Archive for May 28, 2010

Friday morning I was stretching against the garage waiting for my Garmin GPS to capture a satellite signal and set for my run.   I have quite a few rituals on “run days” and one of them is to glance up at the American Flag flying above my head as I stretch and gauge the wind.  Is it blowing North to South?  East to West?  Will it be in my face on the way out?  On the way back?  Is it blowing 10-12 mph today or only 7-8 mph?

This morning the flag was utterly still.  No wind whatsoever.  Not even a tickle, and that meant one thing.  It was time to go fast.

With a rest/travel day yesterday we had fresh legs – although the grass cutting yesterday would account for a little bit of fatigue.  We were healthy, no aches and pains – so it was perfect for a “Ricky Bobby” kind of run.  I had a 5-mile run on the magic fridge – but lately I’ve had another distance on my mind quite a bit.  6.2 Miles – the 10K.

If you look down my list of races and PR’s you’ll see the full marathon – 3:17:43 at Pittsburgh in 2009.  The half-marathon – 1:32:02 at the 3M here in Austin in 2010.  The 5K?  Sure thing, 19:43 in Holland, TX last May.  After last weekend’s effort at the Congress Avenue Mile, I can even boast of a 1-mile PR in 5:24.

The one common distance that is lacking from my running history – the 10K.

It is truly ironic as that is the distance I run more than any other.  I run a 6.2 mile training run at least three times every week, sometimes as many as four.  I know the rhythm, pace and effort it takes to run it slow, medium and “fast” – at least fast for me.  I have been thinking a lot about that distance this week as I take a break from marathoning and I begin to zero in on my plans for the rest of 2010.

So this morning – 10K it would be and as my GPS clicked over to 00:00:00 – letting me know he was ready – off we went.  Without any warmup or strides it would be foolish to just jump out to race pace immediately – so I used the first uphill mile to shake loose.  My routes from home always start with an uphill first mile which lets me stretch out a bit and fall into a comfortable pace.  Some say that is cruel to do to your body at 6:15 a.m. – but for me it works.  When it comes to running, like most things in life, if you find something that works for you – stick with it.

I ticked the first mile off at 7:25 gradually building my leg turnover and cadence.   Mile two – 6:45, Mile three – 6:52, all systems go.  As I started to roll into mile four it was time to climb again.  This is a tricky mile along my 10K route to keep a quick pace over as I need to crest the hill that leads up and over Brushy Creek Dam. 

The hill is relatively steep and climbs over 3/10 of a mile.  I enjoy pushing pace up this part of the course and was able to finish with a 7:04 mile number four.  If I could recover at the top of the dam and push forward I should be able to bring this run in under 7:00 pace – even with a 7:25 first mile.

Mile 5 – no problem – 6:56 and as the sun and heat started to take a little bit out of me I pressed the gas a bit and posted a 6:47 mile six.

Friday Training Run

Last time to climb as there is a somewhat cruel 1/10th of a mile as I work my way out of the trail system behind our house and back onto Palmbrook Drive. 

The hill is very steep, only the kind man would make and pave for cars – but a good test for a tired distance runner.  I covered the final .20 miles at 6:22 pace finishing with a time of 43:07 – 6:58 pace.  Shake N’ Bake.

Solid time for a training run, but not nearly fast enough to win me any age group hardware at a major 10K race.  If we want to make any noise at a major race or two, we are going to have to get stronger and faster.

If you have been following along for a while you know how we do things at Run for Dom.  We do “major” and we do “doubles”.  That’s pretty much how we roll.

So on the calendar today I have circled two races, back to back of course, in April of 2011.  This time we won’t have the luxury of 12 rest days in between races as we did for the Boston and Pittsburgh Marathons.  For the 10K distance we’ll cut that in half.

Cooper River Bridge Run 2010

April 2, 2011 we will toe the line at a race that has been on my radar for more than six years.  The Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.  Home of my parents, my good friend Keith – who I will be trying to talk into racing with me – and many others as I lived in the city for close to 10 years in the 90’s.

A beautiful course in a beautiful city that draws more than 35,000 runners annually.  You want a “Major 10K” – the Cooper River Bridge Run is for you.  It has hills, bridges, vistas, my good friend Richard who will certainly be in the crowd of 35,000 runners – and most importantly – shrimp and grits.

Cooper River Bridge Run Start

One week later on April 9th we will take to the streets of our hometown Austin TX to race in the Capitol 10K.  Another major 10K race with more than 20,000 runners in 2010 – it was the largest 10K in the state of Texas and the fifth largest in the Nation.

The Cap 10K as it is referred to here locally is “Big Doins'” here in Austin.  It’s about time we tested ourselves against the best 10K runners in the Republic of Texas.

The 10K, something that has been nagging at me for quite some time now – but next spring with a Texas winter of speed work, hill repeats, tempo runs and intervals in cool temperatures tailor-made for “going fast” we will be ready.

Look out Charleston, the Run for Dom double is back on the tracks and it’s coming for you. 

Shake N’ Bake.