When is a 10K not a 10K?

When it’s a 6.7 mile run! Sorry – no smart runner jokes here.

Saturday was the Park City Trail Series 10K held at the trail system in Round Valley. After my horrible 5K race (going out too fast, feeling like crap at the end), I decided to be more sensible about this race.  Keep a steady pace. Don’t push too hard (long run on Sunday). And enjoy it all the way through.

I started out the day with some sensible pre-race fueling (missed that out for the 5K) – wholewheat toast with Trader Joe’s Cookie butter. J was running this race (he came 6th overall), so we headed up to Park City a little before 7 and arrived in plenty of time to pick up our bibs, use the restroom and do a quick warm-up. The weather was perfect – high 50s and sunny. Right before the race started it was announced we’d get to run some bonus mileage. Whatever. I figured most of my races are a little over the listed distance. In fact, last year this race was 6.1 miles according to my Garmin.

8AM rolled around and we were off. The first part of the course was identical to the 5K but with added hills. I decided to go out at what I would describe as a mildly uncomfortable pace. I knew I could push harder but had to remind myself that I needed to run 14(!) miles the next morning and that was enough to reign me in.

I also knew that there was a pretty burly hill in the second half of the race. It was broken up by some switchbacks but was about 200ft of climbing in one go.

  1. 7.42 min/mil  87 ft up/11 ft down
  2. 8.25 min/mile 163 ft up
  3. 8.00 min/mile 111 ft down
  4. 8.11 min/mil 85 ft up/77 ft down
  5. 8.43 min/mile 125 ft up/25 ft down
  6. 7.26 min/mile 111 ft down
  7. 7.37 min/mile 124 ft down

Total: 6.7 miles – 54.01  – 8.03 min/mile – elevation gain/loss

So I guess I have a new 6.7 mile PR! Woohoo!

I actually really enjoyed this race. My focus was on keeping a consistent effort (pace varied with the hills) but I felt good at the finish. I felt I could have pushed harder but that’s not what this race was about. I’ve been trying hard to keep consistent pacing in my workouts. I feel that this is something you have to learn. Ideally, I would like to be able to accurately judge my pace by my effort, so I don’t have to obsessively look at my Garmin every two minutes.

We waited around for the awards. J placed second in his age group and won a really cool water/and or wine holder for backpacking/traveling. I didn’t place – 4th in my age group and 10th woman overall. But I did snag a matching water bottle in the raffle.

We also got some free race photos.


Downhills! And a little bit of muscle definition. FYI the guy behind me passed me out a little after this but then had to stop to puke at the top of the final hill. I think I saw him do the exact same thing in the 5K.


This is me just about to pass out my 18 year old neighbor. Salt Lake City is such a small place that if you go to any event you will invariably bump into someone you know.

I checked the online results when I got home and was surprised to see that I had been bumped up a place in the overall standings and in my age group. I emailed the race organizer as I was planning on volunteering for the 15K next month and found out that a guy had run using his wife’s bib and had been DQed! So another placing – 3rd in my age group!

The rest of the day was spent running errands and catching up with my parents over Skype to wish my Dad a happy 60th birthday. And a fusion yoga class – an hour long class half core work and half restore. Perfect.

Sunday was long run day. And it was epic for me. My longest run ever both in distance (14 miles) and time (a little over two hours). And my first 2 Gu run. I’ve approached my marathon training with the idea that long runs should be done on tired legs so that you train for the latter portion of the race.

I’m not going to lie, this was hard. It started out OK but by mile 9 I was starting to feel the effects of the race and the heat (it had just hit 80F by the end and I was running in the sun). I had to bargain myself into finishing the final mile. And when I was finished I was the sweatiest I had ever been in my entire life. I stood in the kitchen gulping down chocolate milk, two pints of water and some Nuun while a puddle of sweat pooled at my feet. It was pretty gross.

But afterwards I felt OK. No major pain  – just a little muscle tiredness. And my pace was pretty consistent throughout – about 8.50 min/mile average. Although, I think I’ll try and slow it down a little in the future. I know that you should run your long runs slower than your goal race pace but how much slower should that be? 30s-60s-90s per mile?

Sunday turned into baking day. I finally made a pie with the bag of cherries we got in our CSA. I think I’ve finally figured out how to make a good pie – I’ve had a couple of disasters.


Then cornbread for dinner and chocolate chip scones for breakfast.


And boy was I glad that Monday was a rest day. 33.15 miles for the week.




22 thoughts on “When is a 10K not a 10K?

  1. Martha B says:

    Nice race!! Your time is inspiring with terrain like that. I love trail races so much.
    Racing around here is like that, too… I know mostly every person at every race I go to. If I don’t, they stand out like a sore thumb.
    Way to go on your long long run. Sounds like a very productive weekend.

    • Trails are so fun – but man they can totally kick your butt. I hope you get back out there soon. I’ve just done with week 7 of marathon training – and my weekends are all about running. Only 11 weeks to go!

      • Martha B says:

        I love being in a state of training for something 🙂
        Weekends are overrated anyway. Unless they are filled with running!

  2. You can bake me goodies any time–that pie looks divine! Oh, and great job with the race and long run! So far my longest run is a half marathon, but at some point I’d like to try higher mileage.

  3. Jane Likes to Run says:

    Great job on the race! I am exactly in the same place as you trying to figure out pace by feel rather than obsessively looking at my watch. Because that just gets annoying and running is supposed to be fun. My understanding is that you are supposed to do your long runs 60 to 90 seconds slower than goal pace. Which can be really frustrating and time consuming. But I think that main goal is to get your body used to churning out energy for long periods of time.

    • It’s hard never having run a marathon before, to figure out how fast/slow I should be running. I’m terrified of bonking really hard. But I think you’re right – the main thing is to just get used to running for that long (time + distance). Hope your training is going well.

    • She warned us at the start – and then at the 5 mile marker a volunteer said “Only one and three quarters mile to go!”. I was like “Whaaaaaaaat?”. Ha! The scenery was so pretty I didn’t mind.

  4. Very nice run! I have taken it a little easy in some races this year, and have really loved them. The only problem is that this makes me not want to race properly at all anymore. I think I may have become a doddler! 😉

    • I know what you mean. Racing hard really hurts – and sometimes it’s nice just to enjoy yourself. But you are doing some crazy long distances – I don’t think anyone could call you a doddler!

  5. Wow that’s a great run and yeah…definitely not a 10k. That’s kind of like what happened with my 15K that was not a 15K. Your time was amazing though!

    Next time you have a baking day can I come over? That looks delicious!

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