I was supposed to work out tonight but honestly, I just don’t feel like it. Usually it’s best just to push through and work out anyway, but I know it’s just going to lead to frustration tonight. Sometimes you just have to count your losses and move on.
However, I refuse to be totally useless tonight, so I will at least update my blog 🙂
I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures – I’m no longer taking my phone with me on races and accompanied long runs as it’s just added weight on my wrist.
Yesterday was the Too Hot to Trot 10k race, a low-key race held by the local Road Runners club. As it’s always held in mid-August in the mid-Atlantic, the name is usually pretty apt, but yesterday was anything but too hot to trot! It was quite chilly – 59, actually. My first goal going into this race was to not aggravate my hip or leg. Second was to PR in some capacity. Third was sub-1:07:00.
The day didn’t start out well. Even though my mom was super kind and let me sleep in their room, the quiet room in the house, I slept horribly because the neighbor’s kids had a party in which several high schoolers insisted on yelling in the street about how much beer they still had to drink, in the way that only pathetic drunks do. Classy, folks, real classy.
Then I woke up with a stomach that refused to play nice. Eventually though I got myself out the door and my stomach settled down once I got some power bar chews in me. Registration was held the morning of the race and cost a whopping $2! If only all races could be that cheap.
I’m still not used to going to races by myself – my ex went with me to every single one until we separated – but I ran in to some people I knew, so it made me feel much more comfortable.
The race, which is an out and back, is held on the local rail trail, about a ¼ mile walk along a country road from the registration site. The walk was a nice warm up, although it didn’t really warm me up much. Shortly after I got there we lined up, had a quick schpeal from the race director, and we were off! I pity the biker coming north on the trail towards that tidal wave of runners….
I started out slow, knowing that my legs were still a bit cold, but settled into a comfortable pace about 1/4 mile out once the crowd had dispersed a bit and pretty much held with the same group of people near me most of the way. I am trying to get out of the habit of looking at my Garmin while running, but snuck and peak and was quite happy with the pace I was holding – low 10s.
Mile 1 came in just over 10:00, and feeling pretty confident, I went into cruise mode to take advantage of the slight downhill. Mile 2 came around and – whoa! – 9:49! “Uh oh, don’t get overly confident now, this is a 10k, not a 5k.” I slowly passed a 10 year old who was certainly holding his own.
Before I knew it we were at the big open bridge, which meant the turnaround was just up ahead. I snuck a look at my Garmin and pushed ahead, trying to see if I could break a 30:00 5k. I passed another woman just as the turn around came into view. Apparently the woman now in front of me had the same idea, because I could hear her yell out “argh!” just as my Garmin ticked over the 30:00 – and the turnaround was still a couple yards away. I made it to the turn around in 30:30 – a damn impressive PR for me, nonetheless!
Knowing the second half was slightly uphill, I expected my times to slow a few seconds, but allowed myself to think about my dream PR – 1:02:xx. Pushing back up towards the big open bridge I ran along side, and then slowly passed, a woman who had to be in her 70s – I hope I still move that fast when I’m her age! – and settled in behind a woman in a pink tank. Mile 4 was a bit slower, but the woman in the pink tank and I got back into a rhythm for mile 5. I almost passed her at one point, running along side her, but I think she just used that as fodder to push harder, so I fell back a few steps behind her. I hit 5 miles in 48:47, an “official” race PR by nearly 12 minutes, and 5 minutes faster than anything I have done in training this season.
The last mile was here and we both kept the tempo going, getting slightly but noticeably quicker as the finish line got closer. By 5.5 miles she had picked up the pace just a bit more than I could and stayed about 30 feet ahead of me.
At 6 miles I checked my Garmin one last time and pushed the pace into uncomfortable territory – the unheard of goal was sitting there, teasing me. 60 minutes.
I coaxed my legs into upping the cadence just a bit, but at 6.1 my hip pulled rank and I had to pull the pack back briefly. As I came around the bend though, I could hear the finish line and began pushing again – and then I saw the finish line. The clock was just coming up to 1 hour. But I was just a bit too far away. I took a deep breath and gave it all I got, telling my hip to shut up for just a few more seconds on the condition that it could yell at me all it wanted to later. As I crossed the line, I looked up to the official clock on the side of the trail and smiled.
I have no idea how I did it. I would have been ecstatic with 1:06:xx. But 1 hour?!? Wow. Just wow. I still don’t think that has sunk in yet.
It was just last week that I had my first long run miles in sub-10:00 territory, and today I managed a race pace of 9:45. Unreal.
After the race I had a quick snack and caught up with one of my half marathon training partners and met some of his friends and then caught up with an old friend of mine from high school, who was there with her toddler, still in her jammies, in the running stroller.
I saw some people on the side and thought they were smoking, which kinda peeved me a bit – but then I realized, they weren’t smoking. They were steaming! It was so cold, and they were so hot from running, that they were steaming sitting there.
We all hung around for the awards and then called it a day – it was just getting too chilly to hang around much longer.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better morning.
Although the amazingly delicious Lebanese dinner my mom and I had downtown last night was an equally perfect way to end the day 😉