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Back To Back 10k Runs
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Back To Back 10k Runs
After running the Vitry-sur-Seine half-marathon about a month and a half ago, I wanted to see what it would be like to run a 10K.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After earning a BA in Human Development at California State University, Long Beach, I moved to Paris, France in order to marry a lovely Parisian. A proud father of two vivacious girls, I currently
teach English and work on PCs and websites in the Parisian area.
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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
Paris Half-Marathon - March 5, 2006 (Non-Fiction) 5 months of regular training. Knee, ankle, and ligament injuries. 21.1 kilometers. 13.1 miles. 21,000 people. End result: Finished with a BIG lesson learned! [940 words] [Motivational]
Vitry-Sur-Seine Half-Marathon - April 23, 2006 (Non-Fiction) After running the Paris Half-Marathon over a month ago, I decided to put myself to the test by setting a goal: Finish another semi-marathon in about 1:40:00. [777 words] [Motivational]
Back To Back 10k Runs
La Course du Chateau: June 11, 2006
After running the Vitry-sur-Seine half-marathon about a month and a half ago, I wanted to see what it would be like to run a 10K. Having already run two semi-marathons, I thought that it would be a good challenge, in addition to being great speed work for my overall fitness and training.
I had read on the Internet while browsing through various running sites and forums that the training itself is completely different from middle-distance running. More speed work is needed, as well as interval training. I therefore decreased my mileage and added more intervals: Stair climbing for power and flat speed work. How difficult could a 10K be?
Of course, nothing ever comes easy and although you train to the best of your ability given the amount of time you have mixed with the general obligations of Life itself, there always seems to be some other element that is added to the day when the running event takes place. Well, in my case there were two elements: A nice bout of hay fever and 85-degree heat.
Fortunately, I had set a reasonable goal of 45 minutes or less for this run because I knew that I would be tired going into it, since my wife and I had had a busy day, the day before, preparing for my daughter's fifth birthday and entertaining eight lovely little monsters.
I am so happy I had. At 10:30 AM, start time, the temperature was scorching and my head was pounding. Add desert conditions to watery eyes and you have a wonderful combination for a tough endeavor. The run took place in the woods. I am sure you are thinking, "That is great, you should have had lots of shade and cool temperatures due to all the tree coverage." Wrong! The course itself was run on small, flat roads that had absolutely no trees overhead, thus no shade at all. What fun! To think that I decided to run for the inherent pleasure found in the sport.
It turned out to be more of a test of survival than any form of pleasure. I had drunk over two liters of water prior to start time and quickly learned that I had used all of it up within the first five kilometers. At 00:20:40 I thought I was doing fairly well under the circumstances and that I had some time to play with. At seven kilometers my legs gave out. My friend, who is a seasoned runner, had told me that during a 10K, you must go hard from the beginning and persevere until the end. Great...tell my legs that! I made a water stop at kilometer 7 and prayed for it all to end.
Needless to say, the last two kilometers were like running in hell. Imagine your entire body on fire, your throat parched, your legs cramped, and the clock ticking away.
The last and final kilometer was like a blur. I had pushed my body to its limit. I was in a daze as I crossed the line in 00:44:49. I had achieved my goal. I was happy...and destroyed at the same time.
What did I learn from that experience? First of all, always set realistic goals. Second, during a 10K, I have to force myself not to start off too fast and to gradually build up to my race pace. I always have a knack of going too hard at the beginning and then blowing up or fizzling out during the last half of the run.
Les Foulées du 12ème: June 18, 2006
Who would think of running another 10K, just one week after running one in hellish conditions? Mr. Hot Shot here. I cannot seem to remind myself that I am no longer 20 years old and indestructible. Instead of taking 24 to 36 hours to recover from a hard physical effort, it now takes me about 7 to 10 days, at the age of 33.
I could not help myself though. Les Foulées du 12ème took place right in my neighborhood, and started practically just outside my door. How could I refuse? My wife, children, and mother-in-law were all out there to see me suffer. Now that is pleasure in itself!
The ambiance was wonderful. The course was challenging because it consisted of two laps that included two nice hills per lap and the temperature was around 80 degrees. I told myself to take heed of the lesson learned the week before: Do not go out too hard, too fast.
That simple fact proved to be difficult to uphold since my family was out there. I ran too hard at the beginning due to all the excitement, and with a time of 00:20:50 at five kilometers, I was hurting and found it hard to recover. I forced myself to keep going, even though I wanted to stop. At seven kilometers, the hills hit my legs with a vengeance. I overcame them and actually felt my legs recovering through them. The stair climbing was paying off! With two kilometers and one final climb to go, I felt a lot of pain but was soaring. I knew my support crew would be at the finish, and I wanted to end the run as strong as possible.
I must also admit that my male ego was coming into play. Throughout the entire run, I was tailing and being tailed by a woman who seemed to be in her fifties. She was solid and as strong as a bull. How could I let a seasoned female runner hammer me? Sure, I was just a smartypants who started out nine months ago, but letting her beat me was simply out of the question. In the end, I was in full stride as I passed her with one kilometer to go and hit the finish line at 00:43:09. I was ecstatic. Over a minute and a half faster than last week's 10K.
The female bull and I exchanged pleasantries at the end of the run and I had nothing but admiration for her. I hope I am in such good shape when I reach her age...she is fit enough to eat younger runners up and spit them out!
Once again, I need to learn self-control. I have to be more disciplined during a run and force myself to follow my hard-learned lessons.
That is the beauty of this sport: Learning about yourself, both mentally and physically. Unlike other sports, it is mostly individualistic in that it is you against the clock. The clock is your adversary and is relentless. You cannot control it, yet you can learn how to control your mind and body. That is where the pleasure lies in running.
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© 2006 Terry Kaufman
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