When I first started running, I thought I loved 5ks. They were short and manageable. They offered camaraderie in a mini burst of 30 minutes or less.
But, then I learned: to be a successful running in a 5k, you need to be fast. And ladies and gentleman, I am not that.
I like to consider myself the plodder – I would much rather cover 10, 15, 20 miles over the course of time than engaging in a sprinting bonanza. I. hate. sprints. All of the running blogs, magazines and gurus press the importance of sprinting as part of training, but outside of bootcamp classes, you likely won’t find me tackling a speed workout.
Then, I met the 10k. The 10k – to me – is a fantastic racing distance. While 6.2 miles does still call for speed, it also begs for more strategy than one would likely need to employ in a 5k. The additional mileage gives me those desired feelings of accomplishment. One of the greatest challenges is to find actual 10k race offerings, since the half-marathon has become the dominant race over the last few years.
Last Saturday, I was able to both fulfill my 10k want and support an incredible family in Durham in the Florence Forth 10k. Despite a chilly morning, a terrible night of sleep (or lack thereof), and starting off WAY too fast, I ended up finishing 6th in my age division with a new PR: 46:09, a 7:27 pace (by far, my fastest pace in a road race to date). I felt my time for the remainder of Saturday and into Sunday (I faintly tempted the idea of some sort of workout on Sunday but listened to my body).
What’s your ideal running distance? [Note: while none is an acceptable answer, there has to be something run-related that entices you – a sport, chasing after your kids or pets, pretending you are in a James Bond movie…)