Can you believe it's been five months since my last race? Yep, I've been taking my sweet ole time in building up my running base again but I finally made my 2009 race debut at the Mermaid Run on Sunday. They offered a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon so I picked the 10K.
It was fun getting back into the race spirit again with things like picking up my goody bag and race bib, getting my race outfit ready, lining up at the start with other anxious runners, seeing the finish line and racing toward it... then again, you also have to deal with waking up early, becoming acquainted with the dreaded port-o-potty, getting annoyed when my Garmin splits don't match the course markings, etc. Luckily, the good outweighs the bad because I really do love running races!
I had three goals:
1. Finish with a sub-10:00 pace (1:01:53, 9:59 pace)
2. Finish under an hour (59:59, 9:40 pace)
3. Secure a new PR (59:17, 9:33 pace or better)
(I love how my race goals are kind of arbitrary because they're just random numbers after all.)
Officially, I only met goal 1. Unofficially, I may have met all three but since it's unofficial, it doesn't really count in my book. But I'll get to that later.
The race was held at Shoreline park and this was my third time running a 10K there. It's nice and flat so it's a good location.
Waking up was rough as I had been out with my friends the night before to celebrate my friend's birthday. I was planning to just stop in and give her my birthday present, but I was having so much fun that I ended dancing with them way past my curfew. I may have also ended the night with a blinking tiara on my head (that did not come from my circle of friends) but whatever. I ended up setting three alarms that night - thank goodness because I may have slept through it!
As of the night before, it was suppose to rain throughout the race. Not my favorite weather condition, but I figured I could deal with it for the hour or so it would take for me to finish. Well, luckily there was no rain that morning... but it was crraaaaazzzzyyyyy windy!
The race started out fine and we had great weather - sunny but chilly. But then as we got close to the water - WIND!!! I was excited to see that my first Garmin split matched the mile 1 course marking - that would be the only time that would happen.
The wind was crazy and was present through most of the race - even though it was an out and back. A couple of times, I was worried my hat would fly off or my ear buds would come out. On the way back, there were some brief moments where the wind was in our favor and I let it push me along, but not much.
I ran strong and really pushed myself. I only stopped once for a quick water/walk break which is pretty good because lately I've been pretty generous with myself during my runs when it came to walk breaks. Anytime I felt I was slowing down, I would turn on the "mental coach" and push myself to keep up the pace (which I kept checking to make sure I was under 10:00 min/mi).
I never saw any mile markers after mile 2 but I saw the mile 11 and 12 markers for the half. Since we had the same finish, I knew the course was going to be longer than a 10K (because I belong to the church of Garmin and it only speaks the truth) which meant it would be even more tough to meet my goals.
Finally, I was coming to the final stretch - I turned a corner and far out in the distance (maybe 1/3 mile away) was the finish line. You know what else I found around the corner? The strongest winds of them all - it was like a wall of resistance blocking me from the finish! It sucked... I kept trying to push through it but based on my splits, I didn't do as well as I wished. I finished with one hour on the clock...
Chip Time: 1:00:23
Avg pace: 9:43 min/mi
Overall rank: 86/327
Age group rank: 18/72
And here's what the Garmin reported:
Avg pace: 9:27 min/mi
Avg hr: 178bpm
4: 9:40 (water/walk break)
0.39: 3:39 (9:23 pace)
I was kind of bummed because I really wanted to finish in under an hour which I've only done once. But then when I took a closer look at my times (the Garmin times, that is) - I did really well! To run over 6 miles at a 9:27 pace, which includes my walk/water break, is pretty awesome and beats my 10K PR pace (unofficially).
Afterward, I got in line for the free pancake breakfast - yum yum. I was also able to cheer on Tara and Julianne as they finished the half marathon - great job girls! They had a much harder course than the 10K... besides the extra distance, they had to deal with running in mud and the rain that started after I finished. I also got to catch up with an old TNT buddy.
By the way, to give you an idea of how windy it was... the scaffolding at the finish line that has the clock and the finish banner literally was blown to the ground! It was right around the 1:50 mark. Craziness. I don't think anyone was hurt, thank goodness.
Here are some pics of our race goodies...
Cute text on the front:
They actually gave out womens cut shirts which were cute but a little too snug for me so I opted for the unisex style so that I could work out in it. The fitted cut was cute but I personally feel a little weird wearing fitted T's with print across my chest, especially that go top to bottom. Some words are more prominent than others, some are kinda hidden... do you see where I'm going with this?
Like Nike, we got cute pendants for our medals:
Front of our "medal":
Back of "medal":
I think this is cuter (and a little bigger) than the charm we got last year.
Next up? Big Sur Mud Run on Saturday and OMG, it's going to be so crazy! It's a five mile run with mud pits, obstacles, drill instructors, push-ups and just general craziness. I am running with a really fun team. My one concern is my race pace is their easy pace so I have a feeling that this race will be *ROUGH* for me and I'm praying I don't get left in one of the mud pits. Also, I don't know how fast I can run if I'm laughing my *ss off :)