Category Archives: 10k

A tale of two races

It was the best of 5ks, it was the worst of 10ks…

Three weeks ago*, I ran in the Tour des Fleurs 10k. I was not overly enthusiastic about this race, having just finished my ridiculous summer runstreak, and my legs were still not feeling recovered. I decided to approach it as less a “race” and more a really pretty 6 mile run.  

The race begins and ends in the Arboretum, and follows along White Rock Lake, so the location is ideal.

Unfortunately, the “cold” front we were supposed to get overnight never came in, so it was a humid 80 degrees at 8am when the race got underway.

This race was probably my weirdest race to date. Despite not feeling emotionally or physically prepared for the race, I actually felt pretty good throughout the entire 10k. Although I gave myself permission to walk/run if I needed to, I realized around mile 4 (when I still felt fairly comfortable) that I was going to be able to run the entire thing. I didn’t feel like I was running particularly fast, but neither did I feel like I was slogging along. I felt steady, and somewhat strong, and far better than I thought would feel.

And apparently far better than I actually performed, because I finished in 1:06:58, which is both my worst 10k (granted, of only 3) to date, and close to my average half marathon pace (10:40 min/mile).

Oh well. I still got a medal and a hat.   

Don’t I look like I’m running fast?

Two weeks ago**, my family attended our 9th (!) Heroes for Children 5k.  To be honest, we were all a little cranky about this, since 1. it’s getting harder and harder to get teenagers to voluntarily rise early on a Saturday  morning and 2. we were all up late the night before due to our drumline cymbal player’s football game.

The line “it could be worse, you could have cancer, get OUT OF BED WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE” may have been uttered.

You can see the enthusiasm oozing out of them.   

I actually didn’t decide if I was even going to race it until the drive over, when we discussed our family plan. I was planning on staying back with my daughter, until all 3 kids decided they wanted to “see how long they could stick to mom’s pace.”  Okay, then, guess mom is racing it.

To say I was not in a PR mindset is an understatement.

We all began together. Fairly quickly, my daughter (and husband, who for the 2nd year in a row did stepdude duty with our youngest and stuck with her) fell behind me.  The 15 year old stuck with me for about a half a mile, when I heard him say just over my shoulder “Well, considering I’m running AS FAST AS I CAN to keep up with you, I don’t think this is my race.”  I didn’t see any of them again until the finish line.

And then there were two. (the 13yr old and me)

For the first mile, he had trouble staying with me because he wanted to run ahead. We had discussed this before the race (after last year, when he disappeared during the first mile, then I passed him, then he finished over 8 min behind me), so he spent the first mile running a body length or two ahead of me, glancing over his shoulder, then slowing down.

The second mile, he started panting. He stayed beside me, but I could tell he was starting to tire. I periodically patted his back, told him he could do it, and updated him on our progress (we’re halfway through the 2nd mile, Sam! We’re almost done with the second mile! One mile left!).

Somewhere around mile 2.25, he spied the upcoming water station. He told me he needed to stop for water. I glanced at my watch.

Oh dear.

I asked him if he was okay catching up to me if he stopped and I kept running. He nodded. I glanced at my watch again, and did some quick math.

I kept running.

I know. I chose a PR pace over stopping with my kid. #badmom  In my defense, I really did think he would be able to catch right up to me once he caught his breath.

I came in at 29:10, almost 45 seconds faster than my May 5k PR. That put me 5th in my age group, and 41st out of all females in the race.

My 13yr old? I missed his finish, because he came cruising in just 30 seconds behind me (I hadn’t even turned around yet…still walking and getting water). He beat his time from last year by 9 minutes. I told him that I was sorry I didn’t stop with him, but I could tell I was on a great pace. He put his arm around me and said “That’s okay, Mom. If you’re running fast, you gotta keep going. I almost caught you!” (he had me in his sights the entire time and was trying desperately to catch up).

My 11year old? Came in at 34:20, which was 11 minutes faster than last year. She rocked the run. I did capture her finish.

And the 15 year old? 41:34, still 2 minutes faster than last year. And he decided if he couldn’t finish quickly, he would finish with style.

* and ** I began this blog post two weeks ago, before running the 5k. After the 5k passed,  I decided to condense the races in 1 post. Then more weeks went by. This whole “job” business is really messing with my life.


2015 Dallas Disco Run 10k Race Recap

On Sunday, my husband and I ran the Dallas Disco Run 10k. Yes, that’s right, I got the husband to run with me!I knew that he would kick my butt, even as he moaned and groaned about the training program.  After all, this is the guy that beat me by 2 minutes in last year’s 5k after not training at all. He also joined a men’s soccer league this spring (he played competitive soccer in high school and college), so he’s been running. He’s a runner. But he sweetly put on a show about how hard it was going to be, and how much easier it is for me to “only” run 6.2 miles (insert rolling eye emoji).

Still, yay for couple time! (if you count me spending 1 mile watching his back fade into the distance, and then meeting up with him an hour later at the finish line as couple time. Which I do.)

Race morning was gorgeous, which was especially glorious given that we have been underwater here in Dallas for the past bajillion days. Sunny, cloudless, and a pre-race 62 degrees (it would be closer to 80 by the time we left Fair Park). I know it was 62 degrees because my husband complained that it was “cold” as we got out of the car at 7am. He’s so cute.

We agreed, because we’re both insanely slightly competitive, that we would run our own races. I’m not sure we were still next to each other by the time we crossed the starting line.

Race splits:

  1. 9:55 min/mile
  2. 10:09 min/mile
  3. 10:15 min/mile
  4. 10:22 min/mile
  5. 10:39 min/mile
  6. 11:05 min/mile**
  7. last .2 8:58 min/mile

**I had to run/walk the last mile and a half due to stomach issues. I fully blame Panera for this snafu, since they discontinued my traditional pre-race meal, and I (unwisely) chose an alternative from the menu that definitely did not agree with my stomach 13 hours later. I think I could have easily gone another minute faster without this handicap.

Official time: 1:03:31.  I chopped nearly 3 minutes off my best time (okay, only time) from the Wounded Warrior 10k a year ago. I placed 73 out of all women (205), although I couldn’t figure out my age group finish, since the website only showed the top 6 finishers in each category (and I was not in the top 6).

My super fast husband? 53:53 and 6th in his age group (which, I’d like to note, is a younger category than mine. Ahem.).  RIDICULOUS how talented he is.

I’d be depressed and resentful except I’m just so damn proud and impressed.

I’d love to say that this is the beginning of a new couple activity, but he couldn’t wait to finish the race so he can “stop all this running crap” and get back to lifting in the gym to “get big for swimsuit season”. He needs to put weight back on since he dropped 8 pounds without trying, just from running four times a week.

I might be depressed and resentful about THAT part.


2014 Wounded Warrior 10k race recap


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.

The race

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.

Runkeeper Splits:

  1. Mile 1: 9:56
  2. Mile 2: 10:39
  3. Mile 3: 10:58
  4. Mile 4: 11:04 (that hill was killer)
  5. Mile 5: 10:35
  6. Mile 6: 10:22
  7. 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!

Saturday stats 5/31/14 – school’s out and 5 week countdown.


*Last week’s miles: 22.4

This week’s miles: 23.6

*I had a Saturday stats post up for last week, and then accidentally deleted it in my WordPress app on my phone as I was working. Because it’s been that type of week.

Workout sessions:

  • Sun: 5 miles, average pace – 11:38 min/mile. Easy run on treadmill.
  • Mon: 3.5 miles, average pace – 10:40 min/mile. Treadmill run.
  • Tue: work to happy hour to dinner out with mom = no run.
  • Wed: 4 miles, average pace – 10:16 min/mile. Tempo run on treadmill: 1/2 mile warmup, 10 min/mile, 9:50 min/mile, 9:40 min/mile, 1/2 mile cooldown.
  • Thu: 2.5 miles, average pace – 11:47 min/mile. Easy pre-dawn outside run.
  • Fri: crazy last day of school with kid parties and then teacher party = no run.
  • Sat: 8.6 miles, average pace – 11:22 and then 12:09.  Run split into two sessions. First 5.56 miles to lemonade stand where my oldest was helping raise money for charity, then 3.05 miles on treadmill 30 min later.

General notes:

Overall, I’m really happy that I got this many miles in this week. Yes, I did not do any strength training AGAIN (can you tell I hate strength training and that is the first to go if I need to cut out workouts?), and I’m still not up in the 25-30 miles/week range I should be at for this many weeks out from a half marathon, but as I blogged before, these past two weeks were some of the craziest all year long for this teacher/mom of 3.

Next Sunday I run my first ever 10k. the Wounded Warrior 10k. With my Colorado half just over a month away, I’m not really in a mental (or, probably, physical) mindset to focus on this as a “real” race, especially not outside in June in Dallas; I signed up to support my friend Nikki, and I’m looking at it as a 10k just to put on the books as a benchmark for time. I think I’ll probably finish somewhere in the 1:05-1:10 time, maybe? I have no idea.

With school out (at least, for the kids. I still have two more days of professional development and then my summer class starts the next day!) I’m ready to focus on getting ready for the July 4th half. I’m still approaching the race as purely something to celebrate my 40th birthday, and nothing for time, but I definitely don’t want to have a “bad” run, so hopefully I’ll be ready!

Despite the less-than-intense training, it was a celebratory last week of school. My oldest graduated from middle school, and is joining my husband and me in the Upper School. I still can’t quite wrap my brain around my child now being old enough to be a student in “my” division!


So I Ran A Half Marathon…What’s Next?


(my daughter, wearing my medal, with her rendition of my race)


Within 24 hours of completing my half marathon, my dear friend Nikki asked me if I would consider running the Wounded Warrior 10k in June with her.  She is new to running, and this will be her first 10k (not to mention mine, since I haven’t actually raced that distance yet).

I didn’t need much convincing. A 10k? Less than half a half marathon? How hard can it be?! (my confidence level is clearly on the upswing with that race under my belt).

I happily began researching 10k training programs, figuring out where I should jump in on the weekly progression, given that I already had more than the mileage under my belt.

That was the first week, post – half marathon.


I really was not planning on running another half until the fall. Maybe winter. Running outside in Texas during the summer months is a recipe for misery, as far as I’m concerned.

What I was planning on was a special celebratory trip in July for my 40th birthday. I am so. ready. to celebrate the next decade of my life.

My 20’s? 3 children and 2 graduate degrees. Productive, but … frantic.

My 30’s? My life completely fell apart. I have spent the past four years surviving, then healing (my children and myself), then rebuilding. With just over 2 months until the official end of my 30’s, I am stronger,  healthier and happier than ever.

That deserves something.

Unfortunately, our financial situation unexpectedly changed, as my kids’ father is no longer choosing to assist with their private school tuition. Suddenly, my husband and I found ourselves scrambling to figure out a way to pay 100% of their education costs (we’re still working on that).

A summer trip, however deserved, is no longer the priority.

So, I started looking into less expensive road trips. While I adore the beach, we already budgeted for a family road trip to the Florida coast towards the end of July when the kids return from their summer visitation with their Dad.

You know what’s not that far from Texas? COLORADO!

I’ve never been to Colorado, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite places. There’s tons of free, or nearly free, outdoor activities, and the weather will feel amazing after the hell hot of a Dallas summer.

Wait. It won’t be that hot.

And then I found myself perusing half marathon races for the weekend we’ll be there.

What has happened to me?!

On July 4th, I will be running the Colorado Springs Half on the 4th.  This past week, instead of jumping into a 10k training plan for early June, I jumped into a different half marathon training plan (mixing it up from my last plan).

I think it’s a pretty awesome way to ring in my next decade.