I had a slight change in my plan this morning. After thinking things through I decided that I would drive to the race site instead of running from my place to the race site. Silly me forgot to think about how I would get back from the race and I had a feeling that I would not to want to run another 10K after two 10K's.
I woke up at 530 and had my coffee as I looked over the course map on the computer. I am very fortunate for where I live because almost every running race is in my area of Mandarin. I train on the same roads as the race routes so it is a great mental boost.
I had a piece of toast w/ PB, raisins and a few slices of banana at 6am and by that time, Karel was up. Campy, however, was still in bed so we decided to wake up our sleepy dog at 615. Seriously, I think he is a human in a dogs body. He is just too cute and we love him so much. Smudla is doing much better with him and we just love our happy pets :)
At 615am I was out the door and I said good bye to Karel and Campy outside as they were taking a walk. I drove to the race site, picked up my chip and race number and found a close parking spot right near the start (on the street). At 6:45 I grabbed my Sony radio and started my run.
I ran the 10K course for the race and the first 2 miles were a little slow. It took me a while to convince myself to keep going (do I really want to do this run before a race??) but with the mile markers already set up I found myself at mile 3 before I knew it. Since I didn't see any other runners out on the course from mile 3-5 I knew I had to think about my own reasons for doing this. I saw myself at IMKY (only 20 degrees warmer at the IM), at the Outback half and at the Jacksonville marathon. I forgot about the race and just kept myself moving at my slow 8:30 min/mile pace. Mile 5 came rather quickly and before I knew it I was seeing a road filled with cars and the entrance to the Mandarin park. After 49 min and a 10K completed I started walking to change shirts and put on my race number. I must have timed it right because as soon as I got to my car, the rain came down. And not just sprinkles, it POURED! I felt so bad for people, trying to find a large tree, rooftop or port-o-potty to stay dry and here I was just chilling in my car, completely dry.
I had a Hammer gel at 7:45 and from 7:30 until the start I sipped on some aminos and water. I didn't really feel tired and I wasn't even nervous. If anything, I started to feel really good at mile 5 of my training run and I was actually looking forward to the race. When it was time to walk to the start, the rain had stopped. Thankfully, I was able to stand at the starting line, all dry and not very sore. I was talking to the owner of Native Sun (all natural/organic shop who put on the race) and all of a sudden, the sky opened up and it poured once again. About 5 min of chatting with Aaron in the rain, we were off.
Karel and I had a little discussion before this race because I have never trained before a race. I can see myself going for an easy spin or jogging 10-15 min before a race but to run the exact distance of the race, before the race, was something new to me. Karel told me that I can't do this race with the mindset that I am just using it as a training run. I agreed with him. I wanted to race on my tired legs because I am just not good at pushing through the pain. I think my endurance capacity is high and my tolerance to discomfort is good but I don't really know where my breaking point is. I guess this was the morning I would find out if I could convince myself that I had enough in me to pace myself and be tired and sore. Karel really gave me some great advice and I was thankful that he convinced me that I couldn't just run this 10K for fun or for training. I needed to push myself to see if I could beat my training time.
When the race started at 8am I was soaking wet. I could barely see because the water was dripping down my face and I was running through big puddles. Seeing that it had already poured for 30 min. before the start, the falling rain was just an addition to our wet conditions. I actually like running in the rain and I know it will rain in races. It rained at Disney 70.3 and I had never biked through rain before. I know soggy shoes and heavy clothes can be annoying to some but it really doesn't bother me. So long as I am not cold, I love running in any type of environment.
After the first mile I was passing a group of people and all of sudden I see KAREL! HEY BABE!!! I yelled at him and told him it was a bit wet out. He agreed and cheered me on. He had just finished up 30 min of interval work on his bike and he road his bike over to find me. I didn't expect to see him because I knew he was training this morning. However, as soon as it started raining, I figured he would stay home. He is not a fan of riding in the rain but he toughed it out this morning and went home to Campy after he saw me.
Seeing Karel just made my day. I wasn't in any pain during the run but having him there gave me a little boost. I kept my pace consistent during the run and it wasn't until mile 5 that I began to get a bit tired. I actually felt better today during this race than I did in any 10K. I was warmed up, my food was fully digested and I had plenty of energy. At mile 5 I could have used another surprise from Karel but I had to finish the race alone. I decided I would try to pass the fellas out there so I tried to look ahead and pass as many guys as I could. I didn't see too many girls but that was because they were all ahead of me with their speedy anaerobic legs.
I finally saw mile 6 and I knew the finish was just behind the corner. Well, the start arch had moved into the mark and with .2 miles to go I was getting a bit frustrated. Where is that stupid finish??? It was just so long to get there and finally I saw the finish.
I wasn't sure what I would be capable of running if I didn't run before the race but I ran 45 min. for the race. Not too shabby considering that I had ran 49 min. about an hour earlier.
I actually felt pretty good during the entire race and I felt like I could hold a pace, which was my main goal. Here are my splits for the race:
1:33 (that .2 took FOREVER!!)
After the race I went to my car to drop off some yummy goodies that I grabbed from the buffet of natural foods and after I gave my body about 20 min to relax I enjoyed some delicious fresh fruit and granola. I placed 2nd in my age group and 26th overall female.
After my 10 min. drive home I took a shower and changed out of my soaking wet clothes. It was 10am and the running finally caught up with me. Karel took a short nap on the couch and Campy jumped in bed with me as I rested in bed for a quick nap.
What a morning. Unfortunately, the fun is over. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I do a long ride with Karel, Jeff and Curtis.
Now, time to do some homework!