New Year’s Day saw my first race of 2015 – the ambitiously named Race to End World Hunger in nearby Mountain View. It was a bargain at $35. The Husband signed up to race the 10k as well, but when the Dude said he wanted to run the 5k last week, he dropped down to do the 5k with him. This would be the Dude’s first 5k. I was a little concerned he was underestimating the distance, but he was definitely excited about running.
I was unashamedly out for a PR. My current PR is 50.37 at Bay Breeze. The course there was short and, extrapolated up to the full 6.2, it would be 50.53. But I was out for 49.59. I wasn’t sure I could do it (I’ve put on 4 lbs this Christmas and pounds equal seconds) but I’d give it my best shot.
The morning of the race was bright, sunny and pretty chilly. There was plenty of free parking when we got there. The 10k started at 9.30 and we got there at about 8.45. We had to sign a waiver, we sorted out the Husband’s race switching and picked up our numbers. Plenty of loos and then I ran a 1/2 mile warm-up. I felt heavy (Christmas food) and slow. Not encouraging. Our friend David arrived. The 10k-ers lined up, I kissed my boys and wished the Dude luck. The klaxon sounded and I was off.
The course was excellent. Pretty flat, with only a few little hills. Mainly out-and-back with a loop and an additional out-and-back. There was minimal breeze and it was paved, with the exception of the first and last 0.2 miles.
I started fast. There’s no point not starting fast in a 10k, is there? I tried to keep my heart- rate steady and followed the people in front. There was never any crowding so I managed to stick to my own pace all the way. I felt like I was working a little too hard – when I got to about a mile and a half, I felt much more tired than I should do. I was concerned.
I ran on, picking people off one by one. At about mile 3, I noticed a guy who I was running pretty much next to. He kept checking over his shoulder to see if I was there or catching me up if I passed him. It didn’t bother me overly but I assumed he didn’t want to be beaten by a girl. I used him as a rabbit and tried to keep up. It was only at mile 4, when I’d evened out my effort and was running fairly well, that he spoke to me, saying ‘Good effort, keep going’ and I realized he was pacing me. I breathlessly replied I was going to try and keep up and we ran on.
I took a Gu at Mile 4 (Salted Watermelon, disgusting) and tried to push the pace but I was struggling. I have a policy of NOT looking at my watch during races so I had no idea how I was doing, but my pacer was starting to put some distance between us and I couldn’t catch him. I got to mile 5, he was about 100 mtrs ahead, and I just put my head down and tried to keep pushing. I pumped my arms and focussed on my arms instead of my legs.
The final stretch went up a hill (brutal) and then there was about 0.2 miles on the dirt path to the finish line. I could see it ahead. ‘Let It Go‘ magically kicked in on my iPod and somehow I found a little extra energy. I was one with the wind and sky. I let the storm rage on and I crossed the line.
Only momentarily gutted because my boys were on the sidelines, grinning like loons. The Dude had had an excellent race, finishing in 38.04. I was so proud of him that my disappointment didn’t really matter. And then the RD called out the names of the 0-9 AG winners and the Dude had come third. SO MUCH EXCITEMENT. He got a ribbon and it made his day. The boys who came 1st and 2nd were both 9 so he did flipping well.
I sought out Pacer Guy to thank him. He’d been aiming to go sub-50 but just missed it – I felt a bit guilty as I suspect I was the cause of that fail. I checked the race results and couldn’t see my name either on the list of runners OR on the AG results, but the Husband was delighted to see his name as the overall 10k winner.
Bearing in mind he ran the 5k, we knew there was an issue. So we went to see the RD and the timekeepers to rectify the matter. They hadn’t switched him to the 5k, even though we did the necessary steps at packet pickup. So then, suspicious of the time-keeping, I rechecked the AG results for 30 – 39 and saw that the 1st place lady got 52 mins. I’d run faster. I asked them to recheck and I was down as a 5k runner. When they rejigged the numbers, I came out in 2nd place in my AG. I can’t deny that my red ribbon softened the blow of missing a PR!
I also got a $10 Sports Basement voucher. My first race winnings. This basically makes me a professional runner, doesn’t it?
I checked the 40 – 49 age-group to see how I’d fare…and the winner there ran it in 41 minutes. So this will probably be my last prize ever 🙂
Thoughts on the race itself
In terms of race logistics, overall, the race was good.
- Plenty of free parking
- Enough loos
- Excellent course, very PR friendly.
- Timekeeping had a few issues but volunteers were very friendly.
- No medals but we got a nice t-shirt.
- The course got a little crowded in the last 2 miles 10k-ers were running back against 5k runners, but nothing silly.
Reflections on my race
Firstly, I hereby admit that ‘Let it go‘ might be my second favourite song ever. I’m kind of ashamed about this…and kind of not! (My first favourite).
Secondly,when I checked my splits in the car, I just laughed.
My first mile (7.46) was my fastest mile EVER! I’ve run two miles at 7.59 and 7.58 but nothing like this. Clearly I went out WAAAAY too fast, which was why I felt knackered so early on. I pretty much scuppered my own race. I can’t decide whether to celebrate (7.46, I was basically flying) or mope (missed my goal time). Also, how’s that as a progression run in the wrong direction???
I can’t decide about whether or not to check my pace throughout the race. I’ve chosen not to since Half Moon Bay where I checked at M10, was disappointed and basically gave up the fight. And it’s worked very well in the past. But today, monitoring my pace better might have saved my race and I felt the same way after RnR SJ. Any thoughts?
Thirdly, when I got home, I did some calculations and found some encouragement in the data. Remember I said that my PR was on a short course? Well this course measured a little long.
Bay Breeze. 6.18 miles in 50.37 at 8.11 pace. That would make 6.2 miles in 50.53.
Today. 6.29 miles in 51.29 at 8.11 pace. That would make 6.2 miles in 50.52.
(Today’s run was FRACTIONALLY faster)
I fully accept my race results today. I also FULLY accept that I might just be clutching at straws. However, upon reflection, today’s result might be more encouraging than I initially thought. My take-out is that I’m at least as fit as I was before last year’s 13.1 PR. So a PR in February is definitely possible, especially if lose those Christmas pounds. 1.49 may not be mine at Kaiser, but 1.51 might be?
Don’t hold your breath, but you might get another race recap tomorrow…from another AG placer! 🙂