On Memorial Day, I ran my first race of the season. As is typical of me, I didn't have much training going in and hoped for the best.
Race: Ridgewood Run 10k
Course: Fast and semi-shaded
Goal: Not sure, because, you know, my training was intermittent and sparse, and really I was just training to finish… Which is a lie, as I wasn't really training to do anything.
Outfit: I found my matching socks, and the morning of the race I decided to go all out and wear my racing flats since it matched. Also, I wore these almost obscenely short shorts because I cannot be seen failing wearing them.
Hair report: I tried a high ponytail and a low ponytail and settled on the latter. Less swooshing, which can sometimes annoy me.
Pre-race breakfast: Bowl of oatmeal and a banana.
Pre-race fuel: A pack of Gatorade G-Chews and a 5-hour energy. I forgot my water bottle.
Temperature: Pretty sure it was around 51°. scrape. told me I lucked out; Memorial Day around here tends to be a scorcher.
Warm up: 5 minute jog, if that.
So I'm lining up close to the start, not because I'm overly ambitious but because n00bs tend to line up close to the start at small, local races. Since this isn't a small race (there is prize money and elites), I figured it would be even more congested. I end up being behind two woman who shouldn't be there. Two of them (and a few others) disregarded the National Anthem until the crowd became so quiet, carrying on a conversation about singing Born To Run for college and vacationing to Puerto Rico would have been obvious.
Mile 1: 7:50.92 - I've never been claustrophobic at the start of a race before, but this almost did it. So congested, and I almost knocked into a couple runners a few times. I was looking forward to the pack thinning out by mile 2.
I see a woman around my age in a greenish headband and keep her in my field of vision. At this point, we're kind of running shoulder to shoulder, and the idiot is messing around with her iPhone band. I see her take it off and I chuckle to myself, certain she will use this as an excuse.
Mile 2: 7:38.73 - Little bit of a downhill. Headband Chick is a little ahead of me. She's running about 10-15 seconds faster, and I decide that it's not in my best interest to stay with her at this time. I slow down to my pace and worry about catching her later on. As long as I can keep an eye on her, I'm good.
Mile 3: 7:46.16 - There was a little bit of an incline, but nothing terrible. I notice that I set an unofficial 5k PR. I'm going to have to sign up for a 5k, which I won't train for since I race better when I don't.
For some reason, I tell myself that I'm good for at least 4 miles, then I promptly tell myself to STFU, I'm good until forever.
Mile 4: 7:53.10 - Starting to struggle. My breathing isn't out of control, though, and I continue concentrating on taking deep breaths. I grab a water at a stop and take a sip.
I see Headband Chick slowing down up ahead. Eventually I catch up and pass her.
Mile 5: 8:09.06 - The difference between being trained and not is mile 5. When I am properly trained, I do not slow down this much this mile. I'm struggling more, though coming in under 50 is kind of important to me and I don't want to mess it up.
Mile 6: 7:56.44 - Downhill. I see Alex and half ass a wave because it's kind of difficult for me to be purposely do that. But my hand was already up, so all I had to do was lift my wrist.
I focus on my stride and breathing and tell myself that if I give up now, I fail at life.
Point 2: 2:06.79, 7:19 pace - My splits are off by .09, not sure why. I hate it, because it's already mentally tough to remind yourself that you still have to keep running after you hit mile 6; even more when you have further to go than that.
Eventually, I cross the finish line. I almost stopped early before realizing the start chute with the balloon banner was not the finish line.
Not a PR, but this makes my third 10k under 50 minutes. I don't know why everyone hates 10ks so much, because I absolutely love them.
Does anyone else with a Garmin 210 find that it takes forever to load history? It takes me a good couple of minutes.
So, I'm pretty happy with this race and that I lucked out with the weather. I feel that I'm in good place for the Army 10 Miler later this year as long as I train smartly. In the meantime, I might sign up for another 10k if I can find one around here.