Today was the Jingle All the Way 10K and my last chance of 2009 to achieve my 10K goal of under 34:30. Conditions were favorable, at most a very light drizzle and mid-30 temperatures. No wind either, which is rare for West Potomac Park / Hains Point.
Met up with the team, got my number and warmed up. Slightly tight from the run yesterday, but I think it was more nerves. Decided on my DC Tri shirt rather than my usual racing jersey, due to my string of luck wearing that shirt in races. The Chicken Tender Runner is a little superstitious, after all.
Got to the starting line and lined up about 3 rows from the front, so I wouldn't be tempted to sprint out with the Chris Sloanes and Wilson Komens of the world. Good idea. I started fairly far behind them and had no intention of catching up.
Miles one and two were right on target, both clocking in at 5:29. Mile 3 seemed a little harder, 5:31... but I still felt great. Hit the 5K at 17:08. Right on target for a sub 34:30! Now the key was to keep it up. This time, I had no problem with that. I started to negative split and when I hit mile 4, I felt good enough to really start racing, not simply run for time. I put distance on the first Pacers girl (who of course drove the opposite running runners wild! I was nothing but chopped liver!!) and caught up to one guy and stuck with him for the next 2 miles. I negative splitted, as well, running them in 5:27 and 5:26. I tried to catch up to Matias in sight as well, but he was just a little too far ahead and I was too tired to make that much of a surge...
But when all was said and done, I looked at the clock... 34:05!!! Hot diggity! I crushed my previous PR (from a month ago of 35:16) and far exceeded my goal for 2009. I feel really awesome about this. Really sets me up for next year getting into the mid to low 33s. Maybe under 33? We'll see! I'm feeling pretty confident now. I finally solved the unsolvable 10K.
Splits... 5:29, 5:29, 5:31, 5:30, 5:27, 5:26, 1:01
3 days ago