Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mission Inn 10k - Race Goals/Strategy

I swear, one of these days I will get over feeling like a total fraud when I say something like "race strategy" or "racing schedule" or "fueling plan". Maybe? I don't know...maybe I never will because I'm not an athlete, but I guess you don't have to be an athlete to have goals, right? Alright - I'm rambling now...anyways, I did a little guffaw when I typed in Race Strategy on the title and I just wonder if I'll ever get to where it doesn't simultaneously make me laugh and creep me out all at the same time. :-)

Anyways, this weekend on Sunday I will be participating in the Mission Inn Run - 10k. This is the only 10k I'll be doing this year and will be my fourth one. However, this will be my first 10k that isn't the Idyllwild one that I do in June of each year. That one is up in the mountains, at altitude, and literally becomes a hike instead of run at one point for about 1.5 miles. So, in other words, it is challenging. So for the first time EVER I will be doing a 10k on relatively flat land and not at altitude.

Also what that means is that I'm anxious to see what I can do!

First things first, my previous 10k best was 1:16:20 and that was the second year I ran it in 2011. I mentioned previously that I really did some serious hill training for it that year, but the next year I slacked and my time went back up. Then earlier this year I had to settle for walking the 5k since I was still recovering from my knee surgery. So it has been just about 1.5 years since I last ran a 10k...YIKES!!! And even though I'm currently doing half marathon training and just recently completed a 10k Galloway training program, it isn't and wasn't with the intent of getting a new PR in the 10k distance. So I need to keep that in mind...

So I am going to set some Good, Better and Best goals for this race.

Good: I complete the race pain-free and feeling fine regardless of what my time is.
Better: I complete the race pain-free and between 1:15 and my previous best of 1:16:20.
Best: I complete the race pain-free between 1:10 and 1:15.

As you can see, the overall goal is to complete it pain-free; which with how great I am feeling I am pretty hopeful that it won't be a problem at all. And then of course there are a few time goals. I would love to walk away with a really awesome PR, but it is more important that I enjoy it and stay pain-free. By the way, if I use my most recent 5k time from the Hometown Heroes Run last month and plug it into a race time predictor I get 1:11 and some change. I could be happy with that!

Here is the race map and I really wish they had the elevations, but they don't. Thankfully, I have run the half marathon course back in 2010 so I have some kind of idea what I'm dealing with.

I want to start off slow and keep myself in control during the early miles and I want to run a gradual negative split. I know that the race starts off with a gradual decline, so it is going to be critical that I don't get carried away because 1) I love running the downhills and 2) I'll be with the pack and they will be getting carried away. If I remember right the mile or so in the park is fairly flat and very scenic so that will make it hard to keep myself under control too. But I can't lose focus because around Mile 2 there is some uphills as the course winds around Mt. Rubidoux. This part is mostly residential and I remember from the previous race that some home owners even came out and did some cheering while having their morning coffee.

Around Mile 3 the course gets pretty boring for a period of time as it winds around the backside of Mt. Rubidoux. Just after the water stop and aide station the course turns onto a paved bike path, so let the boring miles begin. I am hoping I can really start to pick up my pace through here as there won't be too many distractions. Then just past Mile 4 you head back into the park before exiting onto city streets to run the remaining miles. That is where I'm really going to need to keep my focus so I can push it at the end and finish strong!

Here are my planned paces:
You can see that I used a goal time of 1:10 which is my "Oh My Gosh, I'm SO Happy" finish time, so there is some wiggle room in there, but I'm not seeing anything that scares me too badly. In other words, I think I can swing that.

But in the end, even with my non-athlete strategy and goals, my true purpose is to just be there having a great time with my Mom & Sister and being thankful that I have been blessed with recovery and am able to participate in awesome races!!!! I'll let you know how it goes next week - wish me luck and send me some PR vibes!!!

1 comment:

  1. When you are training, you are building and increasing your strength, endurance, and agility. When you are running, you are putting all your training to compete against yourself and finish strong. You don't have to come in first or second to be an athlete. In my eyes, you are an athlete. I love your strategy and I'm confident you're gonna have your best 10k race. I look forward to reading all about it.