I had a low key evening last night in anticipation of waking up early this morning, having a big cup of coffee and a light breakfast, and heading over to Beaumont for the "A Most Excellent Race 10K." The alarm went off at 6:30 am, and I rolled back over and decided I wasn't vibin' a race this morning. Then, I woke up again at 7:40 am, got my act together, and headed out the door at 8:20am for the race. It was not the relaxing, pre-race morning I planned on, but I'm glad I decided to do it! The money for the race goes to a great organization called Camp Cheerful, which is a camp designed for individuals with special needs. If anything, I wanted to be able to support this camp.
I was amazed at the amount of people running the race when I got there. I registered as quickly as possible so I could get in a least a mile warm up prior to the race. After I warmed up, I headed to the start line to make sure I didn't get stuck in the back of the pack. Although it was chip timed, I always like to be closer to the front so I'm not tripping over people when the gun goes off. I saw my dear friend and cousin-in-law, Jessica and her boyfriend, Mate. Races are always so much more fun when I run with those two...they're awesome!!
The sun came out as we were waiting for the gun to go off, and I started breaking a bit of a sweat which concerned me a little. Hot races can be quite challenging! I ran the course during my easy run on Wednesday, so I made a plan of attack for the course. It was a double loop course, the first 1.5 miles was a straight shot with a gradual descend in elevation, followed by a turn into the last 1.5 miles, which was a straight shot but a gradual increase in elevation, and then repeat for the second half. The 10K and 5K started at the same time, so I told myself I wouldn't pay attention to anyone else's pace and I'd focus on my own. I'd never run a 10K before, and I was worried I would put out too much too soon and be burned out for the second loop. So, I decided my plan would be to run the first 1.5miles at a 6:40min/mi, the second 1.5miles at a 7:00min/mi, and for the repeat I'd pick it up for the the first 1.5 miles at a 6:30min/mi, and the second 1.5 miles at a 6:50min/mi.
The gun went off and off we all went! The first 1.5 miles felt great, and I stuck around a 6:40min/mi which I was happy about. I skipped the first water stop, and was hoping there would be another one around mile 3. I always choke a bit when I drink water in races because its usually pretty cold and I'm bookin' it, so I usually skip them for 5Ks but knew I'd need it for the 10K. I held back and stuck at a 7:00min/mi for the second 1.5 miles, which again I was pleased with. It was VERY hard to hold back with all of the 5K runners flying by me. I had to keep telling myself "you want to finish. CHILL OUT." And, I listened! I crossed the 5K mark around 21:00 minutes, had a drink of water (and choked on it a bit, annoying!) and kept my head straight and focused for the second loop. I heard a woman shout "WOOOO FIRST FEMALE!" and I was thinking 'HUH? Really??" I honestly had no idea, and didn't really believe her. But, it gave me the adrenaline boost I needed to float around a 6:25-6:40min/mi for the 1st 1.5 miles of the second loop. When I turned the corner to finish the 2nd 1.5 miles, I eased up when I should have pushed a little more. I stuck around a 7:00-7:15min/mi. Once I got to one of the intersections which was NOT the final intersection, I was READY for the finish line. Then, finally mile 6 showed up and I did my best for a strong finish to the end. When I crossed, a guy asked for my name and I soon learned that I was the first overall female finisher!! My official finish time was 42:19, which was a 6:50min/mi average. I ran a smart race, not necessarily my best, so I was happy for the recogntion!! I received Indian's tickets and $50 worth of gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods. WOO! Jess and Mate had great races as well and both placed in their age groups!!
After the awards, I stopped by Starbucks for a skinny vanilla latte, had some Kashi cookies, and headed to the pool! Not too shabby of a Sunday!
So, this is my last "off" week before my official NYC training begins!! CAN'T WAIT to get started!!! I'm going to tone it down a bit this week, and hopefully get a 5K in next Saturday. I ran the Chardon 5K last year and it was hilly, but pretty. I think I may do it again!
Week run-down (based off of Hal Higdon's Recovery Plan http://www.halhigdon.com/):
Monday: 40 min cross-training
Tuesday: 3X800 on the track
Wednesday: 5 mile easy
Thursday: 30 min tempo
Sunday: 8 mile easy
19 weeks until the ING New York City Marathon!!!!