Lots of firsts this weekend! I ran my first ever 10k and my first race of the season. I have ran plenty 10k's in the Olympics tri's I have done but none of them have been fast nor have they ever felt good or like I was in control. My experience with this distance has always been just getting through and getting it done. No pushing it to the max or making a race out of it. Surprise surprise, nothing has changed. I have never been run focused, but that has more so recently changed. I am building up for my B-race this year, Grandma’s marathon, and actually putting a lot more mental effort into my training. Game changer people; I am telling you. I used to always mentally prepare when I swam competitively but for some reason this has yet to fully transfer to triathlon. I am working on it. I also need to work on my form and speed. Running is my favorite discipline, but definitely the most challenging for me.
|Really need to get to this point. This is the background on my desktop at work.|
Since this was more of a training race and to see where I was at for speed I wasn’t overly concerned or prepared. I hadn’t raced in about a year and a half so I knew there was going to be cobwebs in and around the race. The night before I made last minute plans for dinner with a friend that turned into a small plate extravaganza (mussels, brussel sprouts, arancini, lobster quesadilla, a glass a wine, and finished off with some mini cupcakes. Not really a pre-race meal to brag about. She is been coaching high school track and tried to give me some pointers on pacing and to be honest I should have tried to follow her suggestions closer. I felt it on mile 4 just like she said.
Still got to bed at a decent time since it was a late race start of 9:30 AM but had not thought about any race prep and before I knew it I was rushing around trying to get out the door. I am pretty sure this is the first race I have done that I hadn’t had someone racing with me, but I did have some awesome support of a wonderful friend and training buddy who couldn’t race because of a bum ankle. I always feel like I need to entertain those who come to watch which usually ends up distracting me, but for this one it didn’t matter so much and ended up keeping the morning fun.
|Pre-race photo. Clearly am out of my element and not sure what I am getting into.|
My plan was to warm-up 2-3 miles, race, and cool down another 2. I am training for Grandma’s so I was looking to get in a decent day on top of the race. I ended up warming up 1.5 miles, racing, and walking to the car as my cool down. It was misty at the end of the race and kind of chilly so as my friend clung to her coffee cup for warmth I said let’s roll. I literally finished, went straight to the porta-potty, found my cold friend, grabbed a muffin for her, and got in the car. Not good for just been worked warm muscles.
I was warmed-up and ready to go at 9:20 AM which was too early. It takes a lot to get my body going so I should have probably tried to be running up until 9:29 AM. So at 9:26 AM they gave us the 5 minute warning which turned into 10 minutes as they were waiting for bikers to finish. My short warm-up was out the window and I was starting from scratch. Cold.
|Waiting around for the race to start. WTF? I should be at least jogging around.|
My plan was to go out at about 6:55-7:00 for the first mile, hold back the second mile (7:10), and build from that to the finish. That did not happen and my pacing seemed to be all over the place. It was also a lot more hills than I expected. Not long ones, but short and steep and not my favorite. My miles were 6:52, 7:08, 7:24, 7:17, 7:36, 7:20, and then 6:59 pace for the last .2 miles. Definitely not a good race plan when your muscles are not warm.
|Right before 41:40 is when I was feeling that first mile.|
Overall it wasn’t a horrible race; I PR’d since never running a 10k with 45:16, won my age group, and dusted the cobwebs out. It also wasn’t a race to brag about; I didn’t execute my warm-up, race, or cool-down as wanted, I didn’t feel focused or in control, and I didn’t finish feeling like I left everything on the table. I didn’t have too high expectations because I have never really have had a “kick”, but I think since this distance was such a challenge mentally and physically, I may add some more 10k’s to the schedule so I can try and master it.
|Here is my finish. Finally starting to feel good, but look how horrible my form is.|
Stay tuned for an upcoming exciting interview from a women who has mastered not only the 10k, but the 5k and the marathon and will attempt to become an Olympian this June on the track. She is one of my idol’s and am honored to ask her a few questions. Maybe she can transfer some of her mad running skills through the interwebs.