Monday, November 22, 2010

Sitting at the top of the bell

Running with the fast pack yesterday was bittersweet. On one hand I was thrilled to be maintaining a pace that was almost two minutes faster than my recent training runs. My elation was mitigated by the steady flow of runners catching up and passing me throughout the race. As I ran I thought about how these people were able to glide by me so easily while I was running fairly hard. I wondered how many I would find walking along side of the road during the last miles of the race. That was the case at both the Dirty Sock and Cow Harbor 10K's. As it turned out, there were few people to pass, even at the end of yesterday's race. It was a fit bunch of runners on the boardwalk.

Race results typically group in a bell shaped curve with a small segment of the fastest and slowest runners on each tail. With one exception, where I placed second in my age category, I've usually been the person sitting near the top of the bell. I'm actually fine with that because I'm only racing myself. When I came over the line I was happy to know I'd likely PR'd but also hopeful that Dave, who finished well in front of me, also had a better time than last week (he did). I think the strategy of running easy and long with some tempo runs in the mix is the best approach to date. My pace at the halfway point in yesterday's race was 8:36 but I lost 2 minutes on the second 5K. If I can maintain my speed across an entire 10K I'll have a chance of achieving another PR at that distance. No matter what, I'll still be at the top of the bell, but happily I enjoy the view from there.

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