This race is not my favorite.
Honestly, it’s not even a medium-like. It’s crowded as hell, hilly, it’s downright miserable. I was 99.9% sure I’d be avoiding this year until a strange turn of events fell in my favor and on Sunday morning found myself pinning a bib to my shirt.
It was probably a poor choice to “race” a 10k only one week out from a half marathon I have been training to PR at, but if you’ve been reading here for even six months – you know there’s zero self control when it comes to PR attempts. I wanted to use this 10k as a way to practice my pacing strategy for next weekend and I’m here to tell you: that was a massive fail.
The Cap 10k includes a few hills in the first three miles which can pretty much destroy you if not prepared. I was ready; I had run this course countless times. My goal was to run the first three miles at 10:00/mi and then drop the pace in the back half.
Miles 1 – 3 (9:25, 9:40, 9:58)
My grand plan for 10s was ruined by fresh legs and fast competitors around me. I felt good and as if I wasn’t “pushing” so continued to coast through each mile. And every time my Garmin beeped I cursed myself. I knew this was too fast and today wasn’t about running a PR (it was about PACING) but couldn’t help myself.
Miles 4 – 6.2 (9:05, 8:41, 9:14)
Because I’m no stranger to this course from hell, I knew after we were done on Enfield the hard work was behind us. So I started to drop the pace a bit. Mile 4 included a walk break to catch my breath from hill climbing. Don’t judge. Mile 5? Well Mile 5 stemmed from a conversation with a close friend earlier in the week where she told me, in so many words, I was being too safe in my running. I had more speed in me than I gave myself credit for. So when my Garmin clicked over to 5, I let my legs fly – determined to see what I truly could throw down. Maybe this was too early for such an experiment but I went hard, and ran the fastest mile I’ve ever had in any race.
And then I paid for it in Mile 6. I struggled to hold onto 9:25 for most of the stretch on Cesar Chavez and the S 1st bridge. I. Was. DYING. But desperately held on because at this point I knew another PR was in reach and I wasn’t about to let that slip through my fingers.
Official Finish Time: 58:31
I said this in my Boneshaker recap and still without a doubt believe have a faster 10k time in me on a more favorable course. Eventually I’d like to test out this theory but it’s not going to be on a course in Austin anytime soon.