Well, it’ll have to be one. I’ve never actually run an actual 10-mile race before. All have been either shorter or longer. But I know where I normally am for half-marathons, at right around 1:22. So my goal was to go sub-1:20 for this race.
Since it wasn’t a priority race, I wasn’t out there to kill it. Just out there to work on even pacing and a negative split. I achieved both.
To achieve a 1:20 even 10-miler, I had to maintain 8:00/mile pace. To negative split, I ran the first 5-miles at a very comfortable 8:04/mile average. It was fun to watch all the folks jackrabbit for the first few miles, knowing I’d see a good chunk of them soon.
Baghdad’s flat as a pancake. Except for one hill. And that hill was the middle mile, from about 4.5-5.5. One-half mile up, turn around and back down. It was interesting to see the faces of the folks in front of me after they had come back down. Many were beat up. More good news for me. When we turned to view the hill straight on, some got pumped and actually started accelerating towards the hill. I saw them again later.
After the hill I kept the pace just a bit slower than 8:00/pace to let the legs recover from the hill. By mile 7 I started to accelerate, covering the last three miles at about 7:40/mile pace.
Knowing the roads had its advantage too. By mile 8 I was accelerating smoothly and passing folks left and right. The final hard left turn was about 1/2 mile out from the finish. That last 1/2 mile was covered at about 5:30/pace, crossing the line at 5:10/pace.