Sunday, October 6, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Georgia Race for Autism 10K

Well, I went into this race, as you know, battling the desire for a time goal. I pretty much had myself talked out of the goal, but deep down, I knew that I wanted to try to come in under an hour. That has been an ongoing goal of mine - regularly run 10K under an hour - because most of the Olympic distance tris I have seen have a cut off of one hour for the run.

This race is in my backyard, basically, so I left my house at 7:15 and still arrived with time to kill (thanks to picking up my bib the day before). I needed to do a total of 7.5 miles yesterday, and a warm-up would help my overall speed, so I laid down about 1.3 miles of jogging before the race. Just as I was finishing, Jan texted me to say she had arrived. Her house is also very close, but in the opposite direction. We met up at the start line but can you believe we both forgot to snap a picture?! I had looked around for the MRTT folks who I knew were racing but couldn't find them, either. This race is not very big so that was annoying.

It was quickly time to start and we took off. Jan and I don't run the same pacing so we didn't try to race together. This was just a training run for her, and I wouldn't have wanted to screw her up by trying to stick with her. I also tried to work with a system from Coach Jenny Hadfield that I saw a few days ago in passing that talked about running by feel. I used to do this very well, but not so much anymore. The idea is to use zones of perceived effort/comfort. In a 10K the first 2 miles are easy zone (yellow, maybe), the next 2 miles more effort, the last 2 all out. I will have to see if I can find the article again.

Anyway, I stuck with that. I hit the first mile under 10:00, though, with the effort feeling easy (note that mile 1 is all down hill LOLOL) and thought that my chances were good at coming in under an hour. But then mile 2 is all uphill. Oh well, still felt good. I had chosen not to carry water with me, so I stopped at the first 3 water stops which were all before the 10K split off from the 5K. Or at least the first 2 were.

Around mile 3, I realized that I had forgotten to bring any Honey Stinger Chews. Great, no fuel and I was going out for a decent time. Not smart. Then I skipped the 4th water stop not realizing it was the last one - and that was before mile 4. I remembered there being another water stop near the out-and-back but there wasn't. So it was quite warm, sunny, and I had no water and no fuel. Fun. I didn't feel too hot at this point.

Once I'd gotten past that mile 4.5 spot and realized there was no water, I decided that the best approach was to get to the water (at the finish line LOL) as soon as I could. No sense in dragging this out. Get it over with! I was still seeing a lot of people, which is surprising for me. I usually have to ask if there is anyone behind me as I'm on the back half of the course. I hope that means that the 10K is getting bigger!!

As I reached the last mile, and I was pretty sure the worst of the hills were behind me, I was ready to lay down some speed. I had fought off a side stitch and won that battle. I had also passed a few people, which I felt bad about but I was not going to slow down at that point.

With around a half mile to go, my playlist (which was on 'shuffle') suddenly started blaring "The Phoenix" by Fall Out Boy which happens to be my "SONG OF THE MOMENT"!

I heard the opening lines - "Put On Your War Paint"and I turned into a beast! I was like "YEAH!! I got my war paint on!" and I started to run with everything I had left in me! I wish someone had gotten a picture of me at that point because in my mind I felt amazing and strong and tough, but I'm sure I just looked like a crazy old woman! LOL

I didn't care, though! I tried to see if I could finish the race before the song ended - and I did! I came down the 'chute' and the cheerleaders were cheering and some little girls were there with their hands out so I gave them high fives and I was feeling incredible!

My Garmin tells me that I finished in 59:12 which is about 45 seconds slower than my PR. However, this course is much tougher with all of the hills! And I know I didn't go all out because I didn't feel like I was going to throw up like I did at my last 5K. I don't like that feeling, though, so if I can keep up with the 10K under and hour without feeling sick, then I am going to be content!

I waited for Jan to finish up and we took a finishers picture!
We don't even look like we ran!
 I wanted to wait around for the awards, since I won last year and this year was faster. It took forever for the ceremony though and the 5K timing was all screwed up. So I asked the timing company guy if I could check my results to see if I needed to stay. According to his computer, I was about a minute off the 3rd place winner in my age group, so I told Jan we could leave.

She and I wandered around the festival area to see what they had, and while we were standing at one booth I heard my name being announced over at the stage for the 10K awards. I walked over there and was pretty perplexed! Jan took some pics of me getting my 3rd place award which is a lanyard.

I'm not sure what happened as the official results are not posted yet. And when she called my name/time they had me about 30 seconds slower, which would have been what it was according to clock time and not chip time since we lined up at the back. So I guess I'll have to wait until the results are posted to figure out exactly how I ended up 3rd in my age group.

Overall it was a fantastic day! I am glad that I ran the best race I could on that day! I need to get out of the habit of the time goal thing, though. I really want to get back to running/race for the mere enjoyment of it all! This is technically my off-season/base building and I do not want to get injured when the purpose of this time is to build up my endurance!

If you raced this weekend, I hope it went well!

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