This blog isn't called "Racing It Off" for nothing. I love to race, despite not being a super-speedy. So no surprise, just 8 days into the new year, I would be lined up for my second race of the year. But unlike my first race, where I vowed to take it easy, this was a 10K... a distance that needed redemption in my record books. I had only recorded one previous 10K. It was the American Heroes race on Memorial Day. It was blazing hot and on the asphalt with no shade and very few water stops, and my body gave up. I finished in 1:12 (or maybe it was 1:13 - I try to wipe it from my memory). The time isn't that bad, but again, when my memories of the race are of my body giving in, time doesn't matter... I needed 10K redemption.
Dallas Running Club provides several free races during the year, and this was one of them... so I signed up a few days before and asked some friends to come out with me. My friend Pat said she'd meet me there, Robin wanted to go too and offered to give me a ride (score... love driving to races with friends), and Emily, at the last minute, decided she was going to go for the 10K too (shout out for Emily... from training for her first half marathon to now being able to just sign up for a 10K on the day of the race and not be worried about being able to complete the distance).
Emily and I pre-race!!!
First, for TMB
... My bib was 409. As I've mentioned previously 9 and 4 are my lucky numbers... so hello? Didn't even have to do the bib math on this one!!!
I saw Pat at the start who I had discussed running with, but she decided she wanted to run easy that day, and I, well, I wanted my redemption. So we just said our "good lucks". My goal was to do at least 10 minute miles. My serious, I-don't-think-I-can-do-it-but-I'm-going-to-try-anyway goal was sub-60, which is a 9:40 pace. Robin gave me the "you CAN do it speech", but I just don't run that pace. I'm the 11 min/mile girl.
And we were off... I pushed out mile one at 9:31. I felt like there was no way my body could keep up. Mile 2 was 9:25. Yes, I knew I was on pace, but I really was not confident that my body could hold this. Mile 2 to 3 has a bit of uphill, and I thought I was going to lose it (quite literally)... 9:48. I remember thinking that I'd have to slow down on the way back in. When I hit halfway, I looked at my Garmin and it read just past 30 minutes. It was here I gave up on my goal and figured if I could just keep it below 10:30, I would be happy. I was honestly feeling naseous from the level of exertion, and this was no 5K (it really takes a great database of your own running to know how to pace yourself at different distances).
Mile 4... 9:43. What? I'm only a few seconds off my desired pace, and I banked a little time early on. And then I heard Jason
yelling at me (in my head, of course since he was at a different race)... Suck it up, Buttercup! And the mental demons fled, and I remembered that I can suck anything up for 2 miles. I can still push this out. Mile 5... 9:41. I'm right there, but I don't want to chance it, so I kick it up just a little.
It's here that I start picking people to mentally hold onto for the duration of the race. Not letting certain people get out of my site was dragging me along. Mile 6... 9:23. At this point I am hyperventilating. (Seriously, people were looking at me like I was going to die... I seriously need to learn to breathe properly.) I apologized to this younger couple in front of me for my nasty breathing and wheezing, and told them that this was not my pace. The woman said to me, "well then, you're having a great day... go for it." I took her up on that offer and pushed hard the last 0.26 (per my Garmin) at a 7:59 pace. WHAT?
On the official clock, it said 1:00:10 which I didn't like... my Garmin read 59:37... official time 59:35!!! Seriously, I wanted to do the happy dance. I was wiped out and had to lie down, but I don't think I've ever been so proud of myself for sucking it up for so long.
And ya know what... for the 2nd time EVER and coicidentally, the 2nd time this year, I went home with extra bling... 3rd Place Athena!!! (Although I admit I'm a little curious since 1st place wasn't there to accept her award and posted a 6:43 pace that perhaps she actually ran the 5K... not saying it's impossible, but I saw the front runners, and they were definitely sleek and skinny speedies!) But it doesn't matter... 2nd or 3rd. Frankly, I was shockingly not nearly as excited about the bling (which you know how much I love bling) as I was about pushing through when I really thought I couldn't.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that my times during my PR races are only half due to training. They are half due to my pain tolerance. That goes through my head as I pass people walking the last 0.1... I sincerely think that if some of the people I passed ran to the point that they felt as naseous as I did, that they would probably blow me out of the water. I may not be speedy, but on good days, I can be awfully determined!
To top off the day, Robin got second in her age group. I finally got to meet Michelle K (who is participating in the Run for the Bling of It!
Challenge). And I got to celebrate completing a 10K with Emily!!! Her running is at a new level, and I like to think that in a small part that I helped her with that... but what I don't think she realizes is how much she's helped me by giving me someone to look forward to seeing at the gym and races!