I mentioned in my last running post that I ran a 10 mile race last year. I've decided to run one again this year, too. Last year I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. It was a lot of fun, but very crowded. This year I am giving the George Washington Parkway Classic a try. I did their 5k last year and it was fun, this time I'm going for the full race.
For my first race ever, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was not so bad. It's a big deal in DC, so I felt specially riding the metro to the race early in the morning and warming up with all the people at the event. Once I started running though, I felt really packed in. I ended up missing my goal by 16 second, too. Not too bad for my first race, but this year I'm hoping to do better!
I started this year's training in January, and despite some wintry set backs, I've been keeping up with the schedule. Each week I do one long run, two medium runs, and one quick "warm up to the week" run. I also do yoga and weight lifting on a weekly basis. Originally, I planned to work on pace on the medium runs and work on endurance with the long runs. So far though, I have been keeping a pretty consistent pace regardless of the number of miles. Hopefully I can keep that up. It occurred to me on a recent run that I may actually have to slow down my initial pace on my medium runs in order to speed up my over all time. It feels like a contradiction, but as I time out each of my miles, it makes more and more sense. The race is in April, so I've got another month and a half to really add on the miles, I hope I can make it! Like last year, the goal is to finish in less than 100 minutes. My pace so far has been 9:30 minutes per mile, hopefully I can keep it there.
My other challenge is dealing with the race atmosphere. I felt prepared last year when it came to running, but I had not anticipated the crowds, free water stops, and other distractions. As I get closer to the date I'll have to work on that.
How do you prepare for a race??