Friday morning, I woke up for the Lennox 10k and wished I wasn't running. My stomach was beyond angry and I couldn't calm it down. We got to the race and I strongly considered signing up for the 5k, but I convinced myself to do the 10k. Because of my stomach problems, I didn't get in as long of a warm up jog as I was hoping for. I did squeak in a half mile and that left me with time to do leg swings, form drills, and glute exercises, followed by a couple of striders.
It was time for the race and the set up was really wonky. The 10k was starting with the 5k/2 mile/1 mile at our backs going in the opposite direction. They had the starting gun at the front of that group instead of the 10k, so when the gun sounded, we all stood around until someone shouted at us "That's you guys! GO!" Oh ok, I started my garmin right when I crossed the starting line.
I planned to go out in an 8:40 pace, so when I looked down and saw a 7:20, I reeled myself in. I couldn't believe how many people were still flying by me at that pace. Is everyone planning to run a sub 7:30 pace? I'll just be back here bringing up the rear I guess. (After looking at the results, yup! I pretty much brought up the rear, yet my 10k pace would've won at AG award for a 5k. Whatevs.)
Mile 1 8:36
I felt pretty comfortable during the first mile and thought that maybe I could hold that 8:30-8:40 pace for the duration of the race! There were a few people spaced out in front of me, so I just set my sights on slowly catching up to them. The race route was just a loop around the country surrounding the city so it was pretty boring, but it was nice and flat.
Mile 2 8:26
Well alright, speeding up a bit and still feeling good. I found myself slowly creeping up on another small group of people and just set my sights on them. I told myself that I was gaining speed and they were getting tired.
Mile 3 8:27
I did a little math and realized if I could keep it up, I could run a 52:xx like Kyle had predicted. Well damn if that boy doesn't know his stuff! Mile four the wind was at my back so I started to feel HOT. There was a water station so I chugged half a glass and dumped the other half on my head. Ahhhhh.
Mile 4 8:34
I lost some steam in mile four and mile five brought the dreaded gravel mile. Uff. Luckily I only had 2.2 miles left (what I kept telling myself) and I knew I could keep pushing and not blow up. I haven't had that sort of confidence or realization before or during a race in a long time, so it's nice to be in tune with my abilities. I had been chasing a guy most of the gravel section and finally caught up to him. Thank goodness he was my rabbit during that section so I didn't slow down and throw in the towel.
Mile 5 8:51
With a slower gravel mile, I knew I really had to kick it up the final 1.2 miles to come in under 53 minutes. I was all by myself so I tried to just put my head down and push. When my watch hit 5.7 miles I told myself I had four minutes to haul booty to the finish line. I also thought "shoot! There haven't been any mile markers. For all you know, you're way over (like usual) and will just miss 53!"
Mile 6 8:22
As I got closer to the school I realized that the course might actually be a bit short. Once I saw the finish line I had a full dead sprint because I was expecting to have another .1 to go!
Look! No heel strike here!!!
I hit the finish line in 51:41 for a pace of 8:20 for a full 6.2. By my estimation on the regular course distance, based on my pace and finishing speed, I would've likely run around a 52:20, which is still well under my A goal. WAHOO!!
Running my second fastest 10k at the beginning of marathon training just has me even more excited to knock this training cycle out of the park. PRs are gonna roll, yo.
Since I signed up race morning, on a piece of paper, I somehow got in the results as Jerry, a 30 year old male, so I'm happy I didn't win an AG award as a female, because we jetted off to the cabin shortly after the race was done. No time to argue. :)