Race Recap: My First 10K!

12 Mar

This weekend was exciting for many reasons!  First, it was Adam’s birthday.  And for those that know me, they know birthdays are big!!  I absolutely love celebrating birthdays.  I threw Adam a surprise party with a lot of helpers, and we had a wonderful time.  I also had a very dear friend visiting this weekend making it even more special.  The last reason this weekend was so exciting: I ran my first 10K!

Had you asked me last Friday morning if I thought I’d be running a race this weekend I would’ve had a resounding “um no, I have a long run” in response.  But my what an afternoon can change!  I went out to lunch with a few co-workers and one of them shared a bit about their race this weekend: a 10K race as a part of the training series for the Mini-Marathon.  It was just .8 miles shorter than my long run planned.  And, conveniently the start/finish line were only about a mile from my apartment.  The race started at 8 am and I was planning on getting my long run (7 miles) started at 7:30 am.  Can you say destiny?  I asked a few more questions and soon I was sold!

That afternoon I signed up and paid the 12 dollar fee.  And soon after registering the nerves started.  That little flurry in my stomach was the unwelcome familiar pre-race feeling. My last Indy Mini was a disaster in terms of nerves.  I was so nervous. So nervous that I made myself sick – I had a stomachache the entire race and burst into tears at the end of it; not pretty.  I hadn’t trained well enough to put that much pressure on myself. I desperately wanted to do well: it was Adam’s first race and I wanted to help him get to a sub 2-hour time.  Instead, he ended up practically dragging me to the finish line in 2 hours and 6 minutes by some miracle because I had managed to give myself montezuma’s revenge.  Ever since this race I’ve had a complex of sorts about running (racing really).  But I knew doing this 10K would help me relax about racing and get back into the swing of things.  The rest of the day I worked tirelessly to take my mind off the race.

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All signed up: My long run officially turned into a race!

Saturday morning my alarm went off and my stomach wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated.  I changed clothes (a balmy 34 degrees), ate half a bagel (daring, I know), and took a few puffs of my albuterol (I have asthma).  My plan was to run the extra mile I needed before the race just to get it over with. I took off toward the start line with heavy legs.  They felt pretty tired so I just mentally told myself to relax: this was for training purposes only!  My timing was just about perfect: 1.2 miles to reach the start.  I slowed, stretched, and just tried to keep warm until the start of the race.

My least favorite part of races: the very beginning.  Well… probably the first mile or two of a race.  I know I’m not alone in this sentiment but man, I really don’t enjoy it.  A couple reasons: my strategy is to finish strong and fast.  Therefore, my initial pace is somewhat slow and steady.  I tend to get passed in the first mile or two and then pass those same people at the end (not all of them – I wish ;)).  As usual, I got somewhat discouraged during the first part.  I had to remind myself continuously that I had a strategy and that I know my body.  I had to focus on my goals and ignore others around me.  Well, I’m glad I listened to myself.  Around mile 4 I started really picking up my pace and found myself in my favorite position: “hunter”.  By mile 5.5 I felt like I was flying.  I felt strong and confident.  Mile 5.8 I started having some issues: I had a major side cramp.  I kept up my pace as best I could and held strong to the finish line.

Previous to this race my fastest training run to date was averaged 8:38 for 3 miles.  This run happened 2 weeks ago and blew my previous 9:04 average at 4 miles, out of the water.  I was elated at 8:38 – I felt like I was king of the world!  All day I floated on a cloud: maybe someday I can get over my asthma and be fast!  During this race I thought it was possible to average 8:30 – I just have been feeling fast lately and my breathing has been giving me less trouble.  Well – I came in faster than 8:30 miles.  I came into the finish uncomfortable with a side cramp, but delighted at my time: 50:36. That’s an average pace of 8:09! Just last year I was happy when my training runs came in under 10 minutes!  I couldn’t believe it.  I hugged Adam and my friend Katie at the end of the race.  They had walked over to watch me finish and both shared in my excitement and shock.

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Super sweaty but happy!

This 10K not only gave me confidence because my race anxiety before the run was greatly reduced, but I also had a fantastic time!  What a feeling!  I’m hoping to sign up for more “short” races like this one – I’m thinking the more I race the less nerves I will experience before the race.

Do you experience nerves before races?  What have you done to stay calm and reduce race-day anxiety?

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5 Responses to “Race Recap: My First 10K!”

  1. Drew March 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I also get nerves before races. I try to plan fun events after the race as something to look forward to and keep calm (like a lunch at a favorite restaurant). Or I make sure my next race is already on the books – that keeps me calm.

    • racesrepsramblings March 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Hi Drew!
      Thanks for stopping by – and thanks for the suggestions. I like both of your ideas, I will have to keep them in mind for my next half…there is another Indy half just a few months later, so that might work out great.

      Cheers!
      Kelly

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