Took down a PR tonight that had stood for over 5 years! I knew my 10k PR was within my range the last few cycles, but haven't been able to take a good crack at it. With the way I have been running here in Europe, and with the flat course of this weekly race, I figured I'd have a shot at my old PR (35:49) which ironically enough was also set in Europe. In fact, the only 2 times i've broken 36 for 10k have been on the European continent. Good weather again, upper 60s, low 70s, a little warm, and actually quite windy, but it could always be worse weather. Warmup was normal, 1.5 with the stretching and strides, although I've found that warming up closer to the race when available works better for me (starting half-an-hour out instead of 40 min). I thought I got out well, as my watch showed somwhere south of 2:50 for the first .5, which is well under pace, but yet my first mile split was 5:49, so I dk if my watch was off, or if I really slacked off that much of the second half of the first mile. either way, I consciously picked it up after that and got on pace quickly. Here are my splits:
3- 5:45 (17:16 3 miles) right around 17:50- 17:52 according to my watch as I made the 180 degree turn to do a second out and back loop
5- 5:45 (5 mile split was right on at 28:45, 8k would have been close nearby, 28:36 by rough math)
6- 5:55 (technically, according to my watch, second 3 miles was 17:24), although my closing the last .21 in 1:04 is pretty fast (like sub-5:20 pace), so I wonder if perhaps another mile was off here on my watch
.21 - 1:04
Total - 35:46, a brand new, shiny PR by 3 seconds!
Just squeaked in under my old PR. with 1k to 800 to go, I was doing the math in my head and wasn't sure if i'd be able to break my PR. I knew I'd get under 36, but the math was working out to something like a sub 2:40 final 800, yet, I did it. I closed hard, and I know I was all out because I could feel the effort and it was all I had. I still think my watch may have been off somewhere during the run because I know I closed fast at the end, but 1:04 seems excessively fast (although I know I do have that speed in me right now with a 16:55 last week for 5k). Either way, I will take the final result and am extremely satisfied with that PR regardless of my watch's splits. I will say the one huge positive for me is the sheer consistency of my mile splits. That is one thing I could feel during the race, was that for most of it, certainly the first 4.5, I was running hard but evenly. Since the race is a out and back loop 2.5 km and back, then again, I had to make 3 - 180 degree turns, and i found this not only slowed me down but broke my rythym each time. For example, the 3rd section (5k - 7.5k), I could feel myself getting in an absolute groove, and it started to feel easy to hold the pace, but no sooner had I turned around than i felt the struggle again (and the wind, which may have been a factor holding me back even further). I looked at my watch at the turnaround at 5k and saw between 17:49-17:52, so with a guess of 17:51, that means my 2nd half was 17:55, only a four second positive split - very good news there!
Cooled down after for only a mile -- again, everyone at the running group was very impressed with my time and told me that I had broken their course record for the 10k. (they have done this race almost 100 times, so I am impressed no one has run faster than I did today). That gives me 2 "course records" here in Krakow for the ITMWB run, 16:55 for 5k, and 35:46 for 10k. Not super fast as far as course record comparisons go, but its neat for me to be able to say I own them for however long they stand and I know as far as my ability level, they represent an extremely fast effort (for the 5k which is still a ways from my PR, but faster than I've gone in a long time) and an all-time personal best (the 10k, which I feel like is still pretty soft in terms of what I'm capable of).
Although I'm in pretty good shape, I have been on this training cycle since mid-December and have run 2 marathons as well as half a dozen other races. Thus, it is time to shut it down for 2.5 weeks and restart fresh in mid-July for a new build-up for the fall. Fall goals are to break 1:17 in the half-marathon in Carlisle on Nov. 4 and to possibly take a shot at my 10k PR a few weeks after in Moab, Utah. It will be strange to have no running for the next several days, but will give me some time to explore europe!