Singleton 10k Race Recap

Hello! It’s my birthday, wahoo!!!!!

I’ve been reflecting on my 10k this past weekend and wanted to share some thoughts with you all.  I’m not even sure you knew I was running a 10k this weekend, and I certainly didn’t plan on having anything to “reflect” on.  I was so shocked with my performance though, I thought I should write about it.

The race was the ATC Singleton 10k (there was also a 5k offered), which is one of the free races offered to Atlanta Track Club members.  It was up in Norcross which was a bit of a hike from where I live, but there was race morning bib pickup, and it was a free race, so that made up for it!

Singleton 10k Race Recap and Review

Weather: the weather was perfect.  It was in the low 50s at the start, cloudy, with a slight breeze.  I knew if I was going to PR, the weather was in my favor!

Course: the 10k course was two loops of the 5k course.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, but it was nice to know what to expect the second half of the race when it got a little tough.  There was one mile that was a net downhill (you can see it in my splits) and one that had a pretty substantial long incline.  Most of the course was an out and back style so you got to see all the other runners as you ran which I love!

Strategy going into the race: I had NO IDEA what was going to happen.  I knew I wanted to “race” it, but besides that, I had no strategy.  I also had no idea what to expect as far as my paces.  I don’t even know how you’re supposed to pace a 10k….I should probably figure that out.  I thought there was a 50/50 chance I could PR and get sub-60, but just didn’t know where my paces were going to fall that morning.  I seeded myself in the 9:30 and slower corral with Carrie and Kristen.

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Fueling: I was out of eggs that morning, but since it was just a 10k I didn’t fuel up that much.  I had a Clif bar and a V8 juice, and then right before the start I had a HUMA gel with water while I was warming up.

The Race

Mile 1: 9:20.  This felt fast…too fast.  I wanted to look at my watch but I don’t do during races anymore, I just look at each mile split.  I almost slowed down, but then thought about how the first mile ALWAYS feels a little hard to me (and the second mile, too).  I decided to try to keep the pace and see where I came in at as far as timing and make a decision at the end of mile 1.

Mile 2: 8:58. When I saw my first lap time, I was a little surprised.  I kept asking myself if I thought I could hold the pace and I didn’t know the answer.  I made a decision to just run past the fear and see what happened – it was a free race that wasn’t a goal race, so it was a good day to experiment.  If I crashed and burned, it would be no big deal, instead, just a lesson for me on 10ks.  There were a lot of downhills this mile so I took advantage of them.  I felt like I got into a pretty good rhythm towards the end of this mile.  When I saw my split I literally said out loud “holy shit!” because I have never run a sub-9 minute mile in a race before (and really haven’t run that many in training, either).

Mile 3: 9:22.  Shortly into this mile we hit a pretty long incline and I started feeling my heart rate as really high.  I dialed it back a little because I wasn’t even halfway through the race yet and wanted to have a shot at finishing strong.  Once I got over the incline I felt like I got my heart rate back down a bit and then picked it back up. I crossed the 5k/finish line and got ready for the second loop.

Mile 4: 9:21. I don’t remember much about this mile except that I felt like I was working really hard.  I just focused on getting to landmarks and getting through the mile, because I knew the next one would be a lot of downhill. I took water at the beginning of the mile.

Mile 5: 8:59. Downhill mile! About halfway through this mile, when I realized I only had 1.5 miles to go, I knew I was definitely going to hit under an hour.  I couldn’t even think about doing math in my head to figure out where I was going to land, but I knew I was going to sub 60, and that gave me what I needed to keep pushing.

Mile 6: 9:03.  This mile was REALLY hard but I was trying to give it everything I had.  There was that long incline again, and I just focused on form and breathing to distract myself.  Of course, the perfect song came on my iPod during this mile which really helped! I was just so excited with how fast I was running and how strong I felt.

Last .02: 8:23 pace. This last bit was a steep downhill (it reminded me of the Richmond finish!).  I got a side cramp up in my ribcage right as I was entering this last part of the race, and honestly was having some trouble taking deep breaths.  I knew how close I was to the finish though, so I pushed through.  I was STUNNED to see a 57 minute time when I stopped my Garmin! (Final official time was 57:02, a PR of over 4 minutes!)

Overall thoughts: I don’t know that I have ever run a race that working that hard before, ever.  I have no idea where that came from, but starting at a quicker pace allowed me to really get there.  That’s something I’ve noticed about myself – the faster I start, the easier the more manageable it seems to be to hold challenging paces.  I think trying to run through that fear of crashing and burning played a huge part.  I originally wrote here that I was “running fearless” but that’s not true – I was scared out of my mind pretty much the entire race…the pace felt SO FAST and hard, I can’t believe I was able to maintain it.

A few weeks ago, when I had to drop out of that 10k because of my illness/injury, I mentioned that I was bummed that I had to sit it out.  Having “my day” just 6 weeks later felt great, and I felt like I got revenge on the race that could have been.  This 10k wasn’t even a goal race, but DAMN it felt good to do what I knew I could do all along.  Being patient is not my strongest virtue, but it was a good reminder that I’m doing the right things for my running right now and it’s going to pay off.  I’m on track to have a strong fall if I can keep myself healthy!

Race Recap of the @atltrackclub Singleton 10k - an unexpected PR! Click To Tweet

This was a nice, FREE race where I PR’d unexpectedly….so of course I’d totally do this race again!  Also, Carrie and Kristen got PRs….so it was a good day all around!

Have you ever had a very unexpected PR?  Do you have a strategy for racing 10ks?

Like what you see? Share it!

Jess

6 Comments

  1. Congrats on an amazing race! I am trying to embrace the shorter distances and while I’ve learned you kind of have to gun it early in the 5K, then 10K can be trickier to find that in between pace of not too fast but not being too comfortable! I PR’d the 4 mile a couple weeks ago, and the 10K unexpectedly a couple weeks before that. Always fun when you don’t have expectations!

    • Thanks lady!! Yes every time I race a 10k I think about how it is a fun distance to race! Hope your training is going well!!

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