Back in 2010 I was a faster runner than I am now. Two months before the 10 miler I had ran a 15K race with a 10:14 average pace. Even with all my strength training over the past 9 months I'm still not able to match that today. I can do the 9:30-10 m/m pace for 2-3 miles but not beyond that. With the added heat and hills my pace for the 10 miler in 2010 was 12:10 (faster in the beginning and then slowing way down for miles 5-8). So my hopes to match or beat that pace this year make me a bit nervous.
My strategy for running is different though. Back then I ran for as long as I could and took walking breaks when I couldn't handle running anymore. So it made sense that my pace slowed down drastically over the course of the run. I will be sticking with my "run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute" plan tomorrow. It will be annoying to have loads of people pass me in the beginning of the race but it does help with my overall energy and motivation levels to know that I only have to get through 4 minutes at a time. I also am more familiar with the course profile now so I know that the first half has more hills than the second half and that will help me not burn out by trying to keep a faster pace at the beginning. I will line up at the back of the pack and force myself to go slower at the beginning.
For the 2010 race I wore my black running Capris, a white singlet, and my neon green viser. I still have all of those clothing items and will wear 2 of the 3 tomorrow. I'm switching the capri's for shorts because I have a pair that I like now and would never, ever, run in capris in this heat again.
Fueling plan is pretty similar to 2010 except I won't bother with a hydration belt. I've grown to prefer a hand-held bottle more. There are water stops every two miles which I plan to use to both drink and dump water on myself. There should also be a couple spots in the race where the locals set up spraying equipment for us to run under. That was a Godsend in 2010 and I'm looking forward to it for this year as well - except I now know not to dunk my head under because sweat/sunscreen runs into your eyes and blinds you. I never got a chance to try fueling with TailWind so I won't experiment with it tomorrow. I'll keep my Gu Energy Chews for during the race. And I've been trying to hydrate like a crazy woman all week. I've also allowed myself higher carbs this week in an effort to start with better reserves. I'm most looking forward to the Moonpie(s) and biscuit(s) at the end.
I've been smart about my exercise this week. I'm feeling good leg muscle wise (my arms are a bit sore from Thursday's workout but they don't matter for Saturday).
Mileage this week (all indoors):
- Monday: 2 miles around a 10 m/m pace
- Wednesday: 5k, finished at 31:21
- Thursday: 2 miles, intervals (run 90 sec, walk 2 min)
Then there was Zumba and TurboKick for higher intensity cardio which took the place of any speed work. My shortfall in training this year was not getting enough hill work in but I have done a lot more work in general on building up strength in my hamstrings, quads, and glutes so my hope is that the hills won't crush me. I plan to walk the major hill at 4.5 miles.
The biggest thing is that in 2010 I had a lot of fun with this race. Yes, the hills were hard and the heat was awful but I had a great time. It's why I signed up for it again. This is not a race to PR or prove that you're better than other people. It's just one to say, "I think melting in the sun for 2 hours is fun don't you?"