My training scheduled called for a 6-miler on the last Saturday before my marathon, so I thought, why not run a 10K race? It would be good practice to go through the process of preparing for a race. Coincidentally, there was a Mermaid race on the exact day.
I ran my first Mermaid race last Winter and loved it, so I did not even hesitate to sign up for this one. Earlier in the week, Alex, a Daily Mile friend, asked me what my strategy was for this 10K. It was then that I realized that I had never run a 10K race before and no idea how to run one. Although it was supposed to be a training run, it would have been good practice to have a pace strategy to practice pacing since I'm terrible at it. While I googled, "How to run a 10K", I also fell asleep while reading it, so come race day, I was clueless.
The race didn't start until 8:30 am (gotta love these late start/shorter distance events!) so I slept in till 6 am, then ate my usual oatmeal for breakfast and drank some Cytomax.
I got dressed and decided to wear my Lululemon Run Groove shorts and my Daily Mile T-shirt.
Due to chafing issues, I usually run in a long-sleeve shirt, but since it was a short race, I decided to chance it with a t-shirt. Another advantage to a short race was that I didn't need to wear my hydration belt. I planned to just use the aid stations. This meant that I could try running with my iFitness belt for the first time ever! I had ordered it based upon Chic Runner's recommendation, but had not used it until this race. Her review was spot on - this thing had ZERO bounce-age. It held my iPhone and keys, and didn't bother me once. I forgot i even had it on!
To treat my foot, I used some KT Tape and new Spenco foot pads. I'd been trying KT Tape for a couple of weeks and I must say, it really works! Its been a huge help in getting my foot back on track. As for the new foot pads, they're soft gel inserts that cushion the ball of my foot.
I drove to the race (which was only 20 minutes from my house) and got there an hour before the 10K start.
It was at the Shoreline and parking was in a dirt lot with lots of tall weeds. I got a lot of kuku's (I don't know what the English word for it is...stickers maybe?) on my socks and shoes which was annoying. I made my way to the porta potty line which thankfully was still short. I don't know what it is these days - I used to never have to use porta pottys at races and recently, I have to use them all the time.
The half-marathon was supposed to start 30 minutes before the 10K, so at 8 am, I started to warm-up. The weather was perfect! It was overcast, with no wind and it was warm. There was no sweats check so I left my jacket in the car and wasn't even cold without it. 8 am came and went, and the half didn't start. They ended up pushing all the starts back by 15-minutes, so by the time the 5K started (in-between the half and 10K), I had to make another trip to the porta potty. Luckily, the lines had already died down.
The 10K finally got started and I found myself doing what I always do - starting out too fast. I swear, I have no ability to pace myself. I got caught up in the hype - again. I just wanted to get away from the walkers so I took off as fast as I could go, darting through people. After taking some time off to rest my foot, my adrenaline was pumping, it felt really good to run again. I knew I was running it as if I was running a 5K, so I tried to make myself slow down, I really did.
Finally, at 2.32 miles, I had to walk to force myself to slow down. I was feeling good but my heart rate was off the charts. My Garmin was beeping the entire time, telling me my HR was too high. (Note to self - start heart zone training). It annoyed me like crazy so I can only imagine how annoying it was to the other runners...sorry ladies!
The turnaround ended up being a little more than past the half-way point. Around this area there were tons and tons of bugs - gnats I think. They were everywhere! I had to run with mouth closed which made it hard to breathe.
As expected, I ran out of gas during the second half. My heart rate was still off the charts so I walked a couple more times to try and bring it down. Around Mile 4 the gel shoe insert in my left foot (the good foot) started bugging me so I stopped, untied my shoe, took it out and put it in my iFitness belt. It wasn't hurting or anything, just annoying. The insert worked like a charm on the right foot though - zero pain during the whole race.
I pushed myself at the end and was greeted with another Mermaid Finisher's necklace which I will wear proudly! (Along with the race T-shirt too!)
Unofficially, my time was 1:04:40.
My official time was slower, 1:05:30.
Funny thing is, I started my Garmin after I passed the Start Line and I didn't stop it until I grabbed a water bottle after the Finish Line. Oh well. I was happy with the way this race went (except for the pacing part).
This race was really important to me. After taking a full week off from running, I was wondering how I would bounce-back from it for next week's marathon. Not just my foot, but my overall fitness level and performance. The race was also part-road and part-gravel which is how I anticipate next week's race to be. My foot held up and I felt really good; that gives me more confidence going into next week.
After the race I baby-sat my cousin, "Jasmine the Fashionista."
Little does she know that she'll be running the Mini-Mermaid race in a few years! :)
This morning I was supposed to meet up with a bunch of runners from Twitter for a tweet-up. But I accidentally set my alarm for 6 pm instead of 6 am and ended up oversleeping. I guess I was pretty tired from yesterday, but I was so disappointed to miss it. I was really looking forward to it, hoping some marathon mojo from these ladies would rub off on me. Instead, I went to the gym for a swim workout.
I can't believe there's only 7 days left! This time next Sunday I'll have run my first marathon! The butterflies have already set in...it's gonna be a interesting week!