This Thursday will be one of those challenges for me. I will be running the local Run to Feed the Hungry which is a true Sacramento running tradition. It's a huge fun run with about 28,000 participants. There's also a small competitive contingent that competes for the little bit of prize money that's up for grabs.
My first challenge associated with this race was trying to figure out which distance to do: 5k or 10k. My goal for that day is to run the 'race' at lactate threshold (tempo) effort. This was highlighted in my training plan in bright yellow, so I think it's pretty important to follow the plan. I decided that the 10k would be the better option because the longer distance would help me keep my pace under control. It would be hard to hold back my pace in a 5k right now to 6:00-6:10. I would just be too tempted to race it instead of running it as a workout. Best to just remove the temptation. This will also be a heart rate max test for me where I'll run the first 5.5-6 miles at LT effort and then kick it in for a full on sprint to get my heart rate as high as possible. If I look like I'm going to die at the finish, that's what I'm going for. So, don't worry. I'm not quite sure what pace LT effort will have me running, but it will be fun to test it out and set a benchmark complete with heart rate data to look back on later in my training.
Here are the other races on my list for the next 5 months:
- Dec 13: Christmas Relays with the Impalas (run at LT effort)
- Feb 13: Valentine's Run 4 miler (race!)
- Mar 6: Norcal John Frank Memorial 10 miler (race!)
- Mar 14: Shamrock'n half marathon (goal marathon pace workout)
- Mar 28: Nutrition Fuels Fitness 10k (race! but with 10 miles tacked on to the end)
It may seem hard to believe, but I have never run a cross country race before. I guess it can't be that hard. I probably have to get some new shoes and figure out a new race strategy. I think I'll do fine and will have fun if nothing else. The kicker here is that the top 5 military female finishers get to compete for the U.S. in the world military cross country championships in March in----wait for it------Belgium! I am now very excited about trying my hand at cross country and winning a trip to Europe to compete for the US. How fun would that be? This would displace the Shamrock'n race, but I promised my coach I'd be able to get in the long miles if I got to do these two races.
So, my fingers are crossed that this cross country opportunity materializes for me and that I compete well enough for the Air Force to spend some time in Europe kickin' it with the top military cross country competitors in the world. Fun fun!