Wednesday morning I decided to run the Yankee Doodle Dash route as a practice run for tomorrow's 10K.
This was hardly a daring move. The race route is almost identical to the basic run I do several times a week, except starting and ending at the Y instead of my house. So actually, with the added distance to and from home, plus the entire 6.2 mile run, I ended up with just under eight miles (7.94) on Wednesday. (Since there are 5,280 feet in a mile, that would mean I was 316.8 feet shy of eight miles, which would be—trust me on this—somewhat less than a full block as measured in my town. I figure I walked that much extra going in and out of the hospital where I stopped to use the bathroom. So I'm giving myself eight miles for the day. Much easier mathematically as well.)
I am completely incapable of running at race pace in other than true race situations. Also, I didn't want to use up all my juice for Friday in advance. But I did make an effort to run a bit faster than I might on a typical morning run. Then I checked my watch beginning and end to find out how long it really takes me to run 10K at a non-race pace.
The answer: one hour. Obviously this is not a precise figure, but it's a pretty good estimate. Caveat: this was after subtracting the 4 or 5 minutes that it took me to get in and out of the bathroom (and I did check my watch on that). Caveat in my favor: I did not subtract the time I spent waiting for lights to change. There were several, although none of them were a long wait. The longest light, on Everett Avenue, I managed to catch pretty close to green both ways (the walk sign was gone but I sprinted across before the countdown of seconds ended).
That gave me an average pace of approximately 9:40 per mile, about a minute per mile slower than I would expect to do in a 10K race.
Or so I hope.
Why I even worry about that, I don't know. I've never done a 10K slower than nine minutes per mile. My last two 10K's, in one weekend, were both under 54 minutes. There is nothing about yesterday, today, or tomorrow that would make me think anything different would happen now.
And yet I wonder. (Actually I'm starting to make myself paranoid!) Okay, instead of rationalizing and trying to understand the mysteries of race course adrenaline, I am just going to relax and rest for the last few hours before tomorrow morning comes.
And continue trying to figure out the Garmin.
Should make for a good night's sleep.