Being a Nike supported athlete, I was sure to compete in the We Run Prague 2014 as I have been running the Nike 10 km runs since the first edition in 2011. On the other hand, my autumn "A" race is the Chicago Marathon in October, so everything is going towards it as was the training camp I just came back from. I drove back already on Friday because of We Run Prague, but I did not really adjust my training program at the camp in order to be fresh and rested for the race :)
I even did little shakeout run in the morning to get the stiffness out of my legs after the long drive on Friday, did lot of stretching and as the race was starting at 7 pm (that was this year's new thing, it usually started in the mid-afternoon), I even managed to have a nap. I also took it as a routine rehersal. So set up my gear, pain my nails, get my fluids, nutrition and off I was to the start.
On the way to Žluté lázně where the race started there were many many neon green tshirts. What a marketing to make the people wear tshirts as race numbers :) Every year the same, I am getting nice collection, already fourth. When I got to the start area, I bumped into several friends which is nice among the 10 thousand people running the race. In the Nike backstage I finally met with Fit Veronika in person and yes she looks as beautiful live as she does on the photos, so no Photoshopping there... :)
I did my warm up routine, drank my Generation UCAN, changed in my racing flats and it was time to get to the start. As I just came back down from the altitude with lot of volume in my legs, I did not know what to expect so it was great opportunity to run by feel and that is what I did.
I am very prone to forming too much lactic acid when I start too fast and then suffer in the end, so I tried to ease into the run even though it is tough in the atmosphere and tons of people going out fast :) I checked my watch only occasionally, but mainly for heart rate. And my heart rate was climbing steadily as it should be, almost a book example :D I was quite happy about that, because it wouldn't go higher than 170ish at the altitude, so I was curious how I will do in the intense effort. I am reading a great book about Kenyan running and training called More Fire, so I was on for More Fire and more suffering in the second half of the race. It does not seem so from the mile split chart, but given the ups and downs and huge amount of cobble stones in the second half of the race, it certainly felt like higher effort.
As I knew that I was on the edge of my personal best and it did not seem for a big "breaktrough", I tried to concentrate on competiton = other female runners, that helps a lot :) I overtook Blanka at around 4th km and she tried to get back to me, so that gave me nice boost to stay ahead of her. We were also going up and down with the girl in the photo above. Unfortunately, I did not stay ahead, lucky her having the guy in red cap as pacer. Not making excuses for myself, but having faster runner to pace you surely helps :) The 5th mile was kind of no man zone and looking back at it, I am not sure why my pace dropped that much, I guess this was the one with the most cobble stones. After that, the last 2 km you suffer, but you know you have "only" 2 km left. I am glad I found a little faster kick for the finish, even though again on the cobble stones it was tough. The official time says 43:06, so I pushed my Garmin too late at the start or to early in the finish, but that does not matter.
Well, writing this race report now, I am little upset with myself that I stayed few seconds short of my PB, but I guess I can shoot for that after Chicago :) Marathon is my "A" distance anyway and my results 10 km vs. half marathon vs. marathon have always been very disproportional :D
Link to the Garmin Connect activity.
Overall I am really happy with the race, the atmosphere was amazing as always! And I can't wait to see how I will "sell" my training next weekend in 5 km on the track and in the half marathon on September 14.
I don't like the color of the shoes, but I love the feeling running in those Flyknit Racers :)
Back home, back to evening dog walks :)