Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just long enough to suck (Iron Girl 10K race report)

That is a quote from a cycling class instructor at 24hr fitness about 10Ks. It cracks me up cause it is SO true.

I was not super jazzed about running this race. 10K's suck! But DSF sold me when I saw that they had personalized bibs (I am still very sad that we missed out on them for the marathon where I was running slowly enough that everybody would have had time to read my name and cheer me through the death shuffle). So, Friday night, I dragged myself away from a game of Beatles Rock Band at a friend of The Cap's and began pre-race setup. I have a secret desire to be really thematic at races and, although my introversion keeps me from going over the top costume-y, I try to be at least slightly festive. For this race that mean looking girly and I realized I didn't really have the gear for it. I went with my Team In Training long sleeve tech top and tri shorts. In the morning I got up, ate pita with scrambled eggs (I just had to pray that this wasn't a huge mistake later but it is my current favorite breakfast), donned my selected outfit, grabbed the Garmin (no HR monitor), opted not to bother brushing my hair, and was out the door. My biggest decision of the day was that I did not drink anything that morning. I was going to try having as little slush in my stomach as possible.

Met up with DSF and we chatted in the starting chute. The main topic was "Running skirts, yay or nay?" I find the running skirt rather curious…but I guess it would have met the girly-ness criteria when selecting my ensemble.

I had set my Garmin to a 10K in 1hour. A lofty goal for me.

The race began and once I'd waded through the initial sea of female humanity, I was off. I liked how my Garmin only displayed distance remaining and average pace, it was exactly the right amount of info to know. I saw that I was holding a 9:25sec pace for the first 2miles and was feeling pretty good about it. There was a water station there but I decided to skip it to continue testing the no/low liquids theory.

I decided I would not consult the Garmin for any more info (other than the remaining distance and avg pace) because I felt like that would be too distracting and if I focused on staying around the suggested avg pace (9:39), I'd be golden.

So, that's what I did. The 5K runners peeled off and we went out for another lap of the lake. Until mile 4 I was still feeling mainly good.

Hit the water stop again and I was thirsty but felt good, so I figured I'd carry on and see how it went. One reason I don't like 10Ks is that 6.2 miles is around the upper limit of how far I can run without needing a potty, but at mile 5 I was still doing fine in that department.

So I kept running. My avg pace was creeping up a bit but still not over the 9:39 target pace that Garmin was having me aim for.

The last 0.5mi was TOUGH. I wanted very badly to walk or at least slow down more than I already had but I saw that avg pace creeping up and I saw how little distance I had left so, I kept running. When I finally saw the finish line I was excited but knew it had to be a trick. Garmin had been a little ahead of the race mile markers and even he said I still had 0.2miles to go. You had to pass the finish line, go around a seemingly never-ending loop and then into a U-SHAPED(!) finishing chute. Garmin clocked me at 59:13 for 6.21miles, the official clock timed me at 1:00:38. So not under an hour exactly but I was very happy.

Afterwards, DSF and I skipped the rather elaborate and elegant post-race spread in favor of showers (not together) and to get busy the day started.

Overall it was a good race. Not my favorite distance but it was OK. This is the first time I realized how much I like the Garmin. So much I'm going to name him. I think I'll call him G-money (G$ for short) because Garmin starts with a G and it was the priciest running paraphernalia I've gotten yet.


On a more sober note: I will put it here so as to immortalize it for myself and future medical professionals; my right knee has been feeling tweaky lately. Mainly when I do speedwork but also on longer runs and even some days on the stairs at work. Nothing awful, just first sign of tweakage.


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