Today was an eeeeasy day. Look at this pace. A year ago this pace would have made me proud and amazed. Now it just looks slow. (For me. You, dear runner, have your own fast and slow pace, as you should.)
I ran this slow-for-me pace on purpose, as I am running a 15K race tomorrow morning. So today was not a day to push it, but rather to loosen up my legs and keep the energy momentum going.
Fifteen kilometers. Nine-point-three-two miles. I’ve never done a race longer than 10K, and I’ve only done two of those. A 15K is – as it occurred to me on this morning’s run – a 10K and a 5K. Back to back. Obviously, you say, and yes, I know that should have been obvious to me as well, but it didn’t truly hit me until this morning. At first glance, this makes it seem somehow longer than just saying “15K,” but I quickly realized that breaking it down like this in my head is a good thing.
My biggest challenge for tomorrow will be to not run too fast. Which is different from my biggest challenge when running a 5K, which is to not run too slow. This race is a hair shorter than my typical long run. I will not be running a 7:42 pace like I did for the Thanksgiving Day 4-miler, nor will I be running an 8:48 pace like I did for the Cow Harbor 10K (which took place before I started this blog so there is no post about it).
My long runs tend to fall somewhere between 9:15 and 9:45, so my plan for tomorrow is to keep it somewhere in there for the first 10K. Faster if I can handle it. If I can do 9:00 or even dip into the 8s, great.
Basically, this is not going to be a day to compete for an age group medal.
A couple minutes after the 6 mile mark, I’ll have completed the 10K. At that point, my plan is to gun it. Well, maybe not gun it. But run a 5K race. As well as I can at that point, anyway. Will I run a 7:42 pace 5K? All signs point to nope. But I’m going to think of the rest of the race as a 5K, and run it accordingly.
That is my plan, at least.
I am a stickler for planning. I plotted out how long the drive is from home at that day and time, reserved and already paid for a spot in a nearby parking garage, located a nearby Starbucks where I can get a coffee and use some nice indoor bathroom facilities, made sure the Starbucks opens early on Saturdays, and plotted out the time it will take to walk from the Starbucks to the starting line. Nothing. Will. Go. Wrong.
Last night I got a luxurious six hours of sleep and feel good today. I’m going to try to do the same tonight. Also, I realized that with a race of this length, carbo-loading might actually be useful, as opposed to with a 5K race a thing I want to be useful but really probably isn’t but I still tell myself it is so I can eat extra bread products.
Let the carbo-loading commence.