Most marathoners take a break from marathons during the summer to train for and run 5Ks and 10Ks. Why? Well, because almost no one can run at marathon level year-round without getting injured or burnt out. We all need a break and a chance to recover from the strains of the high mileage of marathon training. And it just makes sense to do this when the weather is at its hottest.
I wanted to ATTACK my 10K time this year. It is the only major distance that I have not PRed at on this side of having kids (I broke 3 of my old PRs last year within 4 months--see here). My 10K time has pretty much hovered near 43 minutes for the last year. According to the McMillan calculator (when I enter my Chicago marathon time), I should be able to get a 41:40. So, at the very least, I wanted to break 42 minutes this year. I figured this was a very reasonable goal.
But there is a problem. I am now one of those people who thinks that I have to carefully choose a 10K course in order to get a good time. The flattest and fastest 10K course around here is probably the River City 10K, where I got my old PR of 40:43. Well, when that race came up this year, I could not find a babysitter, and it was Rick's turn to race (We take turns for races, meaning I run one, then he runs one). Rick nicely sent me links to two other "fast" 10Ks nearby, but we were busy both of those weekends.
So that leaves Run Through the Roses this weekend and Cotton Row Run on Monday, May 28. Both of these courses are tough and hilly, and I don't know how reasonable it is to expect a good time on them. But they are the only chances I will have this season for the sub 42:00. My running group has trained on the RTTR course over the last 3 weeks, and I did a pretty good 6x800 speedwork session with Julia on Wednesday. Honestly, though, I am dreading the thought of having to run fast for 6.2 whole miles! I am so used to marathons by this point, that they are almost easier for me to do than a 10K.
Here is a good entry from Arkansas Runner Mom on marathoners training for 5Ks (glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with wanting to do the shorter distances!)