Yesterday I finally registered for the Monument Avenue 10k–one of the largest 10k’s in the country with over 40,000 participants, and an especially great race in a city known for doing races very well. On April 13, a large majority of Richmonders will be running, walking, or spectating.
While I only registered yesterday, I have officially been training for a couple of weeks, and have assumed I’d run the race since last year…and the year before. For someone who loves running, this is not a race to miss.
Four years ago, I surprised myself by finishing this 10k in 50:03. I had no idea I could run that fast and gained a new running confidence as a result. The next year I did not run the race. In fact, I only ran at all three times in the period of about six months, but that’s another story–one that involves a scarring 20-mile run with 25 mph wind and bad directions. I digress. The following year (two years ago,) I made a comeback and finished the race in 50:28.
Last year, having been so close to running sub-50 minutes in the previous years, I trained hard. When race day arrived, I was ready. My legs felt good, and I was completely confident that I’d see 49:__ when I crossed the finish line. I ran my the first four miles at approximately a 7:55 mile pace, which would put me well under 50 minutes at the finish. Then, just after passing the marker for mile 4, I felt a sharp pain in my side. I slowed down to allow the cramp to work itself out, but it only worsened. I walked. I stretched and took deep breaths. When the pain subsided a bit, I began running again, knowing I’d banked enough time to still achieve my goal. Unfortunately, the pain kept returning (and it was not a pain I could push through.) Severely disappointed (and a little embarrassed), I walked/jogged/hobbled the last 2.2 miles of the race, finishing in 55:03.
This year I want so badly to break the 50-minute mark, and I am kicking myself for only beginning training a month before the race. (I do run regularly, so I am not starting from scratch, but still…) Believe it or not, the purpose of this post was not to give a four year race recap, but talk about a specific training run 😉
The Tempo Run
The short: running at a tough, but manageable pace for 2+ miles, to train your body to maintain speed at longer distances.
The long: Eh, just read this article.
Tempo runs are a great tool for getting faster, which is exactly what I want to do, so I have been incorporating them into my 10k training. Here’s what I did last week:
Hopefully I will be able to run the tempo miles faster in time, but this is where I am at the moment!
Anyone else running the Monument Ave 10k? Do you have a goal time?
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