Monday, May 31, 2010

Celebrate America 10k Race Recap

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! This morning I celebrated our service men and women by running some of the most challenging 6.28 miles I have run.

Before heading to bed last night I obsessed over the weather forecast, there were going to be scattered showers throughout the night and early morning, but they were so sporadic it was hard to tell where they would be, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I woke up about 5:45 for a 7:30 start time. Got up, got dressed, had a Luna Bar, and was ready to go. A big Thank You to my Daddy who got up quite early to go with me to the race and watch me finish! We arrived right at 7am, I picked up my number and my shirt, and was a little concerned that I did not see and timing chips. I thought "ok, no chips, small race, I'll be close to the front. There was well over 700 people today, so chip timing really would have been helpful. I warmed up some, and headed to the start line with about 5 minutes until the start. I did not want to be late and get stuck way back and lose up to a minute on my time.

Leading up to the start, the weather was dreary, but clear, needless to say it did not last long.

Well the gun went off, and I got up to pace with no problem. I started my first mile probably a little faster than I should have, I knew there will hills. To be honest, in retrospect, its best I went out fast because that was the best mile I had the whole race.

Mile 1- 8:45

Now from the stat through mile 1 it was very lightly drizzling, but as soon as Garmie beeped at mile 1 and all of a sudden, it started to rain. At first it was manageable, just rain, my ipod seemed safe wrapped safely in it's case, and it was moderate enough that the streets were draining, keeping my feet relatively dry. It was cool, felt nice, I was secretly pleased with the rain and figured it might actually help some- yeah I am niave.

Well as we turned the corner at 1.5 and started up the first serious hill, the heavens opened up and just rain became a monsoon, it literally looked like this.

At this point I realized my armband with my ipod was soaked so I took it off, and tucked my ipod safely into the pocket in my skirt and kept on going. The water started to puddle on the roads pretty quickly and my shoes were their own little lakes by the time I heard the beep at mile 2. My pace looked good though so I was pleased. I knew with all the outside factors I probably couldn't hit the under 55 minutes goal I had origanlly wanted, but I would still PR.

Mile 2- 8:59

I knew I had lost some time during mile 2 from the hill and messing with my ipod, so I made sure I let me legs carry me downhill as fast as was appropriate, I knew I needed to save my quads for the 2nd loop, I was keeping pretty good speed down the hill, and coming the the turn where the 5k and 10k would spilt at the finish line, and the rain was starting to get lighter. I felt pretty good, on pace, rain was going away, maybe I could turn my ipod back on, and then I turned the corner and saw a short, albeit very steep hill. Making it up that hill with no music, motivation and with heavy soaking wet shoes was tough and left me seriously considering why I didn't do the 5k. Dragging my getting tired butt up that hill totally killed the speed and momentum I had built up on the downhill at the start of the mile, this is where it started to come unraveled.

Mile 3- 8:58

I watched the 5k finishers turn to finish and I kept straight ahead to finish my 2nd half of the race. At this point the rain had really lightened up and I decided I needed my ipod to get back into my groove so I took it back out and fired it up. Mentally I felt it really did help, which is funny because this is where my paces took a plunge. We had to climb a hill I was not expecting because we had started at the top of it and I had not really factored it in when were going to be doing the 2nd half. So add in 1 more moderate hill, and a mile full of rolling hills, and I could already feel my legs getting annoyed, not to mention my feet were soaked. I just laughed at the water that squirted out of my shoe with each step I took, I knew 1 slow mile wouldn't break the race or my expected PR, so I took the slow mile, and cranked up the ipod going into mile 5.

Mile 4- 9:16

Right after the mile 4 marker, we turned to climb the monster hill again, and yet again, the rain came back. I did not handle the hill as well as I did the first time, my pace dropped, I struggled, and at that point I was seriously doubting my ability to PR. There was no downhills to counteract the 180 foot climb so I just had to suck it up and take what I could do, which at that point wasn't much.

Mile 5- 9:23

Well as soon as Garmie beeped mile 5, the downhill I needed came into view. I instantly put my head back into it and said I needed to take advantage of it, and get down the hill and to the finish line at my intended pace for the day. The rain picked up, again, I was a little nervous about my ipod, but refused to waste time or slow down to get it out again. I found a solid lady to pace with the rest of the way, and told myself 10 minutes I would be done, I could do anything for 10 minutes. The hill that killed me right before I hit mile 3 was coming back, and this time, I refused to let it get me, I rocked the downhill and that last little hill was mine.

Mile 6- 8:33

Once I beeped at mile 6, I just hauled ass, I wanted a PR, it was raining, and as great as that last split felt, I was just done.

Garmie was right on time with the clock at the finish line, and I finished in 56:06, a 33 second PR from my last 10k in March. The distance went over, I ended at 6.28, but I figured it was because I frequestly run on the outside of the course.

Mile 6-6.28: 2:10 (7:43 avg. pace)

For as much as I struggled and as tough as it was, I was thrilled to actually get a PR, and even more so that it was more than just by a second or two.

I turned in my time card, looked for a banana, there was none, and we headed to the car. This race was tough. The elevation was 1,000 feet higher than usual, there were hills, I feel apart in miles 4 and 5 and duh, it rained, a LOT. But even what looked like a bad race was not, I learned to push through the pain, the difficulties, and the things I don't like (hills) and still come out of it with a PR and a smile on my face.

I am very proud of the race I ran today even if it was not what I consider to be my best. It was the best I could do today, in that race, in that moment, and that is enough for me. I have 1 more pace setting race, before marathon training starts, and I hope that like today I do the best I can that day for that race!


  1. totally stellar race! i hate the rain so major props to you. congrats on the pr and for running the best you could. that's all any runner can ask for on any given day. and your best today = wicked amazing :)

  2. A PR is a PR, so YAY!!!!! You're a trooper for sticking it out in the rain! Nice job, girl!!

  3. Nice job on the PR! That was in interesting run in the rain.