Second race recap! Wooooo!
Shortly after my first race, I made the decision to train for a half marathon. (I’m training for a half marathon. Have I mentioned that 17 times in the last 4 minutes? ) It seemed prudent to run another race at some point before tackling 13.1. Brazen Racing‘s Summer Breeze Half Marathon/10K/5K came up at the perfect time. I knew when I registered that if training was going according to plan, I would be up to 8 miles, making a 10k a completely reasonable second race.
I’ve struggled over the last month with nutrition and tummy stability. I’m eating healthily but still trying to figure out how much food I need to eat in a day, when to eat it, and what things my body likes the best. I’ve had tummy trouble all week, including on Thursday’s 4 mile run. When it acts up on a run, all I usually have to do is slow down but I didn’t want to! To combat the sloshing, I had my Larabar and water a bit earlier and it worked like a charm. Not even the slightest gurgles!
The curse of the East Bay musician (who has to deal with unpredictable Bay Bridge traffic into San Francisco) is to be absolutely paranoid about punctuality. The start was only about 20 minutes from my apartment but of course, I felt the need to leave over an hour early. What if there was no parking??? Well, there was PLENTY of parking and I spent the next 45 minutes really wishing I had brought a throwaway sweatshirt. Lesson learned.
My super-duper-secret (not really) time goal was to finish under an hour. I only have a handful of runs beyond 3 miles under my belt but based on my current pacing, this was not out of the realm of possibility. My plan was the same as always – start comfortably, steadily get faster, and kick it in at the end.
The whole race felt great……..except for the first quarter mile where I was going at my normal start pace and EVERYONE AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER PASSED ME. I started to get a bit concerned but based on my overall place, it looks like a lot of folks just got really excited at the start. Not my style.
For the first three miles, it was all about staying comfy and steady. I found a few helpful pacers and as I watched their heads bob up and down, I checked in with my body: knees good, legs good, tummy good, shoulders and arms relaxed, breathing easy… Each time I glanced at my pace, it was incrementally closer to a 10mm. Everything was going according to plan!
My body continued to feel good as I reached the turnaround. As I’m sure it is for so many runners, that’s a great psychological boost. Instead of dreading the push the second half requires, I look forward to being able to let go and be a little less conservative.
As I ran, I continually checked my pace. I reached 10mm somewhere during the third or fourth mile. Here’s where my run gets really irritating. I kept speeding up, feeling good, and thinking that I was totally going to come in under an hour. Seconds dropped off my pace and going in the last mile, I was right around 9:45. Totally thought I was in the safety zone. Golden. Problem was, I didn’t accurately calculate how the extra 0.2 miles would figure in. I crossed the finish line and looked down at this:
Had I LOOKED DOWN AT MY TOTAL TIME instead of just my f*cking pace, I would have realized that I had about a minute and a half I needed to shave off to get in under an hour. My official time was 1:01:38, finishing 203/534 overall and 22/70 in my age group. There is absolutely no question in my mind that I had the energy throughout the race to get in under an hour. I just didn’t because I’m really bad at math.
I’m not going to lie, I was bummed. If I hadn’t been physically ready to sustain that pace over 6.2 miles, that’s one thing but I was. I just made a silly error! As I shared the story with my dad this morning, he said “well, that’s one mistake I bet you’ll never make again!” Word, Dad.
After getting my sweet medal and some water, I treated myself to my favorite lunch (turkey burger and sweet potato fries) and surprise! An adorable Oiselle tee I had been coveting at See Jane Run was on sale! Post-race present!
Overall, it was a very good race. After the 5K, I wouldn’t have guessed that only two months later I would run twice the distance at a faster pace. Never would have expected it to feel so comfortable! Everything about the experience was positive, including the outcome. I know it’s important to recognize that and I do. Still hooked on racing!