It’s been a summer of training for my first 10K. Weekly group runs followed by solo runs on the days in between. And now summer is officially over because I just completed the race this morning. A summer of running to get to this morning.
The entire distance (6.2 miles) was more challenging than I thought it’d be considering I’ve run a few 5ks in my time. Six miles is still a difficult distance for me to hit on a regular basis. Four to five is my sweet spot.
I also started interval running (see last post), and that method helped a lot. I think it will be necessary as I train for longer races.
But Race Day! I bought a head band that I though perfectly summed up my feelings about the whole thing:
And my right hamstring felt really tight yesterday–like, tight enough that I was altering my walk. So I bought a massage stick at a local sports store and used it the last night, and increased my stretching before bed. When I woke up, I felt GREAT (considering it was 6am).
The race took place at the fairgrounds and my husband dropped me off so I didn’t have to worry about parking.
Lots of people!
Then we were off! I decided not to start my interval running until I was out of the fairgrounds and we could spread out a bit.
There were so many people ahead of me. In 5ks, I’m pretty good about staying in the middle of the pack, but it seems the farther the distance, the farther behind I fall in the pack. I tried to not dwell on that.
Finally, I turned my interval app on. And I’m running and running and running and running, and I think to myself, “surely four minutes has lapsed by now.” I pull out my iphone and see they have lapsed and I’m half a minute into my minute of rest! It seems sometime during my setup efforts, I turned the buzzer off the app and now it was running through the intervals without alerting me. So, I had to run with the damn phone in my hand, which I hate. (I like my hands free when I’m running.)
Then, I’m about fifteen or twenty minutes into the run and I see a police car coming toward us in the other lane. The roads are closed to traffic so I was a bit confused until I heard some cheering. The eventual winner of the race was already on his way back (with a police car leading the way). And the guy was killing it–practically sprinting his way to the finish line. It took him just over 30 minutes to run 6.2 miles–something like a 5 minutes 13 second pace. It was incredible to see–as were all the runners right behind him, though he was the clear leader. The winner is actually well known in this area. He’s the president of our running club and an all around running enthusiast and race winner.
Most of the rest of the race went as planned without a lot of difficulty. I stopped to save an earthworm that was crawling in the dirt on the road. I talked to my legs as necessary, letting them know this was the last time they’d have to run up this hill or that hill. (This course has a lot of intense hills.) At one point I thought to myself, “hmmm…I’m not so sure distance running is for me.” I finished strong (once I see the finish line, I can push myself to speed up a bit), and I completed the race in an hour and eight minutes. I was hoping to get closer to an hour, but now I have a goal to work toward.
And already the next race is close–a 15 K the third week of September!