Good news! Since I filled you in on the injury, I’ve seen enough improvement to actually run 2+ days in a row! That hasn’t happened in nearly a month, so I’m pretty thrilled about it. I saw enough progress this week that I jumped at a last-minute opportunity to run the Bronx 10-Miler. I was especially eager to try this race out since I was forced to sit out the Battle of Brooklyn 10-Miler a few weeks ago.
I knew some mental preparation was in order for this race since I’m nowhere near as speedy as I was last winter/spring. I averaged a 7:58 pace in my best half marathon earlier this year, so in a very Type-A fashion, it frustrates me that I haven’t managed to run some shorter distances—5M, 10K, and 15K, to name a few—slightly faster since then. However, sub-8 minute miles were absolutely out of the question today. Thanks to being sidelined for the last few weeks, I knew I wasn’t in shape for anything like that, so if I dropped a 7:30 for mile 1 (as I’ve stupidly done before…), the later miles certainly wouldn’t be pretty. During the train ride up to the Bronx, I told myself I was not participating in this event in pursuit of a PR. My A goal would be to run marathon goal pace (9:09) the whole time, my B goal would be to run sub-9 miles if I could handle it, and my C goal would a tiny PR to beat my previous best 10M time, 1:28:26 (8:50 average pace) if it was within reach.
End result? B and C: 8:46 average pace for a finish time of 1:27:33. Success! Even better: Rather than fading toward the end, my last two miles were some of my fastest! Check out these splits:
As you can see, I got a burst of extra energy during mile 6, but it was pretty short-lived. I ran a solid, consistent, stop-free first half and debated whether I should stop for water at all during the second half. Maybe I’ll stop at the next mile, I thought during miles 5, 6, and 7, but I never felt like I was lagging, so I kept going and when I got to mile 8 and knew I had approximately 18 minutes or less to go, I decided to wait it out until the finish. I definitely plan to be be smarter about fueling and hydrating every few miles during the Chicago Marathon next month, but today was all about testing my pace post-injury and seeing if I could hold on to it the whole time. After the race, I found Abby and we ran an extra 4 easy miles from the Bronx to the UWS. Those miles were much slower than MGP, but when I analyzed my Garmin stats for the whole 14 miles, the overall average pace was 9:07, so I’ll call it a win (even though I definitely hope I won’t see any 10s on race day).
Despite all those sub-8:50 miles in today’s race, I’m still hesitant to drop MGP below the 9:09 needed for a 3:59—especially coming off an injury. If anything, I would like my race-day strategy to start with a slower first 10 miles, faster next 10, and plenty of energy left for the last 6.2 (don’t call it a 10K). I’m so disappointed that my bum leg forced me to ditch my original plan to run a 22-miler and then a 24-miler during training, as I think those two runs would have been great indicators of what I can accomplish come October 7. The largely abandoned training plan calls for a final 20-miler next weekend before the official start of tapering, so fingers crossed that I can make it happen! I’m feeling much more confident about it after getting up to 14 today, but I’d like to see what kind of weekday runs I can do before I commit to doing the full 20.