PM- 6 miles (:51) Monument Loops (NB240s)
In the morning, Kiran and I ran the 8ish miles to Palmer Park so that I could bandit the 30th annual Rescue Run 10K. I could've gotten a comp from the CRC to actually register for the race, but I didn't decide to jump in until late the night before. It's always a lot easier to run hard with other people than by one's lonesome, so since the 1st fell on a Tuesday this year, I figured it'd be an easy way to get in my weekly tempo run.
The danger with using a race as a training session is that you'll go harder than you should, but I did a good job of maintaining a relatively controlled effort for the whole distance. I lined up behind Paul Koch--one of my college XC coaches--and followed his pace up the daunting 1 mile climb that kicked off the course.
At the top of the hill I passed Koch and tried to settle into a comfortably hard pace for the next few miles which looped around on the rolling roads on top of Palmer Park. Although the first mile wasn't marked, it couldn't have been much faster than 6:45, so that means my next couple miles were just under 6min pace to hit 3 miles in 18:36.
Over the next two miles I concentrated on maintaining pace (one slightly uphill mile in 6:14 and then the same mile back in 5:46) before bombing the final 1.2 miles (the initial climb was now a downhill) back down to the finish in 6:05. My final, somewhat flatter half-mile was right at 2:30, so I figure I definitely broke 5 minutes for the last mile---that's really moving for me, even if it was downhill. Overall, I managed to keep it at tempo effort until the last 1/2 mile or so.
After turning off right before the finish chute (I was 6th overall in the race) and picking up my discarded stocking cap, Kiran and I jogged the 7 miles or so back to the house. It was fun to do some extended hard running, and I actually hadn't expected to run quite that fast, so it ended up being a nice start to the new year.