Race Recap: I Run This Town 15K!

7 Apr

Hooray!  I completed the race!  Friday night I feared the worst with two bags of ice strapped to my legs.  Lately my knees have been causing all sorts of trouble, but I’m thrilled to report that yesterday they cooperated.  I had a very successful run and felt pretty strong throughout.

The “I Run This Town 15K” is a part of the training series for the mini-marathon I’m doing May 4th.  It is a fantastically organized series, and I have enjoyed both the 10K and 15K events immensely.  They have helped me believe in myself, and I know I will have more confidence going into my half-marathon.

Saturday morning I woke up excited, but also a bit anxious to see what was going to be possible with my knees.  I started my half bagel in the toaster and went to the bathroom to get ready.  I ended up cutting it pretty close on timing.  Because I live so near to the start line I kept thinking “oh I live so close, I’m fine.”  My bagel was pretty much the last thing I did on the way out the door.  Yeah – rookie mistake.  I only had a bit of stomach jostling during the race, so I lucked out.

I also had a tough time deciding exactly what to wear.  It was in the low 40s but cloudy, and I had my outfit picked out – but gloves?  or no gloves?  hat?  just an ear warmer?  I ended up going with light gloves, a long sleeved cotton shirt, and shorts.  With everything settled I headed out the door.  I needed to complete 10 miles so I ran the mile to the start line to get my extra mileage. The closer I got to the start, the more I noticed I didn’t see anyone for the race.  No bibs, no runners, no people stretching with a warm-up jog around the canal.  For the 10K, runners were everywhere, so my nerves kicked up that I might be missing the start!  I turned the corner and to my relief things hadn’t started yet – everyone was just already in line.  After making my way up to the start I checked my watch- 7:59.  For a 8:00 am race.  A whole minute to spare.  I was golden.

The training series races don’t have corrals, so the beginning is sort of hectic.  It can be frustrating to have walkers and very slow runners right up at the front.  But then again – I could be slow to the person behind me, so it’s all relative.  I tried to pick somewhere near the front, but not too far up.  I settled upon a spot and awaited the gun.

We were soon off and the first few miles felt great on my knees.  In fact, I was quite shocked at how little I felt any tweaking or issues of any kind.  The temperature was pleasant enough, but quite windy and overcast.  There were points that I was wishing I had pants…so the gloves were a great choice.  Mile 1 clocked in at 8:22.  I reminded myself to pull back.  My goal was between 8:30-9:00.  After all, this was a training run and I’m already dealing with injuries.  Mile 2: 8:26… that’s better.  I continued to feel strong though and my pace remained in the low 8:20s.

My normal race strategy is to control my start and leave juice for the end.  Therefore, during the first few miles I give myself a couple of milestones to keep from pushing it too early.  I had until mile 7 to control my pace and keep consistent.  At that point I could begin to push a bit more (if my knees felt great).  Then, at mile 8 I could really start going to town if I so desired.  This strategy kept me excited and motivated for the last few miles, but also in control of the adrenaline and desire to run.

During this race I had a funny moment that really reminded me of my age and experiences with injuries.  One of my favorite mantras when I did full marathons was  “Pain is only temporary, pride is forever.”  I would often chant this repeatedly in my head along with several other mantras.  I picked up the tactic from a marathoning book and always really enjoyed it.  I hadn’t done it in awhile and started saying to myself, pain is only temporary, pride is eternal.

Pain is only temporary, pride is forever. 

Well really Kelly – that’s a lie.  If you injure yourself good enough, you could really have that injury plague you forever.  So maybe let’s keep away from the pain part and just run the best you can.  

After my little inner monologue I laughed to myself.  Pride was no longer a good enough incentive!  I started thinking about the other half of my bagel and Adam at the finish line and that seemed to work too :)

When mile 8 hit I couldn’t believe it – I still felt strong!  I had a lot of juice in the tank and my knees were giving me no issues.  I still tried to control my pace as I knew I was already ahead of my goal of 8:30-9:00.  Throughout the race I used one Gu and split it among three different aid stations.  This strategy seemed to prevent the stomach sloshing/cramping I had during the 10K.  I’ll probably use this strategy for my half.

Rounding the corner, I had the finish in sight!  I was soo excited to see Adam (and my half bagel of course).  I wanted to yell and shout at him “Look!!  Can you believe the time?  Can you believe my knees!”  I was still in such shock, I wanted to share in my excitement.  Adam had instructed me to remove my headphones when I neared the end, as last time I was oblivious to them cheering for me.  I was feeling well enough to keep my eyes peeled for him.  I kept looking and he was nowhere to be found.  The finish line was small so I knew he wasn’t there.  Was it possible that I beat him to the end??  I crossed with a smile on my face – quite pleased with how I was feeling: not dead!  In fact, quite strong.  I was very happy to be done, and it was awesome knowing I could’ve cranked out a few more miles.

I collected my banana and water, still in disbelief Adam wasn’t in sight.  He’s never late!  I texted him, both delighted I was early enough to beat him (I couldn’t wait to hear his surprise), and irritated that he didn’t see me cross the finish!  I didn’t have to wait long as I saw him immediately after leaving the finish line area.  His face said it all: disbelief, happiness, surprise, pride!  It was so great to have him there and share in the excitement that not only did my knees not fall apart, I had a great run!

IMG_3636

Better late than never!

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I did get something – a bag, sweet!

After stretching a bit we walked home, a relief to my knees (which of course now started cramping up and screaming).  My knees weren’t all that happy with me but I iced, stretched, and stretched some more when I got home and soon felt better.

The results were soon posted and I found out my average pace was 8:14 with a total time of 1:16:45.  Nothing short of amazing!  I also placed 10th in my division out of 152 – another fun bonus.  2013 is the year of sub 9 races…something very new and thrilling to me.  I really attribute a large bit of this change to P90X.  I can’t wait to see what May 4th will bring – fingers crossed for a sub 2-hour half!

Adam and I had some celebratory Pei Wei asian for lunch (don’t worry – we consulted their nutrition guide and didn’t totally blow the P90X plan)  and had a great rest of our Saturday!  I just keep thinking back to my race and it makes me smile every time!

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Deliciousness!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

-Kelly

Have you ever totally surprised yourself in a race?  

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4 Responses to “Race Recap: I Run This Town 15K!”

  1. fatmanleanman April 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Great Job! our first race of the season is in two weeks. I can’t wait to get going!

    • racesrepsramblings April 8, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Thanks so much! Good luck on your race coming up here soon. I hope it’s successful and you have a lot of fun!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Breathing | Captivating Bliss - April 19, 2013

    […] yoga-related running tip I might try is to have a mantra. I was reading another runner’s blog and she describes how she once used to say the mantra “Pain is only temporary, pride is […]

  2. The End of 2013 | Races, Reps, and Ramblings - December 31, 2013

    […] Rica!! Adam and I took an awesome trip together and had a blast.  I ran my first 15K and we kept powering through […]

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