This week I have been feeling run down. Stressed over work, stressed over the house, stressed over missed runs. Thursday I decided enough is enough. I can only control what I can control. Time to get back to those last 8 miles of Punxsy where I felt strong and I was smiling as I crossed the finish line. So goal is to get back to that place a few times a day My birthday was Wednesday so what better way to celebrate than to race this weekend and put that mentality to work?
Pfitzinger had an 8-15k on tap for me today so I found a local 10k race (I know unheard of!) and signed up. The race was pretty small but I had hopes that there would at least be some fast gentleman to keep me company and help pull me to a sub 40 10k. I wanted the mental boost that I could indeed still race fast and that my Richmond goals are achievable.
Got to the race a little later than anticipated but since it was small it worked out. It was chilly so I did my warm up pretty bundled up. Got in about 22 minutes with three* 30 second strides trying to tap into 6:24 pace on those. Quick bathroom trip and it was out of my warm ups, into my VR tank, skirt, and racing flats. Got to the line with about 60 seconds to spare in time to hear that the 5k runners are with the 10k runners until mile 3 where they were to turn while we continued on Euclid until E 79th and then headed back.
The start was promising. I settled right into that 6:15-6:30 zone and had a couple of guys who appeared to be that pace. But less than a few minutes in they were already slowing and I was pretty much by myself. Had to push myself away from them and just focus on holding pace. There were about 6 guys in front of me, a few close enough that I thought I might be able to use them to block wind later on in the race.
Well as I closed in on the 3 mile mark I saw only one guy keep going straight and as the lead cop car pulled out in front of him I realized it was going to be a lonely last half of the race sitting in 2nd place overall. And not quite fast enough to run with the 1st guy. My garmin was hitting mile splits after the miles but I was still trying to aim for 6:24 according to the garmin. At this point it had my average pace between 6:30 and 6:32. If the distance stayed like it was I was pretty sure I could break 40. But then to my surprise mile 5 was right on with the garmin and I knew that if my pace was right I was likely going to be a few seconds over 40 minutes.
I tried to use the energy from the cheers from everybody we were passing on the way back. I got a few cat calls from cars even! "You go girl!" which was nice. Not much energy to respond but I gave my fair share of "good jobs" and "thank yous" to the runners behind me and the volunteers standing out in the cold for us. Slight decline on the last stretch and I just did my best to push. By mile 6 garmin was out of synch with the course again and I crossed at 39:45 and at what Garmin calls 6.1 miles. Hence the *. Not sure how accurate the garmin is but I am guessing pretty close so this PR comes with an *. I am guessing it was slightly short and my legitimate time would have been about 40:23. But since it was windy and I was by myself I am definitely still calling this a sub 40 effort regardless of the accuracy. Just goes to show if you want a true course anymore you have to hit the track.
Hung around afterwards and talked to the first place guy. He finished about 10 seconds ahead of me I think and just got into running this year. Not too shabby! The race had a breakfast with coffee and beer. I partook in a little of everything and while freezing my butt off and chatting with a local CTC friend who placed 2nd in the 5k. I was awarded a cool brick with a faceplate on it for my efforts. I love cool awards like this. Fun little race, fast course. Hopefully next year they can get a bigger turn out!
And added bonus the race was less than a mile from the county BOE so after I raced I jogged over and rocked the vote. A good way to start the morning and get back that positive mentality!
*Edited* So I just took a look at my Garmin map over a hybrid view of the streets. I am calling this race legit. My Garmin must of thought I could run through buildings, it has me way off course on the second half. So no * for me. I'm calling this a legit sub 40 effort.