Sunday, June 1, 2014

Race Recap: Hit the Road Jack (Sonoma 10K)

Be patient with me, please, as I am new to this whole race re-cap thing...

I have been running (mostly) consistently for six years now, but in the past two years, since my son was born, I have dedicated more time and effort into improving. My running stalled after a few years, and only after I made some changes did I become faster.

And...since January, I've forgotten much of my own wisdom.

I've done most of my speed work with my PE students and my distance work has consisted of six or seven mile walks with friends.  I knew this was coming, and, to be honest, I was dreading it.

I was scared about running six miles, and I was feeling a smidge guilty (dang that guilt thing, always rearing its head) about running without little man.

But, it was time to run! My last 10k in November ( last "long" run) was done at 1:06.  I wanted to meet that time, but knowing that I hadn't really trained, I didn't get my hopes up.

After heading out on a nicely overcast morning, my dad (my favorite race partner) and I arrived early enough to walk around Sonoma Square and warm-up.  We stretched and walked and were ready to start.

We ran together for the first mile out of downtown and out among the lovely craftsman style homes.  I saw two women running with their BOBs and felt an even mix of regret and relief.  My dad and I parted ways soon after our 10:46 first mile.  He encouraged me to keep going, and so I did, wanting to keep a steady pace.

Mile two, heading into the countryside, still felt good at 10:49.

My biggest challenge in races has been consistency. I crave what my friend, Miriam, of Long Run Happiness has, a steady pace that continues almost regardless of hills or wind or rain. She knows her temp and adjusts accordingly.  I was proud of my first two miles, and I thought of her as I ran.  She's a running inspiration to me (not sure if she actually knows that. I should tell her that).

Note: These are actual thoughts I had while running.  This is what happens now that I don't run with music. I have to deal with thinking.

In the third mile, my body remembered that I have been lax in my training, and I finished that in 11:02.

As we headed into a local park, I recalled that the fourth mile had been my hardest mile in the 2013 race. I also recalled a restroom break that had given me the "reset" I needed to keep going. If I found no lines at the restroom, I would stop.

Mile 4: 11:00

Found the restroom...line...dagnabit.

Keep running, woman.

So, I did. I dug in and kept going.

Dirt path for 1/4 mile or so - do not trip.

Mile 5: 10:45.

Back on track.

You've got this.

The stroller women passed me again. I couldn't beat this pace with a stroller. Why are some people so good at this. Oh, they probably ACTUALLY TRAIN.

I look at my watch and realize that in order to meet my time of 1:06, I will need to run exactly a 10 minute mile.

That was either the best or worst moment to look at the Garmin.

I am capable of a ten minute mile, but now it's up to me. I wish I had more of a cushion, but here goes. It's my mind over matter moment.

I dug in and RAN.

Mile 6: 9:49


Okay, now it's possible to BEAT my previous time.  Agh. Why do I know this now?


I could see the finish and that clock, ticking away...I dug in and...1:05:51.  Previous 10k? 1:06:29. Previous time at this race last year? 1:10:22.  Boom. No stroller? I'm almost five minutes faster on a 10k.


My dad finished a few minutes after me, also faster than last year. We high-fived and moved on to Dutch Brothers for our "recovery drinks."

Now, it's time to think about what to do next. I have two more 10k races in the next four weeks and a half marathon in just under two months. It's time to get serious.

I am definitely going to start going to track workouts. I think.

Oh? And the toddler? Yeah, he had way more fun running around with his daddy, our dog, and my parents' dog than he ever does sitting still while I run. Mom guilt managed...for now.

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