Despite focusing on a lot of longer races this year, I like to throw in a few short ones as well. The Get In Gear has been a somewhat annual tradition for me going back to 2011. I missed 2012, but have done it every other year since starting running. In particular the 10K course holds special place in my heart because the very first year I ran it, I PR’d a ton of distances. My 2011 performance saw me pick up my 5K record (24 min) and my 10K record (50 minutes). It was also a race where I injured myself shortly afterwards, showing that in fact speed kills ;-).
My goal for this year was to run conservatively, and in fact this was my slowest year yet at the Get In Gear with a 10K time of 57:36, which averages 9:17/mile. Based on how slow I’ve been running in training races this pace certainly surprised me, and in fact it made me a bit angry. I wanted to go out slow and shoot for something closer to 60 minutes, more like a 9:30 time. But I shot out of the gate and simply couldn’t get the adrenaline under control. My first mile ticked off in 9 minutes flat. I knew that was faster than I wanted to go, but I just couldn’t get my body to stabilize at a slower pace.
The slowest I got was a 9:26 for mile 4, but then I was back down to 9:12 at the finish. Starting around mile 4.5 I realized that there was no way that I was going to be able to get my body to find a slower groove, and it started to make me angry. I never intended this race to be a fast race, and so I wasn’t running it the way I should have. My tangents were abysmal, I wasn’t picking out rabbits to pace, I wasn’t paying attention to my breathing, and I was just flat out being sloppy with my form. When I got into the car with my wife I made the comment that I ran well, but that I didn’t run “right”.
It’s funny how that fact frustrated me so much that for the last couple miles I ended up running angry. Sometimes when you’ve been running for years you get those moments where you know what the right thing to do is, but you just can’t get your body to comply, and it’s supremely annoying. I should be really happy with my time, it’s over a full minute faster than I’ve been doing most of my training runs at. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really impressed I was able to pull off this time today, I just wish it had been on my terms.
I guess I shouldn’t really complain. I put down a good race, a came out without injury, and I had a great time with friends and family after the race. A few weeks from now I know I’ll be having the opposite experience, trying to make my body go faster when it’s refusing. I guess I just need to take today for what it was, a solid time on a course that I really enjoy.