It seems surprising to me, but the Army 10 miler will be my first running race since early June! Over the summer I focused on triathlons and running was put on the back burner. I started back up with marathon training at the beginning of August and have been focused and working hard. The last couple of weeks I have been feeling great and running well. I started to get really excited about seeing how I could do in this race a few weeks ago and was counting down the days to this weekend.
Then this week arrived. I was feeling abnormally stressed and bit cranky and I couldn't figure out why. I finally realized at some point yesterday that this race is making me extremely nervous. Although I have run plenty of distance races, I can't say that I have truly "raced" most of them. There are still some nerves when you're not totally sure you can complete a distance, but, at least for me, not nearly as many as when I have a goal in mind. Once I realized what was going on I tried to talk myself down off the stress ledge. No one is putting pressure on me but myself, so I just need to go out there and run a smart race and see what happens. I'm feeling a bit calmer today, so hopefully I can stay this way through the weekend.
That being said, here are my goals for this race:
A - New PR (sub 1:28)
B - New course PR (sub 1:41)
I think I should have no problem beating my course PR from 2009. I also ran this race in 2005 when it was detoured and ended up being over 11 miles. At the time, that was the longest I had ever run and I distinctly remember thinking that I could easily tack on 2 more miles and run a half, but there was no way I could ever do a marathon and run over twice that far. How times have changed. ;) If I run the race according to plan, even if I stay at the same pace the whole time and can't speed up, I should have no problem achieving my A goal. Of course, I know just as well as all of you that sometimes races don't go according to plan. And sometimes that easy pace you plan to start at just isn't so easy that day. So if things fall apart early, I'm just going to do my best to enjoy the crowds, course, and experience.
Another fun note about this race - my mother is running it too and I have never beaten her in a race we have run together. At any distance. I believe at this point we have similar 10 mile PRs (and I may even have a faster 5k PR), but whenever we have been in the same race she has finished ahead of me. She regularly places in her age group and probably will again on Sunday! But we'll see if I can manage to sneak in ahead of her. She says that she thinks I will based on our goal times, but I don't trust her. She always seems to underestimate her abilities ahead of a race. ;)