That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day 10k

Despite what it said on my blog, my goal was actually 1:05. Well, that was my medium goal. I read an article recently (that I'll have to find again) that recommended actually having three goals for the race. The first, your amazing wonderful awesome goal. The second, the goal that you would be happy to achieve. The third, the goal that you could live with.

I also decided to make my goal fairly conservative. I have pretty much never met a goal I set for myself pre-race. My first 5k, I thought maybe I could do it around 30, since I read soooo much about how much adrenaline kicks in during a race and how people go soooo much faster when they're racing. Well, either that's a bunch of crap or it doesn't apply to me. Also, 30 was WAY optimistic, considering I was used to running about a 12 minute mile. Yeesh.

So anyway, given that I tend to miss my goal times by a smidge, and given that downtown is hilly, I set my "happy" goal as 1:05. My amazing wonderful goal would've been around 1:02. (Actually, AMAZING would've been under an hour but I don't know that I'm quite there, except on a perfectly flat road in perfect weather conditions with nobody getting in my way, ever.) What could I live with? Doing better than my first 10k in May. And if that didn't happen, I could live with finishing the race happy and feeling good (although I think at that pace, I would've had to have been feeling bad in some way.) And even if none of those things happened, I figured life goes on.

So I won't keep you in suspense (although everyone's probably given up on reading my ramblings and checked out the side panel by now....)

1:04:49. Happy goal minus 11. It also qualifies me for the National half if I decide to do it.

I'm good with it.

The race itself:

The learning experiences:

  • For the first time, I absolutely did NOT eat enough for breakfast. For whatever reason, my nerves had my stomach doing cartwheels. Plus the only banana we had turned out to be mushy and gross. I read about some runners who eat like a bird before a race. Turns out, I can't do that. My english muffin and pb wore off around 4 miles and I felt STARVED. I had to fight a little bit for the energy to finish. 
  • The HILLS. I ran them all during the Pig 10k (pretty similar route) but holy crap, I forgot that those bridges are killer. There's a huge uphill to get onto the bridge, then I spent the run across the bridge recovering instead of enjoying the view of the Ohio River, then a downhill where I went wheeee! and got back into the race. And if the bridges to Kentucky and back weren't enough, there's a bridge IN KY that's a doozie too. Ironically, Kanye had just kicked on when I was staring at that bridge, looking up at the hill, hearing, "That that that that don't kill me can only make me stronger...." Probably needed that. There was also one fun uphill downtown. At least that was at the beginning. Oh yeah, the one and only photographer I saw was in the middle of the bridge to KY, so if he got my picture, he got me trying to catch my breath from the uphill. That'll be one hot looking pic.
  • The crowd. I was passing walkers at the beginning even though they were supposed to be behind us. NOT COOL, walkers. Most people were pretty cool but there was the occasional person suddenly turning around to go back to their friends, or randomly cutting across right in front of me.
  • There were signs to line up by pace. The 10 min/mile sign was the last one before the walkers. Thanks for the confirmation that I'm slow. I think a 10 minute mile for a 10k is pretty good, myself.
  • There was NO 2 mile marker! I had my stopwatch going, and I remember looking at it and thinking I must be close to 2 miles. Aaaand....nothing. For a minute I thought I had slowed way down, but when it got to 12 minutes after my first mile, I KNEW I hadn't slowed down that much and I was able to keep my head on straight. But still....had I not had my watch, I might've been really discouraged!
The good:
  •  The crowd! There were people in turkey costumes, a group of girls singing the 12 days of Christmas while they were running, all kinds of fun stuff. Oh, and a super tall guy wearing neon tights with a paint splatter pattern. Those were awesome.
  • I had my cold weather gear all ready....and it was 58 degrees. Rainy, but 58 nonetheless. So I didn't freeze waiting OR running. And I ran in capris on thanksgiving, which I never thought I'd be able to do.
  • The woman towards the end holding a sign that said, "Good job stranger! We're proud of you." It's silly, but I swear it put the biggest smile on my face. Actually, the crowd was great. There were a lot of people lining the course, especially for a 10k in the rain, and they mostly cheered for everyone instead of just looking for their friends.
  • I managed to keep a (mostly) steady pace, which was kind of an unofficial goal. Well, I had a couple of slow miles, but I pulled it together at the end. At any rate, it's getting way better than my former good/good/good/fall on my face looking splits.
  • Besides the fact that I probably would've hurt someone for a bagel at mile 5, I finished feeling good.
  • I did NOT walk. I wanted to walk. I told myself that I could probably still meet my goal if I walked. But I didn't walk! As long as I was still passing people who WERE walking, I told myself that I didn't need to walk.
 Overall....good experience. One worth repeating next year. Maybe I'll be down to a sub-hour by then.

Splits (far as I can remember):

mile 1: 10:11
miles 2 & 3: 20:19 (30:30)
mile 4: 10:45 (41:15) <---hill!!
mile 5: 11:00  (52:15) <---bigger hill!
mile 6: 10:30 (1:02:45)
.2: 2:04  (1:04:49)

Edit to add: I found some guy's youtube video of the race, with footage at every mile marker. There WAS a marker at mile 2. Somehow I completely missed a giant sign with an LED screen under it. I really am that awesome!!