On Thursday night one of my running clients mentioned she wanted to add on a last minute 10K to her schedule since it fit in well with her training plan. Since I am all about throwing in races in training it actually got me thinking that maybe this wouldn’t be a bad idea for me either. The race was about an hour from my house. The only problem was my kids basketball schedules. They are finishing up basketball season and Saturday was their second to last game. My older three are all playing right now with games every Saturday morning (yes- the last 2 months have been CRAZY!) and their games were at: 9, 10 and 12. We will definitely be re-thinking all future sports schedules and try to avoid something like this but for now we are just finishing this thing! Anyway, I mentioned the race to John and he said to go for it- he would do the games with the kids. Yes, he’s pretty awesome. I still felt a little guilty about missing their games but got some good advice from a friend who reminded me that sometimes it’s good for our kids to know we have lives and everything we do does not revolve around them. That’s all I needed to hear to let go of the mommy guilt and get moving!
So Friday morning (the day before the race) I registered for the Penguin 10K in Batesville. There was also a 5K option but I thought the 10K would be a better workout for my upcoming half marathon. Batesville is know for having major hills everywhere so I wasn’t expecting anything different. One of the more challenging courses I’ve run the last two years is the White River 4 Mile Classic which is also located in Batesville.
I wasn’t very optimistic about setting a new 10K PR on this course but I still wanted to aim for a (high?) 38-something or at least a 39-something. (No female had ever went sub 40 on this course so I thought this would be a good goal.) My pace range goal was 6:15-6:20 but if I felt better (which I hoped I would) pick it up to 6:10. Yeah, that did not happen.
|Photo Courtesy of Sharon Ward|
Mile 1- 6:08. Too fast. On another course this might have been a realistic first mile pace for me but not this one. Should have been a little more conservative I think. There was one other female and four guys that were right in front of me. Right around the one mile marker I passed the first guy and the other female runner.
|Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Box|
Mile 2- 6:18. I realized keeping a 6:15 average was going to be harder than I thought. Lots of elevation change and turns.
Mile 3- 6:18. Still going.
Mile 4- 6:28. Ouch. At this point I was in the golf course section on the winding cart path. I was so thankful I was not the lead runner because then I would actually have to focus on where I was going. All I knew was there were A LOT of turns and rolling hills. At one point the lead runner stopped and turned around for a second. I don’t know if he was catching his breath or trying to figure out which way to go. But then he started running again and I was so glad! I did pass the third place guy somewhere during this mile.
Mile 5- 6:42. WAY OFF pace. At this point I was still in the golf course but I knew I had to be leaving soon. I don’t know if if was all the turning or the elevation changes but I was feeling pretty beat up. Right when my watch beeped for mile 5 it was (finally!) time to exit this section of the course.
Mile 6- 6:21. Much better. As soon as we left the golf course I felt like I could move again. There were some straight stretches so I tried to pick regain control of my pace. This mile felt so much better than 4 and 5. I passed the second place guy right around mile 6. I knew the last section had a little bit of downhill which was very comforting. After looking at my watch and doing some math I knew breaking 40 might still happen but I would have to really kick it in.
Mile 6.29. 1:38 (5:46 pace). I like the finish for this race. You just cross the bridge, make two turns and there’s the finish line. I saw the clock and barely made it.
Official Finish Time:
39:58. 1st female (2nd overall)
I jogged back to find Heather who was doing great. She was already on the bridge and she ended up winning an AG award.
|Heather and I sporting our new race t’s after the race|
Then we jogged a little cool-down before awards.
All proceeds from the race went to the Special Olympics. The race was only $20 and we got a long sleeve penguin t-shirt and a medal (which I’m adding to my running Christmas tree collection). I thought that was a pretty good deal.
Post Race Thoughts:
I am glad I went. It was definitely a good workout. I won’t lie- there were a few times I looked down as I was running in the 6:20’s (which should be my current half marathon pace) and wondered how I hoped to run this pace in my upcoming half when it felt this hard for a 10K. Maybe I shouldn’t think that way and maybe it was the hills and all the turns but I need to get back to where I was in December mentally. I was in the racing zone.
As for my upcoming half I really think I need to start the way I did at CASA in December. I want to finish strong and have something for the last 5k. I really, really cannot go out too fast. Period.