A week ago i woke up to run a 10k. If you haven’t noticed I don’t do these often. I’m a half marathon kind of girl. I was invited to run and decided it was smarter to race a 10k, then be tempted by doing another half during full marathon training. I want all my efforts to go to the marathon and so far i’m happy about sticking to the plan.
Sunday the 16th i woke up to my very usual race day breakfast: banana, pb, honey stinger waffle and Nuun. Coffee was my companion as I drove 30 minutes to the race start. It was a beautiful morning. The sun and huge moon were both out and for a split second I thought that must be what Tatooine is like. Then i realized Tatooine isn’t real and i’m a huge nerd. haha.
I arrived about an hour and a half before the race started, parking was free for racers, and I picked up a race bib easily. The volunteers were perky and helpful, the DJ had music blaring and everyone seemed to be having fun even though the race hadn’t even started. I had plenty of time to use the bathroom, finish coffee, and get in a proper warm up.
A mile into warming up in the empty section of the parking lot, I realized I have no idea how to race a 10k. More than likely, i’d go out too fast, struggle my way through and hate the last 3 miles. Well, to try and avoid complete burnout, I planned to take this race as a, “faster than normal tempo, tempo.” I was aiming for 7:15-7:20/pace (normal tempos for me are 7:40-7:50). I thought this would be a difficult, yet manageable pace considering I had run 16 miles the day before and these final race miles would be closing out a 60 mile week.
With a plan in hand, the race started.
I kept telling myself not to go out too fast, the second half i could make up time. I wanted to pass people in the second half of the race and not be passed. The course was winding, with sharp 90 degree turns and changed from pavement to brick, dirt and grass. (photos below are from RollerCoasterRace.com)
6:41. Whheeeeee!!!! That felt good! I was worried it was fast since it was the first mile, so i slowed down a tad, but then I thought, why not!? Go for it, hurt a bit, take a chance and PR the crap out of it! See what these legs can do!
During the race I pushed myself by picturing the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. Nothing gets my legs cranking than envisioning the last bit of The Race i’m training for. The next two miles went by, 6:54 and another 6:54. Nice and steady.
The 10k course was the 5k course looped twice. I thought i’d hate repeating the course, the second time around felt better since I wasn’t anxious looking for the turns. (There were also a good amount of volunteers directing, but I talked to a few of the elite runners and several got lost.) And the second time around I passed other 5k and 10k runners, lots of which cheered me and gave me a boost! I think i said, “thank you” to volunteers and runners like 100x this race.
Miles 4 and 5 beeped at me, 6:48 and 6:55. I felt good and settled in. I’m still so surprised my legs had that power and giddy up in them to move at that pace. As I was hoping, the second half was strong and I passed each person i saw in front of me (granted the girl who won was 2 minutes ahead and i never saw her! haha).
The final mile is where the hurt set in. I felt like i was slowing down. I had to pump my arms HARD to keep the legs moving. My breathing started to sound loud, my feet were heavy. You know, the usual last mile symptoms. I kept telling myself the last miles of the marathon are gonna hurt too and you can either deal with it for a little while longer or give up and waste a good race on the last mile.
The final mile was 6:48. And even though I ran 6.4 miles I don’t think the course was long, I think it was impossible to navigate the turns to properly finish at 6.2 miles. I finished in 43:40 at a 6:49/pace and I couldn’t have been happier with the result or prouder for taking a risk.
I came in 2nd female overall and got a neat trophy for the shelf 🙂
I like the 10k distance. It definitely doesn’t hurt as bad as a 5k and doesn’t drain you the way a half or full does. Overall the race was pretty cool. It was fun running through the park with no one there. It’s like a ghost town–and they had Halloween decorations up, so it was kinda eerie here and there. Each person with a race entry got free admission to the park for the day. I ended up going home afterward because I did this one solo, but it seemed like lots of families were taking advantage of the day in the park!
(entry fee for this race was comped, but all thoughts and opinions, as always are my own!)
Monday: 6m easy 9:00/pace
Tuesday: Crossfit, 10m 2 x 3 intervals (average pace for intervals 7:20)
Wednesday: 6.1m easy 9:10/pace, 25 minutes shoulders/core
Thursday: Crossfit, 12m tempo (9m @ 7:49/pace)
Saturday: 10m easy 9:14/pace
Sunday: 10.3m easy 8:37/pace
Have you raced a 10K before?
When was the last time you went to a theme park?