I ran the Peachtree Road Race 10k this morning. My three daughters also ran - but had different starting waves than me. It was very warm and humid this morning and with very little fast training in months, my mindset was to just get a baseline of where I am - still dealing with a little discomfort in the foot as well. I was really expecting to be able to run around 7 min pace at least for the first half of the race which doesn't have any significant uphill.
I was able to do just that for the first half - although my heartrate was indicating that the heat and humidity and pace were showing much more strain than I had expected.
As the race moves to a series of uphills just prior to the end of mile 3 - and the temperatures also started to rise - I began to moderate my pace to compensate for the effort. I really thought I was managing the effort well, but my splits for the next two miles were just over 8 mins and my heartrate monitor was indicating numbers way higher than even my max (so I think the monitor was a bit wonky). I was quite surprised at how much more slowly I had run when I saw my time at the finish than I had expected the time to be. In hindsight, I think though, if the course had been flatter - I would have maintained the sub 7 min pace for the second half.
I waited at the finish for Riley who's been training and this was her first 10k ever - and she did well - coming in at 58 mins; and then Bradlea and Delaney - basically ran the first two miles and walked the rest (actually really enjoyed the event and the people and all the "free stuff").
My takeaways - I generally did not feel much if any pain in my left foot, and so I feel that is a positive. I never really felt as though I had gotten into the redzone - though my HR monitor says otherwise (so I am going by the actual feel, rather than the device) - and as result, I think my conservative approach perhaps was an underestimate of how slowly I was moving without realizing it.
Nevertheless - as I am recovering from this injury I wonder if my training paces which have been so much slower, was part of the reason for slow time today; and that I need to begin to mix in some faster turnover efforts, even just striders - because I am getting older and losing fast twitch muscle mass - and need to compensate for that.