Monday, April 11, 2011

My First 10K Completed!

A few months ago, I found an advertisement for this race, the Jim Klett 10K Memorial. I was looking for a 10K since I thought that would be a better distance for me to train for in preparation for my September half marathon. The ad for this one said that is was a relatively flat course through a scenic area. Sounds nice, huh? The price tag was just right too at just $15. I decided to sign up early to give myself motivation to keep up with my running.

As you may have read in previous posts, I was hoping to get a sub 54 minute time to give myself the best chance at placing (I love getting hardware!) although under 55 would still be acceptable for me, placing or not. I didn't end up training though maybe as hard as I could. I got a lot of miles in, but not at a fast pace. I did very little speedwork, but I had my fingers crossed.

So finally the day arrives. I wake up this morning to rain. I checked out the radar on my local news station's website and I could see that the rain wouldn't be letting up anytime soon. Oh well, at least it wasn't storming. I get dressed in my pink Tarjay running outfit and head out with my DH to the race course. It is raining nonstop the whole way.

Okay, here we go...we start the race and I'm feeling pretty good. The rain is coming down, but not bad. I notice that this part is kind of downhill -- nice! I get to mile 1 and see my time of 8:11. UH OH -- too fast! I better slow down a little or I'll have no juice at the end! I slow a little. Hmmm, another downhill. This is interesting, although I'm getting a little worried because the race starts and ends in the same place, and what goes down must come up -- am I going to have some uphills here? They said this was a flat course though... Okay, here comes mile 2 marker -- split is 8:25. Okay, that's still faster than I should be going. I'm supposed to be hitting 8:40 miles...but these are all downhill and my breathing is I'll just slow a little. Here comes mile 3 -- what -- more downhill? I'm getting worried. I'm going to have to be going up here soon. I adjust my pace to try to hit my target split. I cross marker 3 with a split of 8:44. Okay, that's more like it. Going into mile 4, the course levels out and I start to encounter some hills. Wait, I thought they advertised this is a relatively flat course? HMPH! I'm getting pretty pooped out and the rain is dripping off my face at this point, but I try my best to stay under a 9 minute mile. I get to mile marker 4 and my split is 8:52 -- not too bad. Okay, only two miles to go! Now the course is starting to wind into more of a wooded area. It's kind of hard to see what's up ahead. I think they did that on attempt to shield our eyes from...the mountainous hills before us! AHHHHHH! I'm already starting to get tired and I've gotta summit those things?! "Relatively flat course"....yeah, relative to what, the Appalachians?! I struggle to get up the 2-3 long, steep hills. Much to my disgust, I even stop to walk up part of the last one, although I have to say, I don't know that my run was much faster than my walk at that point. I only walked about 10 seconds, but I'm still mad at myself for doing that. Anyway, after I got to the top, I pushed on in search for the mile 5 marker and finally hit it at a dismal split of 9:31. I figure, okay, 1 more to go. I try my best to pick it up in the last mile. I feel drained -- my hamstrings are getting tight and my breathing is erratic from those wicked hills. I try my best to turn my legs over, convincing myself..."You only have 5 more minutes to the 6 mile mark and then you're home free...4 more minutes...3 more minutes..." I finally saw the 6 mile mark, crossed it with a split of 9:05 and turned it into gear sprinting into the finish line. I cross the finish line with an unofficial time of 54:20. I didn't hit my "Woo hoo!" goal time of sub 54, but I did hit my "not bad" goal time of sub 55.

So overall, here's what I learned from my race:
  • I definitely need to do more speedwork! I had trouble maintaining my pace after mile 4. Need to do more tempo runs with maybe 5-7 miles at tempo pace.
  • I need to work on pacing better -- my splits were all over the place. I hate that I got slower too. I would like to have had negative splits, but now that I think about it, that course (all downhill the first half, uphill the second half) was not designed for that.
  • Never believe in the advertising of a race! Know thy course!
  • Now this one I learned from looking at the pics my awesome DH took and that is, hard work does pay off! If it doesn't pay off with rockin times, it should pay off in how you look! What do I mean? Well the other day I was showing my guns off, all excited that I actually had a bump in my arm when I flexed! Well apparently I have a leg bump too! Check it out!
So anyhow, while I didn't get the time I wanted to give me a chance at placing, apparently it was enough. I did get 3rd place in my age group! I was kind of bummed though because instead of trophies or medals, they were giving out...(drum roll please)...coasters! Say what? I just ran my tail off for a coaster? Okay wait a minute as not to sound too ungrateful, I will take a moment here to remind myself that maybe instead of using the money raised from the race to buy shiny medals, they instead put that money into the charity that the race was benefiting. And after all, what's more important -- my shiny medal or $$ going to underprivileged children. GRRRRR, I hate to admit it, but it's the second thing! Oh well, at least I got something! My DH and I were joking though that I could still tape some yarn to the coaster and wear it like a medal! I think it'd be a good look, what do you think? :-)

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