Since I threw it out there that I was going for a sub-40 10k time in this year’s BolderBoulder, it is with some disappointment and a lot of frustration that I now have to report there was no sub-40 time from me on Monday.
I am still thinking about all that went wrong early Monday morning and I have come up with a number of reasons (or excuses, if you like) that could have negatively effected my performance.
1. I had too much to drink before the race. I had to get up at 4:45 to make it to the start of the race that morning. I think all that time tricked me into thinking I could have a large coffee, 2 bananas, a big spoon of peanut butter, and a little water before my race. Although I was done eating and drinking by 6:10, 45 minutes before my wave started, this was way too much to consume before a race. I haven’t normally had that much to eat and drink before a race so I don’t know why I did something different on the day of the BolderBoulder. It’s a rookie mistake and I’m embarrassed by it. In previous running races–all 4 of them–I’ve had at most one banana, a little peanut butter, and maybe 10-12 ounces of water.
2. I took the first mile out too fast. 6:07 on my GPS watch. 6:11 on official results. Both are too fast for me, but it’s very hard at the start of a race to not let the energy get the best of you. You feel good. You are racing with the biggest group of fast runners you have seen. You stupidly think that you can maintain said pace because you still feel good. Of course I felt good. It was the first, damn mile. If I was running the race again right now I would slow down to a 6:30 for that first mile and try to maintain that through the first four miles, then try to pick it up for the last 2.2. In a 6-mile race a couple weeks ago my first mile was 6:36, then 6:37, and 6:34. I was hurting in mile 4 and 5, but still kept it under 7 minutes and then in mile 6 I had enough energy left for a 6:24. Mile 6 in Monday’s race was 8:02.67. Doh! I straight up walked 50 yards of that. It was gross.
3. I underestimated the Bolder Boulder course. There isn’t much of an incline in the first four miles, but it’s just enough to break you down if you underestimate it. I didn’t think it would prove to be that sapping to my legs, but it was. It’s certainly not an ideal course to set your PR on. That said, I haven’t been running long, so I set a PR (42:29), but was nowhere near my goal time.
4. I should have gone out for easy runs on Saturday and Sunday. This was the first time that I’ve tapered off a serious running regimen so instead of taking one day off my feet, I took two. I thought two might be necessary because I am a little more muscular than your avid runner. In hindsight, I think a 20-minute easy run on Saturday and a 10-minute easy run on Sunday would have been ideal.
5. My training program needs more interval work in it. I have already found good alternative programs to use for a sub-40 minute 10k. The regimens are all about 10-14 weeks long and one of them has at least two, sometimes three rest or active rest days, which I certainly need.
6. Although my left foot did not bother me on Monday, something may be wrong with it. Since it was giving me substantial pain during the last two weeks of training, I did cut back on my interval training by turning fast 400s into fast sprints the length of a soccer field. That may have taken a slight edge off my fitness level, but I would not give this too much weight. That is why this is reason six, not one.
As far as the Bolder Boulder goes, I will compete next year and I have made some goals for that race. 1. Beat this year’s time. 2. Don’t vomit. 3. Don’t require medical attention. 4. Don’t take it out so fast. 5. Don’t drink a tumbler of coffee an hour before you run.
I will be happier and I will feel better after next year’s race if I obey these commands.