Goals: This Saturday's 10K

Well. I had this whole post typed out earlier this week about my goals for Saturday's race. And then I saw this as the weather forecast:

weather forecast
weather forecast

Not good. It's bringing back memories of the hideously cold and windy (and sort of miserable) Charleston Half earlier this year. Plus the Isle of Palms Connector Run a few weeks ago wasn't exactly wind-free either. I'm about over these races with wind, especially ones involving bridges over open water for the entire duration.

So...that said, here are the goals I set earlier this week before I saw the weather forecast for Saturday:

  1. I'd love to run this faster than my first 10K from back in the fall of 2012, so that means around 54 minutes (or an 8:45 pace). 
  2. Ideally, I'd like to come in under 52 minutes (approximately an 8:20 pace). I feel like this is a bit of a stretch right now, but I'm still putting it out there. Although I did have two sub-9 minute miles in the middle of my run on Saturday and I was gabbing away, easily having a conversation, so maybe it's possible.  
  3. However...there is no way I'm going to PR and run sub-49 minutes (approximately 7:45 pace). No way. I'll faint from shock if I do and then wonder who took over my legs during the race. 
  4. If all else fails and I find myself dragging or it's super windy, I just want to come in under 56 minutes and run sub-9 minute miles. I hate seeing paces above 9 minutes in races (well, really, I hate seeing anything above 8 minutes for 10Ks and 5Ks, but that's not a realistic goal right now at all. And someday, I hope to drop that to sub-7 minutes and actually be fast(ish), but let's not get crazy with ourselves just yet).

Sooooo...yeah. I may need to adjust a little.

This is my first "big" postpartum race and I've definitely waffled (and clearly continue to waffle) on my goals throughout the training cycle. I use the term "training" loosely because while I did follow a schedule, I didn't do many (i.e., three) conditioning/speedwork sessions because my body just wasn't ready for them up until about a week ago. And the weeks when I was really supposed to be building mileage, I was sick and chilling on my couch.

But it's still the end of a training cycle and I'm back to running on a regular basis again, which is more than I was doing 10 weeks ago. And overall, I'm feeling good (albeit with a bit of a lingering cough from the three-week illness streak). I've gotten a little faster, nowhere near where I was, but easy runs are now clocking in somewhere between the low and mid 9s. I've dropped pretty much all of the baby weight and my core is much stronger now, plus my form and gait are much more similar to what they were pre-baby. All of this bodes well for running a decent race.

My only point of reference for post-baby racing is the IOP Connector 5K, which was a really disappointing run. But retrospectively, I think I was a bit hard on myself since it was a tough course (according to some runners in-the-know) and it was very windy (and I was getting sick, I just didn't know it).

I know the course for Saturday is another hilly, tough course, but after last's week's hill workout, I'm feeling confident that I can tackle those hills, but now I'm concerned about the cold and wind and I'm thinking it may be similar to the IOP run.

So I'm thinking that 54 might end up being the stretch goal, and then the other goals respectively bump up by 2 minutes each. So, 54, 56, 58. If the weather forecast suddenly changes, maybe I'll hit that 52 minute mark, but if it doesn't, it's doubtful. At this point, I'm just glad to be back out and racing the 10K distance. I know I can't control the weather, so all I can do is get out there and run my best, whatever the circumstances happen to be that day.