Although I've been running for 4 years now, and done over 20 races, until today I'd only done one 10k. They're not quite as common as 5ks or half and full marathons, but it also seems like a hard distance to run - can't go full out like a 5k, but can't just stay slow and steady like a longer distance.
The one 10k I did a couple years ago was just a really off day - felt super sluggish and had some digestive issues that kept me walking a lot of it by the end. So I've been meaning ever since to redeem myself, but haven't found the right race at the right time. Finally, last week, I got enough email reminders that it was coming up, and realized the distance was about what I should be doing for a long run this weekend anyway, so I signed up for the Helvetia 10k.
Helvetia is held at the Hillsboro Stadium (so free onsite parking) and only around 2,000 people - perfect race size, in my opinion. There are also real bathrooms to use beforehand, always a bonus! I only had a 15 minute drive to get there, and arrived about an hour before the start time. The half marathon and 10k started together, with the 10k turning around at about the 3-mile mark while the half marathoners continued on (the winner of the half passed me about a mile from the finish - so running literally more than twice as fast as me).
My goal was to go out a touch faster than comfortable, but still conservative - between 12:00 to 12:30 - for the first three miles, then step it up by 15 - 20 seconds each mile to get to 11:00 by the end. It's not a super fast route, but not too difficult - rolling hills, with nothing too steep but no significant flat stretches.
Miles 1 - 3: 12:19, 12:24, 12:08
Miles 4 - 6: 11:45, 11:48, 11:19
Mile 6.2: 3:34 time for 0.34 per my Garmin (10:28 pace)
Official time: 1:15:20 (12:07 pace) - a shiny new 10 1/2 minutes PR! :)