Yesterday I ran my first official 10k. I say “official” because I have run 6+ miles so many times in training for my half marathon(s) that I didn’t feel like it was an unfamiliar distance, albeit racing is always different than a leisurely jog.
Usually, I wouldn’t choose to do a race in June (remember, I live in Texas), but my friend Nikki asked me if I would sign up with her. She’s new to the running thing, and looking for some moral support.
(as if she needed it. But more on that later.)
Nikki and I before the race
The race was supposed to start at 7:05am, but was delayed until 7:30 because a storm was rolling in and race coordinators were worried about lightening. If you recall, my half marathon in April was in a torrential downpour with lightening. I joked that maybe God is trying to tell me something.
Fortunately, the rain (with the exception of occasional light drizzle) held off, but the cloud cover stayed for most of the race, which made running conditions about as good as it gets in June in Texas. With our husbands cracking jokes and cheering us on, we moved slowly towards the starting line.
Mile .5: Runkeeper says my 1/2 mile pace is 4:36. WHAT NO NO NO GODDAMMIT I GOT PULLED OUT. I spent the past week telling myself to run my smart race like I know how to do, and ease in with my first mile around 11 min/mile pace. Classic rookie mistake. Only I know better. Okay. That’s okay. We’re only 1/2 mile in. Slow down. I can slow it waaaaay down. Count your stride like you practiced. 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2 slow it down.
Mile 1: Runkeeper says my 1 mile pace is 9:56. Well, I’m screwed. Moron.
Mile 2: Runkeeper says I’m averaging 10:20 min/mile now at 2 miles in. Huh. I’m 1/3 of the way in and I don’t feel like I’m dying. Cruising along here. But there’s no way I can maintain this. Maybe I can reverse my race strategy and just ease back towards 11 min/mile pace as I get closer to 6.2. I’m pretty sure I’m fooling myself. I’m pretty sure I’m going to die. Nikki is nowhere in sight. HOW CAN SHE BE NOWHERE IN SIGHT WHEN I’M RUNNING SO FAST?
Mile 3: I see the turnaround up ahead. We’re cruising downhill. Those people coming back look like they’re hurting. Look at all those people walking. That hill is going to suck. Nice job on the psych out, race coordinators, by having us see the hell that awaits us.
Mile 3.1: There’s Nikki coming up the hill! I yell as loudly as I can “Go Nikki!”. She doesn’t hear me. Well that was wasted breath. Good for her for not walking up that hill!
Mile 3.3: Oh god, this hill sucks.
Mile 3.5; Oh god, this hill sucks.
Mile 4: Well, I’m still running. I think I’m going to make it. Only 2 miles left. C’mon, you can run 2 miles no matter what. Runkeeper says I’m still doing a sub-11 min/mile pace. There is no way I am dropping slower than 11 min/miles these last 2 miles. I’m actually having a pretty good race! Even with going out fast!
Mile 4.5: Oh for the love of all things holy, that girl wearing the red, white and blue running tutu cannot be more than 8 years old. Look at her, just loping along ahead of me. Talking away to her mom. Wait. She needs water. She’s stopping for water. I AM PASSING HER. TAKE THAT LITTLE TUTU GIRL!
Mile 4.75: Tutu girl blows past me. I hate her. And her mother.
Mile 5: I see Nikki up ahead! That’s her! That’s totally her with the long brown ponytail swinging. I have her in my sights! aHA! I can totally catch her. One mile left. I must have a better kick than her. I’m used to running twice this distance. I’m speeding up. I will get her.
Mile 5.25: I’m running so much faster, how is she still the same distance ahead of me?
Mile 5.5: So. It seems Nikki also has a last mile kick. Well. Alrighty then. At least she’s not going to crush me.
Mile 6: What sadomasochistic mathematician thought of these races where it’s all “point one” and “point two”. I remember this with the half marathon. We should totally be done on the mile. I have run 6 miles. I should be done. But no, I have .2 miles left. Which sounds like nothing unless you are running as hard as you can after an hour of solid running and still can’t see the finish line. This last part is the worst.
Mile 6.1: I am a badass sprinting machine. Look at this finish. I’m running so fast!
Mile 6.2: They called my name as I crossed the finish line! Love it. Oh shit, I feel like I’m going to vomit. I’m going to vomit. No. No, false alarm. But note to self: sprinting that hard at the end causes that gaggy-about-to-vomit feeling.
If you listen carefully at the very beginning of the video, you can hear them call my name as I approach the finish line.
- Mile 1: 9:56
- Mile 2: 10:39
- Mile 3: 10:58
- Mile 4: 11:04 (that hill was killer)
- Mile 5: 10:35
- Mile 6: 10:22
- Last .2: 9:14 min/mile pace
Official time: 1:06:26. Place: 52 out of 165 for F35-39.
My rockstar friend Nikki who just started running in the past few months? Nailed a 1:03:55 and finished 34th out of 110 in her division (which is much younger than mine. Much. Younger.) She has the running bug, and signed up for a half marathon in the fall. I’m so proud of her, and can’t wait to do future races with her. Behind her. WHATEVER.
I’m really happy with my time and how the race felt. Going in, I had no idea how the 6.2 miles would feel, since I wasn’t tapered, I’m in the midst of high mileage for my July 4th half marathon, and I never raced the 10k distance. I really liked the 10k, though. I’m not fast enough to feel accomplished in a 5k race, and let’s face it, the half marathon is a beating. But the 10k is long enough so that I don’t feel the pressure of running very fast, but short enough that I recovered quickly (I was even able to go out to brunch after the race, unlike the half marathon when I felt like the walking dead for a few days).
I foresee more 10ks in my future!