Here was the scenario:
- 15k race (or 9.3 miles for those who don't speak metric and are too lazy to google the conversion)
- Previous PR at that distance- 1:06.50
- Pace PR at that distance- 7:07
- Pansy factor for the race- high
Before every race, I try to develop a race plan. Unlike many people, I don't feel the need to commit the plan in writing. The commitment is in my brain, which is where 2/3rds of the race takes place anyway. I know that this particular course is easy in the beginning and ends tough.
My race plan dictated that I needed to go out a bit faster than a 7:07 pace because the hills at the back 5k indicate that holding that pace would be near impossible. I calculated that I could hold 7:00 over 7 miles, I would have a much needed ~50 second window of cushion. In all reality, that's not a big window. One can easy blow 50 seconds in a race on a particularly large hill when the wind in moderately blowing in your face and the your legs are pre-fatigued.
Here's how my splits looked for the day:
google the conversion). It was quite apparent at that time that my legs had had enough. Maintaining a PR pace for the end game was going to be an impossibility. I slowed and gimped to the finish line.
As I do the mental recap, a lot of questions and second guessings come to mind:
- Q: Could you have raced faster? (I tend to hold these conversations in the 2nd person) A: Probably. If I had taken out the beginning of the race at 7:10s, I might have been able to hold that pace through the end.
- Q: What were some of the reasons for the breakdown? A: Hard training the week before. Relenting. General hatred of running
- Q: Why did you sign up for this race, yet again? A: Several possibilities- 1. Test my fitness, 2. Penchant for wasting money, 3. I miss racing and there aren't many other viable options, 4. I'm pretty much a certified idiot.
- Q: What did you want out of the race? A: Finally, an easy question- I wanted to PR
After the race, I had breakfast at my parent-in-laws. The FiL asked me about about the race.
FiL: How'd it go?Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to start learning more about vacuum cleaners. Or, at least, the science of suction, on which I should be an experiential expert by now.
The Banter: I sucked.
FiL: I find that hard to believe.
The Banter: Why is that?
FiL: Well, you finished
The Banter: Finishing wasn't the goal