On Saturday morning I ran my first 10K in over 2 years. It was the race I had building up to since I started working with my coach back in April and I was really excited to see where I was at. I knew that I had been putting in some really good work and on 4th of July I ran my fastest 5K since college so I thought I was capable of a relatively good time.
Going into race morning my goals were:
B Goal – PR (sub-36:21)
A Goal – break 36 minutes
Since having Lavinia I’ve become a lot more relaxed about my running, in the best possible way. I put in the work necessary but I don’t stress myself out leading up to big races which is something I really struggled with in the past. So while I had stated these goals to friends and family I wasn’t as stressed about hitting them as I would have been a few years ago. I told myself to get out there, work hard, run by effort and see what I could do.
On race morning Henri and I were up and out of the house at 5:45am. My parents were in town and since Lavinia’s birthday party was later in the day my parents stayed home with her so she could have her normal morning routine. On the ride to the race I drank a half a cup of coffee, a piece of toast with butter and a banana. I try to finish eating/drinking my coffee 30 minutes before I start my warm-up.
When we arrived Henri registered me for the race (procrastinator over here!) while I waited in line for the restroom. When I had my bib we headed out to run my 2 mile warm-up together along the last mile of the course. Of course there was some stretching (which Henri insisted on photographing, haha)…
… pre-race drills…
… and strides.
And there may have been a yawn or two because I can’t remember the last time I woke up at 5am.
I finished my strides 5 minutes before the race and headed to the starting line. A lot of road races aren’t the best at making sure the recreational runners stay off the front of the line but the Cypress Run did a great job of this. There were multiple reminders and it was the first race in a long time that there wasn’t a little kid in front of me at the starting line. After the National Anthem we were off and running!
The course was a double loop of the 5K course. The first 2 miles passed by relatively uneventfully in 5:40 + 5:40 (goal pace of 5:48) but the 3rd mile was straight down one mile towards the finish line and you could see the banner over the finish line for the whole last half mile stretch. I was feeling really tired during that 3rd mile and as I approached the right turn to continue the 10K I honestly didn’t know how I would be able to do another 3 miles. I hit the 3 mile mark with a 5:52 mile and when a few guys came up and passed me I convinced myself to start pushing the pace a little bit to try and stick with them as long as I could.
About .5 miles after the turn I got a second wind! I hit the 4 mile mark with a 5:42 split and was feeling really strong. I felt relatively comfortable with the pace in that it felt like a slightly harder effort than a tempo but since I hadn’t raced a 10K in a long time I was really nervous to take a risk and pick the pace up too much. It was also around that point that we started coming up on the 5K walkers. It made it difficult to run the tangents and I also missed seeing the 5 mile marker because of the crowds (I turn my watch off autolap during races).
I came up to the last mile and just focused on keeping a consistent effort. I thought that I had 36 mins in the bag because my splits had all been under pace according to my watch but when I passed my coach around 200 meters from the finish line I heard him yell out “35:35!” and I started SPRINTING trying to get under that 36 minute mark.
But I watched that clock tick right past 35:59 when I was a few meters away and finished with an official time of 36:04 and as the 5th female.
Henri and I cooled down with my coach and some of his other athletes. It was a nice change to have a little group to meet up with afterwards – I’ve gotten so used to being solo at races it was great to have a team of sorts.
Almost all of us are running CIM in December which is going to be so much fun!
Overall, I was really happy with the result. While I would have LOVED to break 36 minutes it was a 19 second PR and my previous PR was on a course that I had short on my watch. It feels good to have run a true personal record *almost* within Liv’s first year of life!