Done and done….
I like this racing on a Friday morning business. Now I have my long run for the weekend out of the way which leaves tomorrow morning open for a possible 5k. I said possible…
So for some reason I was nervous before this morning’s race. I don’t really think I was this nervous before my 70.3 a few weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong though, I was nervous before that but it hit about 10 minutes before the start. I actually had a hard time sleeping last night due to some nerves. Was it because the 10 mile race distance is new? Or the fact that I knew I would be trying new fuel and hydration during this race? The weather, heat and humidity? Or it could have been that I haven’t really had a good, solid run over 8 miles since March 20 when I did Tobacco Road half. I have been off lately. But not any more folks…..I’m baaaaack!
I got to the the start and parked at about 6:05 AM. I texted Sarah and headed to our meeting spot. At about 6:20 she and Rachel showed up…strolling in 5 Mile Style, fashionably late. We hit the restrooms and had time for a quick picture.
It was time to head to the start so we made our way to the crowd. We said our good-byes and good-lucks and I headed up to the 9 min/mile pace marker. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I thought a 9 min pace could be pushing it for me.
Before I new it we were off and running. 10 miles, no biggie. Just 10. 10 is where I usually have a mental bonk in the half marathon, that last 3.1 just stinks. So today I just kept my head full of confidence boosting thoughts, positive thoughts. I listened to my iPod, Rea asked me in a comment last night why headphones and iPods aren’t allowed. Honestly I don’t know, usually there are a plethora of reasons. Some say it is unsafe (and safety is a huge issue in the military) because you can’t hear traffic or warnings. The course was completely closed so there was no danger of a random car coming out of nowhere. Some say it takes away from the comradery and chit chat among athletes. Sorry, not racing to make friends, although I’m not adverse to it. I train to make friends, run and have fun to make friends but I race to race. I need to focus and music helps me do that, sometimes. Not saying that sometimes I wont go sans headphones but I like to have that option. So I ran with my music knowing that if I were to win age group or anything I could very well be DQ’d. Oh well.
So I had my music on and the miles were passing by. I had my Nathan Handheld full of Cytomax (fruit punch flavor). For the first 5 miles it tasted pretty good and went down easy. I avoided the water stops which were a nightmare. At the mile 7 water stop I poured some fresh water into my water bottle just to cool it off and to dilute the last little bit of Cytomax I had left. It was starting to taste like liquid jell-o. It was starting to not be good. But…BUT I could tell it was making a huge difference! I felt good! My legs were great and I had energy! I hadn’t had a run like this in weeks. I am sold on performance drinks. Now I just have to find the perfect one!
I am really happy with my times. Too bad I couldn’t hold out in miles 3, 4 and 6 to keep a sub 9 pace but in my defense, check out the elevation. Hmm….uphill miles 3, 4 and 6. Ok, ok. I won’t beat myself up. Too much. What is a 100 feet elevation gain anyway? Is that a lot?
In the last 4 miles I was just checking people off. Passing them one by one. People were slowing on the uphill of mile 6, and I was too but they were slowing more. So I would pass them. I would set my sight on a ponytail and catch it, as The Hubs put it in his tri “Smoke’n Alien Heads” (they wear those crazy alien-looking helmets). I set my sights on a female up ahead, she was wearing the bright yellow tempo shorts with dots, bright neon yellow shirt, knee high socks bright yellow with green and orange stripes at the top, and a bright yellow Under Armour headband. She was mine. Mostly because her bright colors made her a target. I caught her…only I realized there was no ponytail. In fact it was a dude. Oh….snap. Sorry dude but I just chicked you because I thought you were a chick. I was thoroughly confused as to why I thought he was a chick. Maybe because he was wearing female Nike Tempo shorts? And a female headband? And girly high knee socks? And he had great, shaved legs that were quite slender and feminine? Sorry man. It was obvious once I was right there that he was a dude. That was strange. So I set my sights on a more obvious female, clear pony tail, hips, and pink and black shoes. I passed her…..
Not a single female passed me in the last 4 miles UNTIL about mile 9. I was mad but I just didn’t have much fight left in me when the female I had passed earlier came back for revenge, with her pony tail, hips and pink and black shoes. As she went by I thought maybe she was kicking too early and maybe she might slow. I kept her close and held out for the last minute pass. With about .5 left a dude jumped in to run with her. Dang. She had a pacer and a finishing partner. I needed that. I needed The Hubs to jump in right then and yell at me to run faster and to get her. But she upped her pace just a bit and I knew I could not catch her. Although at the last 100 yards my pace was a 6:36 min/mile. I had some kick but not enough. She beat me.
I made my way through the finish line to the finish area. I was feeling the effort of my run in my legs but walking helped. I was handed my Commemorative Coin, instead of a medal, and grabbed some water. I’m not sure how I am going to put this on my medal display but trust me, I will find a way.
Sarah and Rachel finished and I found them in the finishers area! We watched a little bit of the awards and were blown away by the finishing times. Seriously, some of these 10 miles times are faster than my 12k. I wish I were that fast…guess I would need to train a
little lot harder.
Here we are, still smiling, before heading home.
Overall I am happy with my run and I really like the 10 mile race distance. I wish there were more of those around! Have you ever done a 10 mile race? And how many kilometers is 10 miles?