Well, it started out as a pretty good run, then deteriorated from there.
I woke up on Sunday to gloom and chilly rain. Not exactly the way I want my runs to go, but not bad enough that I couldn't handle it. The Broad Street Run last year was colder and "rainy-er", but I persevered. When I headed out the door at 7:15, though, it had cleared up and wasn't so bad.
A ten-minute drive later, I was at the race site, and began my warm-up. I found a track behind the elementary school and did a few laps, stretched it out, and felt good. By the time the race was ready to start, I was good to go. The 10K went off with the 5K, and there were about 400 or so runners cramped on one lane of Ashburn Village Boulevard at the race start. It was very congested, but I made my way through to a less-congested area. Luckily, after about a mile, the 5K runners broke off and it was finally clear.
Because of my trying to find a clear spot, I broke off an 8:53 first mile, and followed it up with an 8:56 second mile. So far, so good. I hit some hills in mile 3, which was surprising since the race website advertised the course as flat, with no inclines more than 1% grade. Incorrect. Mile 3 was timed at 9:08, which still put me at an 8:59 pace, right where I wanted to be.
Then the hard part of the course came.
Mile 4 started a very tough stretch. We were now running through the neighborhood, and the course was very up-and-down for the next 2 miles. I logged a 9:24 for mile 4 and follwed it with a 9:27 for mile 5. My pace was worsening. I picked it up slightly in mile 6, logging a 9:17, and finished on a slight downhill with a 56:56 time, a 9:10 pace.
My personal record for a 10K was 56:47, logged last May, so I wasn't far off. The good thing, though, was that my age-graded performance yesterday was slightly better than last year (51.43% this year compared to 51.16% last year). And checking my times on the McMillan Running Calculator, by using my half-marathon time from last month, I was predicted to run a 10K at a 9:18 pace, so I beat that. I'll take any positives I can.
I can attribute my struggle to possibly a slight weight gain over the past few weeks, and not concentrating on my speed work very much. My fastest training run in the past month was a 9:08 pace on a 3.8 mile tempo run 10 days ago.
So I'm not racing for the next 6 weeks, working on speed instead. I anticipate my next race to be the Herndon Festival 10K on June 6.