2014 PRR Perfect 10 Race Recap

September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

This past Sunday I ran the 10K option of Potomac River Running’s Perfect 10. As the name suggests, runners have the option to sign up for the 10M or the 10K.  Having run this race last year (recap here), and knowing how hilly the course was, I opted for the 10K again.   I signed up for the 10K pretty “late” because I realized I had to use the  last of my PRR race pack (I purchased 4 races for $100) and this was the only race that would fit into my schedule. 

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Logo: Potomac River Running

This past weekend marathon training called for a 16 mile E/L run.  My initial plan was to run the 16 miler on Saturday and then go really really really easy on Sunday (in hindsight a pretty bad idea).  Luckily I was a bit overscheduled this past weekend and that plan went out that door.  I decided to split my long run between Saturday and Sunday (10 and 6.2 miles respectively) – luckily I was not sore on Sunday morning (yesss).

Packet Pickup

The race was held at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia, about a 30-40 minute drive from Washington, DC.  As per usual, PRR gives runners an option to pickup their bib at one of their listed stores prior to the race, or on race morning.  

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And just like the New Years Day 5K, Firecracker 5K, and the Leesburg 20K, I elected to pick up my bib race morning. During race registration, PRR allows you to select a $10 gift card to their stores in lieu of a technical tee (which I selected).

Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)

Because this 10K was part of my training run, I did not run this at race pace.  Here were my goals for the 10K:

  • A – Run all the hills
  • B – Maintain my E/L pace of (12:30/mile)
  • C – Finish the race (course PR is 1:26:08)

Perfect 10(K)

It was cool crisp morning on Sunday.  At 55-60 degrees, it was the perfect temperature for the perfect 10.  Runners self assigned themselves for the 8:00am start.

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Below is a picture of the course map.  If it looks familiar, PRR also hosts the Reston 10 Miler in March (which sold out last year).

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Hello hills!  But with hills come downhills.

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As I was walking to the start I realized I left my Garmin at home! This was the first time I was running without a Garmin, Heart Rate Monitor or Timex watch in years (and I deleted my running apps from my phone).  Of course I started to worry!

My runs this past week had been pretty miserable.  My legs were tired and heavy for all my runs (even after foam rolling and rest days).  I was wrapping up Week 15 of marathon training, and my motivational level was also taking a dip (future post to come). 

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Thanks to my Oiselle Flock Teammate Jessica for finding my picture on the PRR Flick Account

Forgetting my watch was probably the best thing for me.  It allowed me to run by feel and not get obsessed with the numbers (which does not make it very enjoyable).  And what happened? I had a GOOD run and had a fun 10K.  My legs felt great (took a bit to warm up – but the hills certainly sped that process up) and I ran what felt like an E/L pace. 

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I finished with a time of 1:10:53 or 11:26/mile (a 15 minute course PR) and only 2 minutes from my PR from the B.A.A 10K for running it easy on a hilly course.  Part of me wishes I had my watch to view my splits (to make sure I was not going out too fast), but in the end this was a confidence booster.  The run felt easy and I ran the 10K at my marathon pace (so I did not meet my “A” or “B” goals – that is okay).  I just have to make sure I do not go out to fast during the marathon.

Final Thoughts

  • As always, PRR did not disappoint. 
  • The course was well marked, and there were plenty of volunteers directing traffic and runners along the run.
  • Rolling hills that were not terribly painful (but that is very subjective). 
  • The area is pretty residential, so there were residents who stepped outside and cheered on the runners.
  • Yayyy for a race with multiple distances.
  • A medal and free photos – we all love free (and the quality of the images are pretty good).
  • A nice spread of bagels, bananas, granola bars, water and Gatorade at the end.
  • Because I ran this last year, I knew that packet pickup was located near the track.  Perhaps note this on the website, because I saw people wondering around looking lost until they had someone to follow.
  • Note to myself – run more 10Ks in 2015.

I would love to run this race/distance again next year – and actually race it!  And if scheduled permits, I would love to run the Reston 10 Miler in March.

When was the last time you ran without a gadget?

Do you prefer the 10K or 10M distance?

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