Fast forward to this training cycle. When I was talking to him about my upcoming 10K, I explained that it's a distance that I really struggle with. Too short to justify running easy. Too far for me to sustain running hard. I've never felt good about this particular distance, and it shows in my finish times.
One of the things that he brought to my attention is that I've never trained for a 10K before. I've trained for HMs, then run a 10K (too slow). I've trained for 5Ks/sprint triathlons then run a 10K (crash and burn). I've even showed up relatively untrained, then run a 10K (train wreck). It's no wonder my finish times are all over the map.
But this time I'm actually training specifically for a 10K. And with that, I find today scheduled to be the first of several 'steady' runs before the race. Which means I'm supposed to run at a prescribed pace. A pace, I might add, that looks scary fast to me. Gulp.
Of course, my immediate reaction was "I can't do this!" My next thought was that since I ran a virtual 10K as part of my 7 miler last weekend, I'll count THAT run as my steady run, and cop out and run easy today.
But then I came full circle. I'm ready to try this. And since I think my best chance of success for this steady run will be to run with the group, that's my plan for the day. I may not hit the prescribed pace, but I'm going to give it an honest try. Wish me luck!
[Updated to add: I hit the prescribed pace window for 2 of the 4 miles that I ran. Missed it on the other two miles. While certainly not a perfect result, I am satisfied. Gotta' remember that this training cycle is a work in progress; race is still a few weeks away.]