I ended up running the Shamrock Run 10K this past Saturday because I decided that the pros outweighed the cons. I did two runs last week, one at 3 miles and one at 5 miles. Both were after work and felt labored – I did the 3-miler at a 9:00-minute pace and the 5-miler at a 9:40 pace, and during both I kept questioning how I would perform at the 10K. Running fast felt so hard. I factored in the fact that it was the evening after a full day of work. Running fresh in the morning would provide a big difference. I also planned to eat a decent breakfast the morning of the race and take a Gu 15 minutes before the start.
The race was about an hour away in Hammond so I had to get up at 6 and be out the door by 6:30. I wasn’t as antagonized by waking up early as I had thought I would be, but I was dreading running “fast.” Sometimes you just have the mindset of “I don’t really care for feeling super uncomfortable for almost an hour today.”
The drive was uneventful but very FOGGY, especially once I got to the campus of Southeastern University, the site of the race.
I got my bib and race T-shirt, a cotton green “small” that is still huge on me. Sidenote: there are only two race shirts I have, of the 22 or so races I’ve done, that I feel like wearing with any regularity. I don’t wear cotton T-shirts that often, only to sleep in sometimes. and all but 2 of the technical shirts I’ve gotten from races are too big, even being a small. These unisex sizes just do NOT work for me. The two I love and will run in are the female-cut technical shirts from the Jazz Half Marathon and RnR New Orleans Half Marathon. I wish more races did this. My marathon race shirt has not been worn once because it is cut so weird. Depressing.
Anyways, the race started almost right on time and we were off. I decided to take it slightly easy for the first mile to preserve my energy and just see how I felt. I really didn’t think I could PR, but I was curious to see how far off I would be from PRing. I also wanted to see if my mentality was to give up and just run easy at any point, or if I could push hard the entire time.
The race left the campus and went through some residential areas, then went through a park that included some off-road terrain. My first mile was 8:51 and that in itself is probably what kept me from PRing. My next four miles were all pretty much even, between a 8:33-35 pace, even though during the miles my pace would be flying all over the place, from 8:10-9:10. Somehow I made them even out, I guess. I was uncomfortable during those miles as far as energy expended, but I focused on keeping my breathing even and on passing girls in front of me. In the last two miles, I “picked off” three girls who all looked to be in my age group (20-29). Of course, you never know. I probably look like I’m in the 15-year-old age group.
For the last mile, I was able to pick it up. My breathing was more labored, and I realized that I would not get a PR. So instead, for motivation, I focused on making sure none of the girls I had passed would be able to come back and pass me. I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 53:31 for an 8:38 average pace. Twenty-two seconds off my PR. 15th female overall out of 126, 6th in my age group out of 29.
I was disappointed, but for my first real 10K of the season (the Headhunter trail race was just so different there was no way I could gauge anything from it), I was close to my PR and that showed me I CAN do it. I’m running another 10K this coming Saturday, up in Shreveport, and I know now thanks to this race that I can do it. I can PR. I was really close and I can do it.
After crossing the finish line I grabbed some Vitamin waters, some green lemonade from Raising Cane’s, and some orange and banana slices. Said hello to the one person there that I recognized, checked the official results, and then headed home.
I emailed the Rotary president to see if there was anywhere we could find pictures. He replied that there would be some up soon and directed me to a YouTube video that had footage of the race start and finish line, so I used my handy-dandy screen capture abilities and found myself in two places:
When I got home, I made buttermilk pancakes with strawberry slices in them for lunch, along with scrambled eggs and bacon. So good.
I’m looking forward to next Saturday, really hoping I can PR. You never know how a race will pan out, but I’m hoping for it.