Monday, July 23, 2012

Race Rundown: Salsa Dash 10K

My first 10K race and I have to say I am REALLY happy!

The night before I could not sleep (as usual). Got into bed at 10:30pm, tossed and turned and was a complete chatter-box until about 11:30pm when my husband pretty much told me that just because I'm not sleepy doesn't mean he isn't (point taken). Got out of bed, and went to the living room to read my running magazines. Finally around 1am I was nice and sleepy.

5:20am: Alarm goes off, and I'm wishing I had fallen asleep earlier! Got up, got my fix of caffeine with a piece of toast with peanut butter. Got myself ready while the hubs and little K slept.

6:10am: Time for the family to get up, get fed, dressed, packed and OFF WE GO! Out the door by 6:50am.

We arrive to the start of the race around 7:10am. Race to start at 8am. Lots of people, ready to go. Found all kinds of people I know. Friends, family, and co-workers.

One thing I have learned is that I really need to warm up. I can't just "Go" like some people. So I jogged about a mile before the race and got my legs nice and warm. My plan was to take it easy the first half and then go for it the second half. So I took it very easy the first 2 miles and stayed between 9:10 and 9:25 per mile. After the first mile I was so tempted to pick up the pace, and follow the glad I didn't. I just kept reminding myself that I needed to take those first miles slow and ease into the race. Mile 3 was a bit faster, but I still kept my excitement under control.

The race was 2 loops around the same path (the 5K only did one loop around). As I came around to start my second loop, I saw (and heard) my little family. I felt good! This is when I told myself, "Okay, NOW you can go for it." I ran on how I felt...and I felt good. Mile 4 was awesome. A little after the mile 5 marker, I got a sharp pinch/cramp feeling around the top of my left hamstring/lower butt area...not a surprise, this has been bugging for a while now. I just slowed to a walk, gave my leg a good shake and rub, walked out the pain for a bit and I was back on! I had told myself early on that if this were to happen NOT to let it discourage me. Once I returned to a run, I looked at my Garmin and saw that my time was in the low 50s. "Is this possible? Could I really make it under 57 minutes?" My next thought was, "Crap! What if my Garmin it totally off?!? What if I lost connection? What if I am nearing the one hour mark?!? This is too good to be true!"

The last bit of the race, I found a comfortably hard pace that my legs could hang onto, and when I knew I was only 0.5 miles away from the finish, I took off! I rounded the last corner and gave it everything I had!
Rounding the corner to the finish!

Time, 54:40 (8:48/mile). My Garmin was right! I am so proud of my time! My goal was to come in under an hour, and praying I could get around 57 minutes, so this time is way better than I expected. At the end, I felt terrible-enough to know I gave it my all, but well-enough to enjoy the rest of the day, feel proud of myself, and know I worked really hard to feel capable the whole way through. I remember running my first half marathon last December and feeling miserable. Bodily pain on top of mental pain...not know how in God's name I was going to finish that race. That was a terrible feeling and I remember telling myself that I would NEVER feel like that again. If I'm going to run, I going to run right! During the Salsa Dash 10K, I felt physical exhaustion. I know I was pushing hard. I know that I really did push my body. But I was not IN PAIN. No agony. Mentally, I felt good! I am learning that being physically ready is only part of the formula to a successful race. Your mind has to be ready too. I think these last few 8 mile long runs with my buddy Brandy have really helped. I kept telling myself, "If this were any ordinary Saturday morning, you'd be running 8 miles...6 miles is a piece of cake." This thought-process really helped! The was no feeling miserable, no agonizing pain during the Salsa Dash...just a tired and hungry body and a happy spirit.

I honestly surprised myself on Saturday! Pin It


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