Well I couldn't do it. Raced my final 10k race last weekend and although I thought it was in the bag, I finished in 45:25, 25 seconds over my goal. It would be tempting to blame technology. According to my Garmin 305, my pace was fine but errors do add up and by the end of the race, my 305 showed a total of 10.15 km. So either the course was a bit long or I didn't run a straight enough line but the end result is that I finished just over my 45 minutes goal, again.
The thing is, even if I'd had perfect info, I'm not sure I could have run any faster. It was cold and windy. At pretty much any given point on the course, if I tried to go faster I got a side stich burning on my right side. My average HR for the whole race was 182 (90% of my max HR) and the last 5k was at 187 (94% maxhr). Sure, sitting here, I'm thinking I could have gone faster. But if I rewind to yesterday, all I remember of the last 5k was wondering when this was going to be over. My splits were all within 10 seconds of each other. I ran a good race, but I didn't have it in me.
Gone are the days of big surprises, except for bad ones. I guess I'm at that point now where I REALLY have to work hard to break a PR. My speed hasn't really improved on shorter distances since I started my marathon training last Spring. My 10k and 5k PR both date from last March. I guess I should be happy I didn't loose speed when I increased my racing distance. The point is that to beat my PR, I would have to really work on speed. I've plateau'd. To be honest, I feel like I can't run any faster. I know I can, but I feel like it's impossible. Hard, painful work should change all that.
For now though, I'm going for distance. Boston in April, 50 Miler in May. Then, in the summer, project speed will begin...