This article was originally posted by trivianut at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
Ok, so I don’t race as much as I used to. But at age 50, with injuries and very inconsistent training the last 6 years,I’m glad for the last 6 months of pain free running where I’ve run 3 out of every 4 days during this time. Most of these runs have been on the dreaded treadmill, which has been much more forgiving on my knees. I had planned to run the Milton Independence Run on 7/4, but had no idea what to expect. All my treadmill runs were btw 7:45 and 8:15 pace, and my longest run was just 7 miles. My feeling was I could probably hold 7:00 pace, but would likely fall off in the last few miles due to my lack of overall mileage. I was right about that.
We had great weather in Wisconsin for the 4th, with temps in the low 60s at 8:00am. I could tell at the start that running easy for the first mile would still be too fast. 6:20 was too fast, but it was time to start working. After the 2nd mile in 6:36, I thought I was in a better pace. The mostly uphill 3rd mile was 7:00, and the return 4th mile only 4 seconds faster in 6:56. So my sub 7 cushion was gone, and I just had to hold on to the finish. It didn’t help that from 1.5 to 5.5 miles there was no one within 50 yards of me ahead or behind to key on. When I finally started getting caught by other runners, I did two things; sized them up for age group competition, and tried like heck to stay with them. I was passed by 5 runners in the final mile, but managed to stay within 5-10 seconds of all of them as the final mile was 7:18. My finishing time of 43:03 shouldn’t disappoint me, as my last race 11 months before was a 5k at the exact same pace (21:31).
So what to take away? More mileage, and probably start to do some faster tempo pace, as I’ve done nothing but steady state runs for the past 6 months. Only race on my current radar is Al’s Run, and I want to do well for Team Hillrunner. Oh and btw, I got 2nd in my age group, 25th overall out of 250 or so runners. My 23 year old son ran his 2nd ever 10k, and had a 10 min PR, running 46:52 to win the 20-24 age group. He says it must be in the DNA. Sniff, I think I need a tissue…