Tuesday, April 8, 2014

a new 10k PR

On Sunday, April 6, I ran only my second 10k.  I've decided really love this distance and want to find more 10k's to run asap.  I'm pretty sure about an hour after the race I was already saying I want to run another one NOW.  I had been looking forward to this race because I ran it last year and, in all honesty, I was excited to try to beat my time.  I had a pretty disastrous first race  of 2014, so I was ready for redemption.  Training had been feeling much stronger lately than at the start of the year, and I was ready to give it my all.

The race didn't start until 1pm.  It's always strange not racing first thing in the morning, but I enjoyed knowing I could sleep without an alarm set, and being able to take my time getting ready.  Plus an added bonus was that my super speedy friend, Monica, on the west coast was also running a 10k that started at 10am.

10am west coast = 1pm east coast.  Perfect!

Sunday morning started just like any other race morning.  Get up, make coffee, make Nuun, sit on the couch, drink said coffee and Nuun, catch up on twitter, make breakfast consisting of a gluten free bagel w/ peanut butter, nutella, and a banana on top, sit on the couch some more, stretch, foam roll, and make multiple bathroom trips in between.  Around 11:45 I was ready to head to race with my chauffeur and head cheerleader, Ryan. 


We headed out the door with what I thought was everything I needed.  I made the comment, I need to be there by 12:30 to get my number so...uh...step on it.  A few minutes later it hit me.  I forgot my watch.  Cue freakout.  OMG I forgot my watch, I need my watch, what am I going to do, tears, AHH.  Ryan was on it, we got off the highway, banged a u-turn and were on our way back.  I grabbed my watch and we were on our way again.  Deep breaths.  Ryan helped me calm down and refocus.  Everything would be fine.

We got to the race at exactly 12:30.  Ryan dropped me off so I could grab my number and he went to park the car.  I got my number, found Ryan, and had plenty of time to spare.  Few.  My mom and brother also came down to cheer me on.  We found them and it was time to go shortly after.  I lined up somewhere between the front and the middle of the pack.  There was a 5k and 10k option for this race (as well as walkers), so I was trying to decide where to go so I could pace myself for the 10k but also not get trapped somewhere in the back.  

 being weird as usual

I was really hoping to finish this race under 49 min.  I felt like I was capable (and still do).  I started out strong and on pace to finish where I had hoped.  I felt strong through the first half and was ready to fight for it.  Unfortunately, the last mile decided to give me a good kick in the butt.  The wind was strong and the hills slowly wore me down.  

Mile 1: 7:44
Mile 2: 7:50
Mile 3: 8:02
Mile 4: 7:56
Mile 5: 8:02
Mile 6: 8:16
Last 0.2: no idea, I forgot to stop my watch when I crossed finish line.  This is becoming a bad habit. 

I crossed the finish line at 49:32.  I didn't break 49 that day, but I did finish with a new PR.  

I think it's easier to be disappointed with yourself than it is to be proud.  Initially was I disappointed?  Sure.  I so wanted to cross that finish line and see 48:xx.  But I didn't.  Instead I saw 49:32, which was 17 seconds fast than last year.  Yes, I wanted more, but ultimately I wanted to run faster than I did last year, and I did.  I am proud of myself for that.  I am making progress, and I know I still have the potential to run faster.  

Some take aways from Sunday: 
  • I didn't give up.  There was more than one time in that last mile or so that I wanted to stop.  I wanted to walk.  I was hurting.  Bad.  I didn't stop, I didn't give up, and I didn't walk.  I didn't finish it as fast as I had hoped, but I kept pushing even though I was in pain.  That in itself is a huge accomplishment for me. 
  • I am not exactly in what I would consider the best shape.  I put on some lbs over the winter months that I am still struggling to get rid of.  Even with the added weight, I still managed to run faster than I did last year.
  • Training over the past couple months has exactly been all rainbows and butterflies.  Only in the past few weeks have I really started to feel like myself again, which gives me hope that more good things are to come.  
  • My average pace was 7:59.  If you had told me a year ago I would be running races of any distance with an average pace of 7:xx I probably wouldn't have believed you.  Now, my 5k and 10k PR average paces are under 8 min/mile.    
  • I experienced a runners high on Sunday like I haven't felt in a while.  I walked away saying I love running and feeling like my race fire was re-ignited.  I felt like over the winter I lost it a little, but with the return of the warmer sunshine and a better race under my belt, my confidence and drive have been restored.
Most importantly, I must always remember this quote from Kara Goucher that I love so much and holds very true in this case.  "Don't try to rush progress.  Remember - a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.  Keep believing."  

I am making progress, and I will keep believing that I can do great things.