Inn Run as I was there plenty early, didn't need to run back to my car and got a good spot so I didn't have to weave in and out of human gridlock.
So now that the Mission Inn Run is one 15-mile run away from having my full attention, I'm concerned about the time. Should I be? Well, this isn't exactly a distance that I think will conquer me. And I've ran 10Ks before obviously so it's not going to be a new experience. But I'm going to approach the race like I do every other race, with my full focus and attention. Once I'm at the start line, it will be the most important race I'll ever run because I'm about to run it.
Now, I'm almost close to declaring my number one goal for this race to set a new PR. I really would like to beat my 2008 time but I'm not sure if I can. In some ways, in my running infancy I was a bit reckless... well, reckless isn't the right word... more like unconcerned about certain things. It's kinda hard to describe... but it seems like the more knowledge and experience I've gained, the less likely it is for me to run a 10K in that time, or my 5K at 25:05. I want to run a 5K just to try and beat that time.
Anyway, I don't know if it's that I became more aware of certain things like heart rate and glycogen reserves and proper recovery and things like that and that's caused me to become more cautious or what, or maybe I'm just not pushing myself like I did when I was a first-time runner. Not sure.
What I am sure of is that I will try and push myself some in this race. It's strange because I have the ability to run more than 10 miles, to run 14-15 miles right now without too many lingering problems (my heels sometimes holler at me) so you would think running six miles at a faster clip wouldn't be a big challenge, or at least wouldn't be a daunting challenge. But it seems that way. It seems like if I try and run anywhere near an 8:00 pace that I'll just collapse of fatigue and exhaustion at some point early on. Of course that won't happen but still...
I ran a bit of a tempo run recently. I didn't intend it to be a tempo run but I unwillingly pushed myself. I got on the treadmill and started at about a 5.5-6.0 pace and after about 12 minutes (had run about 1.15 miles or thereabouts) I moved it up to 7.1 and kept it there. Originally I'd wanted to run that for about 18 minutes (to get to 30 minutes) but eventually I decided to run a full 25 minutes there. I should have paid more attention but I think I covered roughly three miles, maybe a little less, in that time. That's right around the pace I want/need to maintain if I want to set a new PR at Mission Inn.
And I didn't feel completely wasted afterward either... well, I did take about a 90-minute nap that afternoon but that's neither here nor there...
Anyway, with the Mission Inn Run less than two weeks away now, I'll have only a few chances to prepare specifically for that. Whatever other runs I can get to this week and whatever runs I get to next week. I'm guessing the Friday before the race, Nov. 6, I will probably not run more than three miles, and it won't be a terribly tough three-miler. I'm guessing my last real prep run will be on the Wednesday before the race, so I may try a 30-minute tempo run and see how much ground I can cover in 30 minutes. That might be a more accurate gauge of my ability to chase after my PR.
Still, I can't imagine standing at the start line and not trying to set a new PR. So it'll be LB v.2009 versus LB v.2008 on Nov. 8. I wonder who will win?