I started the day today with a musket shot from George Washington.
OK, it was more like a pop gun shot by a dude in a Revolutionary War costume, but it was a memorable way to start the morning — and my first road race in the Washington area — nonetheless.
The George Washington Classic 10K was a nice, flat route along Eisenhower Avenue and through a few local parks in Alexandria. We had perfect running weather, about 40 degrees and sunny, and got cool fleece running hats for our efforts, making the race worth the time before we even started.
All week, I’ve been puzzling over the right way to race a 10K. I’m typically about an 8:30-minute-mile girl for a 10K. But since Steve and I started doing group runs with Pacers, we’ve realized that this is also our pace for our everyday five-mile runs — hard, but conversational. Which suggests that perhaps my 10K pace should be faster.
I figured the solution was to pick up the pace a bit in this 10K.
Here’s how it went down:
Ran the first mile in 7:30 (oops!)
Ran my best 5K time since high school, 24 minutes (ooh!)
Felt like I’d been hit by a truck by mile 5, and was passed by what looked like the majority of my age group, plus most of the master’s age groups, too (ugh)
Still ran a better time than my usual, 51:31 according to my purple Timex. That’s 8:18-minute-miles, which is … faster than 8:30?
Not sure where this leaves me as far as my race strategy, or lack thereof. Does anyone know the right way to race a 10K? If so, please enlighten me by posting a comment.
***Editor’s note: Shortly after writing this post, I looked up the race results and found this note on top:
“Today’s event was measured at 6.4 miles. We sincerely apologize for the course error; pace has been calculated at 6.4 miles. -GW Birthday Classic Race Committee.”
Oh, snap! My new pace? 8:07-minute miles! I also feel the need to give Steve a shout-out for running a 47:58, which meant he was doing super-human 7:30-minute miles.