Fully getting into the Fall racing spirit, this was my third running race in the past month and my first 10km of season. It was the College Park Cares 10km, funnily enough in College Park! On a brisk Saturday morning we set off at 8:30am. I was hoping for a personal best time but knew it would be a stretch based upon the hour run that I had done on Friday night....not exactly the best preparation for a PR but the main goal is obviously November 10th in Clearwater.
The race historically has had some fast winning times and I knew that winning would be a long shot and from the off I settled into the top ten and waited to see what would happen. Well, we were either running real fast the first mile or the marker was short....a 4min 25sec first mile didn't seem quite right! By the 2nd mile I had moved into 6th place and a more realistic pace of 5mins 38secs. I was on the heels of 5th place but the top four had forged a gap with the lead guy blazing ahead. The course was nice and flat but the mile markers were a bit random to say the least. Mile 3 came and went in 6mins 15secs and I know that I hadn't slowed significantly in that mile. It was however, between mile 3 and 4 that the elastic tying me to the runner in 5th place broke and the run of Friday night made its presence felt and I began to slow. For the rest of the race I could see 5th place but couldn't make a sustained effort to get back to him.
Still trying to beat my PR, I knew it would be tight and with a distinct lack of confidence in the placement of the mile markers I wasn't really that sure how close it would be. Without a mile marker from mile 4 until mile 6, I came into the last 400meters needing a sprint to get under the 36minute barrier and a huge effort to get under the 35min 55sec PR.....it wasn't to be and I finished 6th overall and 2nd in age group (with a nice restaurant gift certificate as an award!) with a 36min 8sec time. Not too bad for the first 10km of the Fall season and good preparation for not only the 70.3m World's but also in my defence of the Cold Turkey 10km on Nov 18.....which I will be fully rested for (although having done a 70.3m race the week previous).
So now we have the taper week prior to the World's on Saturday and then a vacation....more will follow this week on the prep for the Worlds.