The 15K…one step down from the half-marathon. Not so long as to fear not finishing but longer than a short weekend run. The 15K (9.3 miles) is a nice distance and I had the opportunity to run my first 15K this past Saturday as a part of the Indy Mini-Marathon Training Series sponsored by OrthoIndy. I had a fantastic time starting out at the NCAA Hall of Champions Saturday morning at 8:00am! Over 1600 runners and walkers showed up to run under slightly cloudy skies and warm weather. I was one who had ambitions of beating the rain…..alas no one runs faster than Mother Nature if she decides the grass needs watering! I got a little wet on the way back to the car, but I ran the half mile from the finish line to my automobile. The rain felt good!
It was a great day for a run! Lower 60s temps met the running group as we ran on much of the same route that we’ll run on in May for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. My official time for the 15K was 01:28:06. This being my first 15K I was guaranteed a PR for the day!
One thing I reinforced in myself at the start was my commitment to pace myself better. At the beginning of the race I was telling myself, “go out slow, go out slow, go out slow…..” Last time for the 10K I had ran the first two miles at an 08:45 pace which was way too fast for me….closer to my 5K pace and I paid for it in the last half of the race. Alas, even though I was telling myself to slow down I approached the 1-mile marker with a time of 08:30:00. Makes me wonder what the time would have been if I had pushed it! I slowed by 15 seconds on the next mile and then tried to maintain closer to a 9 min/mile pace for the remainder.
I did slow down toward the end which is inevitable when you go out too fast due to lactic acid build-up in your legs. Elite runners and running coaches agree that for every second gained in the first half of a race by running faster than an optimal pace you will lose 2 seconds in the second half. Better to run an even pace throughout the race or slightly faster on the back half. My overall pace for the 15K was an average of 09:28/mile. Pacing is something I will continue to work on in my upcoming three half-marathons next weekend, May 7th & June 11th.