Today I ran a 10 mile race hosted by the Freehold Area Running Club. I went into it feeling sort of “numb” in a way. I wasn’t super excited but I wasn’t dreading it….I really didn’t know what I was feeling actually. I knew that I hadn’t run any further than 5 miles at one clip since the half marathon 2 weeks ago. I figured that was either going to help me or hurt me….well, I guess you could say it hurt me 😦
Woke up this morning and had my usual breakfast of toast with a little pb and some coffee. Got dressed and headed out the door around 8:00 a.m. (race was slated to start at 9:30 but we were told you had to get there early because of parking issues). I was glad I got their early because by the time I walked from my car to the packet pickup and back again…it was time for the race! I met up with Amy on the way back to my car….we got geared up and made our way to the starting line. My legs were feeling tight this morning but nothing that I haven’t experienced before and usually after a mile or two they tend to shake out. Today……not so much!
I started the race off way too fast and I knew it! I guess in my head I thought I needed to push myself instead of holding back and that was what killed me. First two miles clocked at 9:00 and 9:08 respectively and I knew that I couldn’t keep that pace strong because with each step the backs of my legs got tighter and tighter. About 3.5 miles in I knew my legs just weren’t loosening up on their own and I needed to stop and stretch a bit. It felt great to relieve the tension and once I started running again I was doing okay….until I hit mile marker 4. It was ALL over after that 😦 For the next 6 miles I battled with a run/walk strategy and pretty much had to stop every 1/4 mile to loosen my hamstrings and calves. Pure torture! On top of that….my stupid neuroma pain came back like a freight train around mile 6 (thank goodness I have a doctor’s appt. on Tuesday so we can fix these orthotics). It was one of those races where I couldn’t wait for the finish line. Total confidence killer 😦 and I wound up finishing in 1:45 –UGH!
I know we can all learn something from each race we do and that they all can’t be wonderful. Here’s what I learned:
- I learned that I can’t start off feeling like a rock star when my usual pace these days is around 9:30.
- I know that I have to take what’s given to me on race day, go with it and not let it defeat me.
- This is really my “first go” at racing longer distances and I can’t expect to be fast.
- I NEED to start changing my routine: adding strength, plyometrics, yoga and running different routes.
On a more positive note, that dreaded fuelbelt H2O was not accompanying me on today’s race. Instead I got one of these bad boys:
The Nathan Triangle waist pack in black. Wore it on my natural waist and it didn’t spin, bounce or piss me off AT ALL! Very excited about that 🙂
And lastly….my bff Amy ran out to find me and we got our picture taken on the final turn to the finish line…that’s probably why I was smiling (in green shirt on left):
Time to set my sights on a great performance on April 16th’s Asbury Park Half Marathon!