I have mixed feelings about my performance in this morning's race. I set a PR and broke 60 minutes, but I was far from finishing in 53 minutes or less. There's a part of me that wonders (and has decided) that I could have finished in 53 minutes if I had prepared better and pushed myself harder during the race. Lucky for that part of me, there are plenty of other 10Ks this summer to try to reach that time goal.
The Capitol Hill Classic was a great race, and it was so pleasant to run in such a beautiful part of the city. There are, of course, things that I wish I had done differently (i.e. not starting as fast as I did). Still, I'm happy about the outcome.
Mile 1: I took a cab to Union Station and warmed up with a light half-mile jog to the starting line at Stanton Park. I dropped off my bag, stretched, and stuck myself in the back with the hopes that it would force me to start slow and gradually build speed. Not too far into the race, I looked at my watch and noted the 8:20 pace. It felt good, so I decided to keep it up.
Mile 2: The stretch from East Capitol around RFK stadium wasn’t not the most visually exciting, and I could feel that my faster-than-usual pace wouldn’t last much longer. I took a short walk break once I got around the stadium and finished the mile a few seconds slower than the first.
Mile 3: Things started to fall apart during the third mile. My thought: “Oh right, 10K – which means that I probably shouldn’t have run the first two miles so quickly.” I slowed down a lot during this mile, hoping that I would recover enough to run the last two miles quickly enough to reach my time goals.
Mile 4: During the race, I decided to name this mile the “America, Fuck Yeah” mile. Once we looped back around Lincoln Park, heading west on East Capitol, the Capitol building was clearly visible. It was breathtaking (as always). Pace-wise, I was in a good place. I didn’t run this mile as fast as I would have liked, but I felt great.
Mile 5: Running downhill is great -- until you remember that running down often means you have to run back up. (It's funny how those things work, huh?) Even though I run hills on most of my runs – I really can't avoid them in my neighborhood -- I spent most of this mile trying to convince myself that running back up wouldn’t be that bad.
Mile 6: The first quarter-mile was fine. When I reached the base of the hill, I definitely mouthed a few obscenities. At that point, I did the only thing I could do: look straight ahead, lean forward, and charge! Once at the top, I was home free and pushed until the end of the mile.
And, the last 0.2: The crowd support at the end was amazing! As I approached the finish line, I saw that the race clock was ticking toward the 60 minutes. Refusing to let it reach 60 before I crossed the finish line, I sprinted until I heard the race announcer call my name as ran across the line.
Previous 10K Record – Jingle All the Way 10K: 63:49, Avg. Pace: 10:17
Gun Time: 59:22
Net Time: 58:01
Avg. Pace: 9:21
To celebrate setting a personal record, I registered for this year’s Army 10-Mile Race in October and took a nap. It was certainly a great way to start the day.