Well, something I'm doing is definitely working. I don't run many 10ks and really there aren't too many around compared to other distances these days. It used to be the most popular distance in my younger days.
In May 2009 I ran 49:37 and in May 2011 I ran 48:53. I was in really good shape both of those years but this weekend I ran 47:43 on a much tougher course .
So how, at age 60 did I run faster than I did 7 years ago and 4 years ago? Ha ! Just a teaser. I'll post more on that in the near future.
I was really looking forward to this one, my first 10k in 4 years and the first shorter road race of this new phase of my running and racing. I also was hoping to have a shot at the RRCA State Championship for Senior Grandmasters.
For those of you that follow along you know my mileage has been about 2/3rds of normal, around 35 per week on average and no speed work this year other than a few strides and one unplanned tempo run. I did get in some hill work but no hill repeats and I did two test runs on the course, one of which was 86F and humid. Going in I would have been very happy if I could just break under 8mp average.
So , on race morning it was about 60F at the start and near 100% humidity. Could have been worse. and at least the sun wasn't out ! I did my usual 1 mile warmup about 30 minutes before and then with 10 to go I did another couple of minutes slow with 4 pickups and made my way to the start.
The race starts down a steep downhill for almost 1/2 mile so I was moving pretty fast even though I was holding back a little so I wouldn't beat my legs up too soon. After reaching the bridge over Crabtree Creek the course begins to climb. A bit steep for 1/4 mile and then the next 1.25 are a long gradual incline to the airport overlook which is the highest point in the park according to my topographic map.
So anyway I feel ok on the hill and holding back. No need for oxygen debt in the 1st mile. I expected 8 minutes or a little slower but had 7:37 ! Whoa ! Game on !
Just tried to hold steady effort over the next mile which I hit in 7:54 ! Wow, that is about the hardest mile on the course and I was still sub 8 and by now I am feeling great, in the zone and already confident that there would be no slowing down. Mile 3 and I kept finding myself smiling. I made that split in 7:31 and was thinking, I can run like this all day ! Woohoo.
I held back just a little on mile 4 knowing that after that I would be mostly downhill for awhile and could really open it up. Mile 4 was 7:46 and then I put the hammer down. The next mile I have always called "Easy Street" because of the slight downgrade which is very conducive to faster running. And indeed it was. 7:17 ! And I still had another .75 of downhill before having to climb back up the monster at the end. I was near a couple of other runners almost the whole race and we leap frogged a few times but now the young lady took off and was gone. Ok, not a problem. Then there was a man I guessed mid to late 40's he passed me but I reeled him back in and thought that was that.
I got to the bridge and buckled in for the climb.The first .2 is so steep that my heels never touch the ground. I was slowing for sure but still feeling strong. About then the guy passes me back but I can't push any harder and he eases ahead. No worries, I have the Senior Grandmasters wrapped up and I'm running much faster than I dreamed so good for him !
Finally hit mile 6 in 8 minutes flat and shortly after the hill levels out a bit and I make the turn with about 200yds to go and push it in. Needless to say that I was ecstatic with my time and result.
Turns out the man who finished 9 seconds in front of me was 53 and first Grandmaster so not only was I State Champion in the 60 and over but for the race I was 2nd place in the 50 and over age group ! Woohooo !
Ok, about the training.
On MondayI took a rest from running but did a Bikram class that went for 2:05:00 and I sweated 6 lbs.
Tuesday was another regular Bikram class and then a strong 6 miles of hills in Umstead.
Wednesday was morning body weight, then weights at the gym and an afternoon 5 miler on the Neuse.
Thursday was another yoga class and I started up a new routine of the 5 Tibetan Rites. I had plenty of time to run in the afternoon but I had very little sleep for two nights in a row so I rested after work.
Friday was tibetans, a yoga classs and then a great 6 miles on the Neuse. Amazing what a solid 9 hours of sleep can do.
Saturday was a long work day but i got in 4 easy miles at home and just some light stretching at work.
Sunday was the race of course and then 2 hours later I went to Bikram ! And I actually felt pretty good.
So there it is , 29 miles for the week, 5 Bikram yoga classes, one weights and one body weight session. Not bad for a Senior, Grandmaster.