St. Patrick’s Day 10k Race Recap: It’s On Again
Before the race recap, a little history lesson (about me):
This was my first race in ten years. My last timed run was May 2001 – the National Capital Marathon. Between then and now I’ve not run regularly. I’ve always exercised in some form or another with various levels of commitment and intensity. For the past two years I’ve been very committed to circuit training and some personal training focused on strength.
Late last fall, I decided I needed a new challenge, one with a measurable goal and outcome. I decided to start running again. And to my surprise I loved it. As a result of my newfound strength (especially in the core), I no longer felt like my insides were going to fall out with each step I took.
At about the same time, I was “reassigned” personal trainers (mine left for Europe) and it just so happened that he is an ultra-marathoner. We clicked in a personal training kind of way and he encouraged me when I mentioned that maybe I would set some new running goals.
I began training for the National Capital Half-Marathon in December. This weekend, I ran a 10 k to start to get used to the race setting and to test myself in a timed run.
The detailed recap:
Friday evening I headed down to the Running Room to pick up my race kit (really just a bib number and race shirt). First change I noticed since 2001, race shirts are now made of technical material. This one is a very ugly green thing which I guarantee I will never wear. It is going straight in my “to donate” pile. I put out my shoes, charged my iPod and Garmin, made my variation of overnight oats (which has become my regular pre-run breakfast), made my natural sports drink, and put out my outfit. Normally, I wouldn’t need a sports drink for a 10k, but I was going to run 5 k after the race to make it my week’s long run, so I needed to have it in the car with me.
I then got ready for bed and noticed an ache in my ear and muffled hearing. But I went to sleep.
Lil C woke up race day at 5:58 am – a little early. We lay in bed until about 6:45 am at which point I determined it was time to turn on the usual Saturday morning cartoons. I got up, dressed and went downstairs for my ritual Saturday morning solo coffee, water, blog-reading, and breakfast. I added some ibuprofen to the mix to dull the ache in my ear.
I left the house at 8 am and arrived at the race start (Immaculata High School) about 8:20 am. I parked in the very wet parking lot and headed in to get my timing chip. I attached it and then headed out for my prescribed 2 km warm-up all the while ignoring my sporadic coughing. I then went in to the bathroom and took off my middle layer. I was overdressed. I wish I would have taken off my second pants layer too, but I didn’t.
I took my excess top to the car and then headed out to the race start. I stood there 15 minutes until the race organizers decided to forego the banner they were unsuccessfully trying to inflate. About 20 minutes after the scheduled race start, we were off. This is what the start looked like – my fav is the guy in the flourescent green short shorts, hat, socks and gloves – he was fast I was standing about 7 people deep behind him.
I wasn’t sure about running with music, so I put in my headphones and thought I would turn the iPod on when I need some extra motivation – that took less than a minute. I am used to running while chatting, listening to music or watching TV and the silence was a little disconcerting.
I made the typical rookie mistake and ran the first km too fast. The second one was fast too. Then I decided that maybe I could run the whole thing at that pace (mistake). The fifth km was uphill. And then I didn’t feel like I could run fast anymore. Luckily I found a tall sandy-haired guy to follow close behind and he really (unknowingly) kept me going through some tough mental spots. I definitely did not stick to my strategy and plan, but I still managed to finish under my goal of less than 51 minutes. After the race he asked me if I managed to pass him at the finish line. He said he could hear me behind him the whole time and I kept him going at the same pace cause he didn’t want me to pass. I guess we were actually unknowingly encouraging each other.
When I crossed the finish and heard the time, I was mad at myself. I was telling myself that if I had only run a little faster when it was hard, I could have broken 50 minutes (the clock was broken so I had to ask someone; my Garmin had additional time on it from the warm-up. I was using it only to check my pace during the race). But given that I didn’t want to bend down to take off my timing chip for fear of passing out, in hindsight, I think I pushed myself hard enough.
Here I am crossing the finish (I know it’s hard to see) – I was so VERY glad to be done. Overall, I would say it was hard.
I went into the school gym and grabbed a cup of coffee and half a banana. I had planned to run an additional slow 5 k along the canal, but since the race had started late, I was worried that Derek would need the car. So I drove home. I helped Derek get the boys ready for their Saturday morning activity and as they drove off, I ran off to get in that last 5 km in the neighbourhood. My feet got soaked and I had to stop for a box of raisins at one point, but overall it was fine.
17 k done.
Afterwards my body started breaking down – headache, light-headedness, exhaustion due to lack of sleep and suspected ear infection.
From the race result website:
120 Liisa: Chip Time 50:45.2, Pace 5:06, Category Place (Women 30-39) 5/62, Gender Place 20/194
Next Up: April 10th, Minto Run for Reach 10k: same time goal (but hopefully it feels easier cause I’m not sick!)
And then: May 29th, National Capital Half Marathon
I guess my competitive nature is on again and I am looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself (safely and healthfully)!
Does anyone else have any fitness / running challenges coming up this spring? I would love to hear about them.