Things I love:
Soooo…..yesterday morning was pretty awesome!
I was so pleased to be an ambassador for the inaugural Let’s Go 510 10k, a co-production of Represent Running and Brazen Racing. As an Oakland girl, I love all things green and gold. I’ve run numerous Brazen races and they’re always fantastic. Great energy, courses, medals, food, and free photos! This race was no exception! Represent Running brought awesome local flavor, excellent organization and some super entertaining signs. I really hope this becomes an annual event!
Going into the race, I only had one remaining 2013 running goal : a new 10k PR.
Before the marathon, I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d recover so I didn’t have high hopes for getting my PR at this race. I was comfortable running it for fun and just enjoying the Bay-centric festivities. Then I had some short, zippy runs this week and began to reconsider. My old PR was 1:01:38 which is a 9:55 average. That was definitely beatable but I truly wanted a more substantial PR than skin of my teeth. At the very least, I wanted to break an hour. I went into the race with a plan to run two mile progressions: start at 9:40, run 9:30 for the middle miles, 9:20 for 5 and 6, and finish with a kick. It was a slightly aggressive plan, especially since I’ve rarely run faster than 9:45 for the last several months of marathon training. Aggressive race plan? Taking chances? Who is this girl??
The race started at 10am. A little unorthodox but allowed folks to enjoy the horse races after and get some extra sleep before. I arrived at Golden Gate Fields around 9am to TONS of parking. Delightful! I upgraded my cotton shirt to a tech tee for $6 because the color was more A’s-like. That’s how I do. Also got a picture of the track we’d be finishing on.
Soon it was time to line up and head off! Up a hill!
I started in the front third to avoid weaving between run/walkers. As usual, the crowd surged past me. I remember how demoralizing that used to be and now I think it’s hilarious. If people want to blow all their energy out in the first mile, more power to them!
So smug, right? Until I looked down at my watch and saw 9:30. Hmmm… better curb that energy Shauna Beth! Then I saw 9:21. I attempted to hold back but was not surprised when the first mile buzzed in at 9:20. And I wasn’t even warmed up. For the first time ever, I was going out too fast!
I let my body settle into a rhythm, glancing down at my watch periodically. I was still seeing 9:30 and then 9:20ish but when the second mile clocked in at 9:12, I knew I needed to seriously pull back. I wasn’t winded but I was running considerably faster than I planned. Again, don’t recognize this braver me but I think I like her!
I slowed down a bit in the 3rd mile due to grabbing water at the aid station. It was pretty warm out there and from the start, I was thirsty! For this race, I opted not to bring a handheld water bottle or fuel and just wing it with what was at the aid station. Yes, I wung it. No, I have not had a personality-altering stroke. I figured the worst that could happen was that I bonk!
By the halfway point, I was a little tired and very happy. I focused on my music, being grateful and proud, and my imminent PR. Knowing that I could slow down and still PR gave me the strength to cruise along at the pace I’d established from the start. I grabbed water from the mile 5 aid station and decided to push it through the finish.
Remember that hill at the beginning of the race? It was an up and down so we had to climb it one last time in the last mile. GAHHHHH. I chugged up and wasn’t sure if I might lose my pace as a result. I recovered on the downhill and continued to push it faster. The last mile was peppered with cute signs, courtesy of Represent Running. The one that caught my eye said “Give 100%. Unless you’re giving blood.” BAH! Love it!
They warned us that the surface on the race track would be…..weird. And squishy. As I made the final turn onto the track, I felt like I was running on a tempurpedic mattress. Memory foam at mile 6.1? Not ideal but with the finish line and a BIG OLE PR in view, I gave every last bit I had.
Yeah, that would be a 4 minute PR.
Okay, so there may be something to this whole taking chances thing. Might be something to look into in 2014…