Race report: Scotland Run 10K

5 04 2010

The Scotland Run 10K is near and dear to my heart, almost as much as the Coogan’s 5K. It was the first 10K I ran in my return to running in 2008, and I also had a great time with it in 2009. Even though last year’s run was cold and rainy, it just seemed appropriate for a Scotland Run. Possibly I just have a thing for bagpipes? (See: Coogan’s) Or kilts? Plus, the seafood stew and haggis afterward were spectacular.

Last year’s Scotland Run was a glorious PR, my first time with a sub-8 pace in a 10K. I was well-rested and had a great race. This year? I was anything but well-rested, having run 41 miles the previous 6 days (including a very fun 20 miler the previous Sunday with EG, AG, A, L, TK, MP, DN, and LK). But the goal of the spring isn’t a 10K PR, it’s to run a great marathon on May 16. Running fast on tired legs is a step to that goal.

In contrast to last year, the weather was gorgeous. (Sadly, also in contrast to last year, there was no haggis or seafood stew at the end. Alas.) A few words from Alex Ferguson (hehe, I hate ManU) and we were off. Scotland Run is a clockwise loop of Central Park, with a finish that is always pleasant for NYCM finishers. I started comfortably fast and then tried to hang on for dear life. I felt strong and fast from the start, with splits over the first 4 miles of 7:45, 7:27, 7:34, and 7:54 (net uphill). I specifically was happy how I felt going up Harlem Hill.

In mile 5 I had to dig in – here I was feeling the previous week’s heavy training. As I hit the 5-mile marker (5th-mile split: 7:30) I was really suffering. The suffering clearly affected my mental state, as I had a first: my first time getting water in a short race. I also nearly had another first: immediately after swallowing the water I nearly vomited, causing me to pull off to the side and stop for a few seconds before regaining composure and continuing on. The last 1.2 were tough for me (certainly qualifying as a bonk!): in addition to what should be racing to the finish, the last mile is net downhill and should have been the fastest. Instead, my mile 6 split was 8:02 (!), stub 1:37 (7:33 pace). I crossed the finish line at 47:49 (7:42 pace) physically beat, but with a shiny new PR (by 1:20) for my efforts! I am very, very happy with this run, particularly given that I was running on tired legs (41 miles the previous 6 days). Happy happy run!

Splits 7:45, 7:27, 7:34, 7:54, 7:30, 8:02, stub 1:37.

Two cool bonuses: in addition to the 10K race PR, my 4-mile split (30:40) and 5-mile split (38:10) were both faster than my PRs at these distances. Note to self: I really need to race a 4-miler and (especially) a 5-miler. My 5-mile split was over 3 minutes faster than my 5 mile PR (which dates from 2008).

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