First 10K: Mission Accomplished

My running goal for 2010 has been attained. Run a 10K, check! Was I fast? Nope. Was I full of enthusiasm? Not really. Did I show up, put out & finish? Yes I did! Good enough, then.

The Beginning
Race started at 1pm, so we got there at noon & it was still only 50 degrees. In the sun, maybe 55? But windy. In the car, it was 80 sans wind. I wanted to stay there… but I got out, got my bib, stretched, warmed up. My patient husband came to run this one, too. I usually don’t need a companion to get out & do stuff, but today, I was grateful for the extra push of a buddy right up to the gate at least. He ran his own race, of course, leaving me at the line & timing out at a 7:50 pace. Pretty darn impressive for an almost-50 guy who twisted his ankle just before our trip to Maine 2 weeks ago.

Timed my pre-race eating well, been hydrating well for the last 3 days & even got a last-minute choke-hold on Mother Nature, when on Wed. I suddenly realized that my “monthly gift” would arrive full force on race day. Again? I swear, I don’t run that many races & yet somehow, my girl-cycle is out to get me. This race distance was going to be long for me (at least an hour). An ultra tampon works fine for a 30-min. 5K, but for this? Too risky, so I caved into drugs. A quick call to my doc’s office (hooray for PA’s on duty who are also women runners!), $9 at Walmart & bingo, my body’s countdown to hemorrhage is ON HOLD. Best of all, I only needed 4 pills to get me thru, so I have enough leftover to swoop in & save several future special-event days from doom!

The race finally starts. The route was out-n-back, relatively flat w/mild rolling hills, only one turn, all paved (pre-walked it weeks ago). It was a boring course, so thank God for bright sun & peak autumn color. The trees gave me something nice to look at while I ran… & ran… & ran.

The Middle
Most exciting thing about this race: I think I can finally say that I got an inkling of what people mean by “getting into a zone?” It took a 10K for me to get that. The first 2 mi. are always hard for me. At home, “training” runs are stressfree, but at a race? My body & mind don’t do races easily. I am overhyped & nervous at the start, having stressed for hours beforehand about my readiness. It takes that first 2 mi. for me to settle down, to relax mentally & physically.

Mile 3 starts to come easier & once I pass the 5K mark, I’m thinking “There, it’s half over & I made it this far without incident…” so the next 2 mi. went really well. There were only a few people running near me & the terrain was flat(ish). I wasn’t cold anymore, nor too hot, breathing was going OK, so all the sudden, the running just seemed, well… really easy? It was like someone had their palm flat in the middle of my back, propelling me forward. I know I ran faster on Mile 4 into 5, I know it. Nice buzz… until about 5.5 miles, when the outside-back of my right thigh started to twinge. Ow. I pounded it with my fist a little & just kept on. Only a half-mile to go. How much damage can I do at that point? I may find out, if I’m lame by tomorrow?

The End
I passed Mile 5, thinking “There, each step I take is the farthest I’ve ever run.” True, I had never run further than 5 mi. — not even on a training run. Five was my top end. Now 6.2 is my top end :-)

I crossed the finish both happy & disappointed: happy that I finished & genuinely enjoyed the 2nd half of the race… but mildly disappointed that my time was 1:02:58. I had been hoping for a 10-min. mile, but got a 10:08 pace instead. Oops. Guess I need to hit that “hey, this is easy” feeling a little sooner :-)

Anyhoo, another race bib for the fridge & my last race of the year, unless I do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. That’s always fun, if it’s not bitter cold. Otherwise, I can begin my cold-weather, loss-of-motivation combat preparedness. I’m already on yellow-alert. Once it gets dark at 5pm & our woodstove’s going 24/7, I like to sit in front of it & eat warm pie… or crawl into bed early to read & watch movies. This could be a big problem, with a 15K goal set for June 2011. Middle-aged women who sit around the woodstove eating pie all winter, um, they don’t look good on a 9 mi. trail run come June. They perform even worse. So yeah, I’m working on a plan.


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21 Responses to “First 10K: Mission Accomplished”

  1. mike Says:

    Uh, you really need a link to let some of your readers just skip that little introduction.
    Aside from the wind, that’s perfect race conditions, glad you took advantage of them. Maybe let hubby pull you for the first mile next time and you’ll even out those 10min/mi splits.
    10:08…close enough anyway. I wouldn’t hold onto that disappointment too long.
    Plenty of time to prepare for that 15K. Wow, that’s 9.3 miles. Might require alot of offseason pie.

    • henniemavis Says:

      You wanna skip what? Ya mean chat about “girl-issues”? But it’s an important topic! You appear to be my only male reader, doesn’t that make you “one of the girls?” Surely you’re not asking for special treatment? ;-) After all, you’ve race-reported on your… um… painful “shorts failures.” And you just mentioned another guy-issue: bleeding nipples. Ew!

      Trust me, I need to pull back on pie. Just gained 7 lbs. in 4 weeks, from all that vacation eat-out :-(

      • mike Says:

        Meanwhile, I have like no guy readers.
        Bored? Click back a few months and read my Private Service Announcement. Oh, that things us poor guys must go through, ha!

      • henniemavis Says:

        No guy readers? See, told ya. “One of the girls.” :-)
        I’m not bored right now, I have work to do. But your PSA is tempting me for a laugh & I love a good laugh…

  2. Julie Says:

    Woo hoo! Nice work! Actually, I think that is a pretty good time for a first 10K! Congrats to you! Just keep going….I know there is going to be a half marathon report sometime in the future:)

    BTW, try having your monthly gift during your first marathon! Sucks!

    • henniemavis Says:

      Oh, Julie, you’re kidding about during your first marathon? Are you serious? How could you stand it? Would love to hear the inside story on that, but I’ll have to tap your email… cuz Mike may be a little squeamish ;-)

  3. heatherlorin Says:

    Congratulations! That’s awesome. I would love to have a 10ish minute pace. The girls and I have started an “ease into 10k program”. So far so good aside from some odd hip pain that I’m trying to figure out. Hoping to talk my husband into going with me for my first one sometime next year. He’s much faster than I am though so I probably wouldn’t see much of him.

    June is eight months away. Plenty of time to work off excess pie. ;)

    • henniemavis Says:

      I am having some stiff legs & hips today. But not too bad. I just keep stretching. I’m like a cat today… every time I get up to move around, stretch, stretch, stretch!

      Your “Ease in 10K” plan sounds great! I did the Hal Higdon 10K Plan for Novices (it’s free online). Those plans, they work! And in order to work it off by June, I would have to consolidate all pie-intake to before Thanksgiving. I should take bets how many whole pies I could eat by then ;-)

  4. meghan Ling Says:

    Gosh, I want to crawl into bed to watch movies and eat pie right now.

    What?! Pills to control the monthly visit??? Gosh, I must be in the dark ages, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I guess I just assumed the suffering was inevitable. You are a WISE woman, HM!

    Finally, after two “gosh”es, I have to say you did a nice job on your run! You hung in there and pushed through the hard part and actually enjoyed the second half of the race. Just think, you can work harder and get faster. Doesn’t that sound like fun? As much fun as apple pie and a cozy bed?

    • henniemavis Says:

      HA! “Work harder & get faster,” eh? I do love cozy beds & warm pie, but yeah, I also love feeling stronger, leaner & sassier now than I did in my 20s, so there’s that… too much pie & laying around kinda messes that up. OK, OK, I’m on it…

      Re: the pill-trickery, I read that online when I Googled my “problem.” There are all kinds of remedies for “Running on Red Days.” Options, girlfriend, I’m all about options :-)

      • Pearl Says:

        some people run the pills continuously skipping the placebo ones to never need to do the red days. I’m past the age where any pills are advised but I did that for a while.

        good job on the run. I could use more exercise apart from the mental kind. my summer plan faltered early on…

      • henniemavis Says:

        Stalling a few days is one thing, but no cycle would scare me. I normally prefer my natural rhythm, but hey, sometimes drugs are darn handy. Perks to both ways, I guess :-)

        Your mental exericising inspires me, but biking fell by the wayside? Sorry to hear, as I was so into your handlebar pizazz! Playful bling motivates me :-)

  5. mary taitt Says:

    YAY! Congratulations! Woohoo!

    (I am way behind from my trip!)

  6. mary taitt Says:

    Lots of runners–and races–here! :-D
    And we can’t wait to see you! :-D

  7. Shannon Says:

    Prodigal Summer – one of my Top Ten books!

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