Yesterday I woke up at the crack of dawn (not unusual) and drove to Shelburne Falls, MA for their yearly 10k race. My last under half marathon race was two years, a 4 miler in Central Park NYC, since then the only races I ran were marathons and half marathons; a change of pace was to be expected.

Having run the NYC Half Marathon in March in 1:34, I was pretty confident I could have run a 10k in a sub 7 pace, that is I was going for a sub-43 minutes race … but how wrong was I! I finished in 44:09. Here the splits: 6:32 – 6:48 – 9:10 – 6:34 – 7:08 – 6:44 – 1:10. The last split is for the last .2mi (~344m) after the 6 mile marker to make 10km.
As you see the splits are pretty consistent on around a 6:40 pace (~4:10 min/km) except for that disastrous 9:10 on the third split and a 7:08 on the psychological third lap. Mile 3 was almost entirely the so-called hill, though ‘hill’ doesn’t completely give the idea of what a climb it is: a 300ft in half a mile, or, equivalently, 100m in 1km. Many just stopped running and walked their way up, I sucked it up and slowed to a jog; at the top of the hill the quads were burning and so tight I thought about stopping to stretch for a while.

Oh well I finished, but this race convinced me even more on my need to stop marathoning for a year after Chicago and dedicating more time on the track and speed-work. Marathons are fun and all, but the training relies a lot on volume and I want to see if I can get a bit faster … maybe a sub-40 10k as a dream goal.