Today was the third of five races in the Striders Winter Racing Circuit. Like the previous two, I heard how brutal this 10 mile course was. It took place in the same area, the benches east of Weber State University and therefore, encompassed tons of hills. The first part of the course actually seemed exactly like the 10k race, however, that one and the 5k were pretty similar, so maybe they just combined the two. However, it was just that...BRUTAL. I live out by the lake and therefore have it very flat and don't venture to a ton of hills.
My goal for this race was to treat it as a good training run with it being both an increase in distance and in resistance from what I do here in flat Syracuse. I also figured it is a great practice run for the half marathon coming up in a month that will be all down hill, and one I am hoping for a big PR on.
I got up, and told Ken he didn't need to go with me. I am seriously involved in so many races, that I shouldn't expect him to be at every one. Plus, as mentioned before, I have some bigger races coming up that are more important to me and I would rather have him be at those. I got up to Dee Events Center about a half hour before the race and saw many of my running/tri buddies. I seriously don't know what I did racing for two years with out really knowing any one there! What a difference it makes to be at the starting line and know several people there! It is so nice to have be among friends who have common interests and goals and are there to cheer you on!
The race started and I made a point to try to hold back, but this is so hard for me at the start of races! The energy level is high, the rush of the crowd around you, the loud music pumping through your Ipod.....all of those race day factors make it so hard to hold back at the start! Well, it didn't take me long to slow down, because as soon as we left the parking lot, there was an uphill. It wasn't a terrible one, but it was enough to remind me that I needed to keep some in the tank as this was going to be a long ten miles!
The course was challenging, and I kept to my plan to conserve on the hills with out walking, keeping a good pace, looking up, and gunning it on the down hills :) I am sure that isn't the smartest idea, but it is fun nonetheless! I thoroughly enjoyed this run! It was tough, but it seemed to go fast and I felt incredible the whole time! I have had some shin pain this week in my left leg (big surprise here, it is ALWAYS in this left foot) and it ached the first couple of miles, then subsided after that. Energy wise I felt great and was just enjoying the chance to run! I passed many people, but then settled into a group of 5-6 that I didn't know, but we pretty much stayed together the remainder of the course. I had my Gu on me, however, it doesn't do much good when it is frozen :P Though it was cold, it was clear, the views were amazing, and we were in the sun. Later in the day it would warm up to 45, but it wasn't that warm for the race. It was a gorgeous morning though, and perfect for this run!
I got to the finish line and was excited to see that my time was 1:36:57! I haven't done a 10 miler before, so this is a PR, right? It equated to a pace of 9:40 m/m and I am very pleased with this knowing how hard the course was and long as well! Granted, to get the PR I want in a month of sub two hour, I will have to take 30 seconds off that pace, but we will see, and the half will be down hills...ambitious..yes, but here's to dreaming BIG!
The finish line was fun, and I loved how I had a few of my friends cheering me on at the finish. So great to hear, "Go Katie! Finish strong!" as you are in the final hundred yards or so.
This was a great race. I was dreading it, but it was a good one. I love any race though :)
I am already feeling the race in my legs and know I will be that good kind of sore tomorrow. In the mean time...
Happy training all!