It was a pretty good run for me. I definitely learned a lot. I continuously have to tell myself that I'm a runner. I still don't see myself as one. I feel like such a rookie and some of my choices yesterday prove that I AM a rookie. And that's OK.
My antibiotics had kicked in. The fever and body aches were gone, but I was still a little sore. I hadn't slept well all week, hadn't worked out all week, nor did I eat the greatest fuel foods the day before the race. Let's just say I was not in my best shape. I changed my outfit the morning of the race, I never made a race playlist and I didn't get around to making homemade protein bites for before the race. I was breaking cardinal racing rules all over the place and I paid for it.
Since I was sick and it had been a rough week, I knew that I should throw my goal time out the window. I ran the 10 miler in 87 minutes (8:44 pace). So my goal was to finish in under 2 hours. Ideally around 1:55. As my DH was driving me to the race he gave me a little pep talk and then asked about what I thought my time would be. I said, "You know I wanted under 2, but now I guess I don't care. I just want to finish." He laughed and told me I was lying. He was right. I still wanted under 2.
There weren't corrals for this race, just banners with pace times. I liked this better. I made my way up to the 9 min/mile banner and stood a little bit in front of it. I was surprised by how close this was to the start line. I was surprised by how fit and runneresque all the people around me looked. See? I still don't see myself as one of them. I was giddy and in awe. I hope I never lose that starting line feel.
I saw the 9:00 pacer. I told myself to stay in front of him for as long as I could. I thought that if he passed me I would do my best to keep up and that would get me a 2:00 time. I felt like it was a realistic goal since this was a speedy course. Mostly flat and lots of downhill.
It was a beautiful morning. We started at the Cathedral in St. Paul.
I am happy to say that I did not make the racing mistake of starting out too fast. I ran at a pace that was comfortable to me and tried not to let all the people passing get to me.
The first part was down Summit past all the old mansions. I felt great and had time to take in the gorgeous fall views.
After the initial high wore off, I missed running with my husband.Then my pants were starting to fall down, which didn't make sense because I was wearing my favorite running capris with a drawstring. Then I realized that the cute orange & black polka dot knee highs that I bought to be festive, were pulling my pants down!! No, I hadn't worn them running before. I planned to wear them on an easy run on Thursday, but I was sick. I knew better than to wear something new on race day, but I did it anyway. rookie mistake! I had to jump onto the curb at the first water station to pull the stupid socks down. And, duh!, Target knee-highs are not made with moisture wicking materials. So my feet were too hot and then too cold the entire race. And I got blisters, which has never happened before. I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson. I also had a little problem when I took off my throw away fleece and my ipod armband came off with it and everything got unplugged and tangled. Definition of hot mess right here!
Enough about my wardrobe malfunctions. Back to the race. I usually hit a teeny wall around 6 and I thought about that after the 5 mile marker. Then all of a sudden I was at the mile 7 marker. Things were going well. Somewhere after that I started to get tired. I had noticed 2 girls in hot pink shirts awhile ago and was doing my best to keep up with them. There was A LOT of self talk going on at this point. The pink girls got way ahead of me at times, but I kept them in sight. This is a racing tip from my dad.
I did not eat enough calories on Friday night or Sat morning. I was hungry and feeling spent and we were only at mile 10. I took Powerade (which I hate) at a water station just to give myself something. Another racing no-no. Don't drink things your body isn't accostumed too. The last 3.1 was super tough for me. Every step was hard. I was pushing as hard as I could at mile 12 but I wasn't going any faster. I did manage to pass the pink girls, which felt great, but I couldn't sprint to the finish line. When I saw 1:57 on the clock I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride.
I never saw the 9:00 pacer. That meant I ran a consistent race at my pace. I don't have a Garmin (wish I did!) so throughout the race I had no idea what my time was. When I saw that finish clock, I felt amazing. I also felt awful. I was shaky and a little dizzy and immediately gobbled up a banana. My body was spent.
I am addicted to racing. There is a St. Patrick's Day HM that I will be signing up for. I love the energy of a race and the feeling of being part of a running community. I learn a lot with each race and know what I need to do so the next race goes better.
Chip time was 1:55:02. (8:47 pace) I am overjoyed. I cannot believe that I met my original goal after the craptastic week I had. I need to experiment with fuel during runs. I clearly needed something at mile 10. I'm not going to play the what if game with myself. Instead I am going to focus on what I can do to become a better runner and make sure my next race is even more enjoyable.
wow, this got long. I will reread this before my next race so I will never make the same mistakes again. And maybe someone else can learn something from this. If you're still reading, here's me in the ridiculous socks.
At least I can wear them to school tomorrow and the kindergarteners will love em. And that cutie is telling me to run like a witch!
Happy Halloween sparkers!