Race Preview: Run the Valley

Saturday marks the beginning of my 2013 competition season with the Run the Valley 10k in Golden Valley, MN.  Prior to today I had some really high hope for cool temperatures and great running conditions but unfortunately Minnesota was over taken by winter again on Wednesday night with 4″-6″ of snow throughout the Twin Cities Metro.

Brookview Community Center - MN Spring, Got to love it.

Brookview Community Center – MN Spring, Got to love it.

After picking up my packet on Thursday I drove the course and found it to be pretty sloppy and slushy but as long as we don’t get any more snow I think the streets will be fairly clean by Saturday morning.

I’ve battled myself lately on my goals and expectations for this race.  With the sheer volume of running that I’ve done lately I’m curious to find out if I’ve been able to carry that fitness through the offseason.  So, on one hand, this race is simply a run fitness check for the work that I’ve put in over the winter.   On the other hand, I’m a competitor and I like to bring it every time I step up to the line.  In the end though I think I’m looking at this race as a combination of the two.  I’d certainly like to see a PR and I think my training indicates that is possible and that would satisfy the competitor in me.  The bigger overall goal however will be to try and execute a well paced race.


Run the Valley 5k & 10k Course

Last year I did the Running Opener 10K as my only open running race and finished with a 37:18.  I was ok with my results in that race but was able to actually better that time slightly on the run split in the Hy-Vee Triathlon.  I worked extremely hard on my run last summer and it showed as my splits improved in every race.  I was determined throughout the winter to not lose that base and improve on it if I could.  While I have done little specific speed work this year, so far it seems that the work I have done has allowed me to accomplish that goal.

So the plan for this race is to start out in a controlled conservative pace around 5:45.  Which I’m sure will be a challenge for me as I tend to take running races out too hard and suffer for it later.  With the 1st mile under my belt, I look to continue that pace through miles 2 and 3.  Assuming things go according to plan, through the mid-point of the race it will be time to pick up the pace a bit.  I don’t expect to have a huge decrease in the pace but a couple of seconds per mile is what I’m shooting for.  Overall this course is fairly flat so I don’t expect the terrain to have a huge effect on my ability to stick to the plan, but I do have some slight concern that the pace I’m shooting for my be a bit aggressive.  This, however, is the perfect opportunity to test my abilities in a very low risk situation.  While, again, I want to always do as well as I can in a race, if the wheels fall off the bus before I hit the finish line I won’t have sacrificed much but learned a lot.

Good luck to everyone competing in this and other races this weekend and check back on Monday for a run down of  how things went.



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