=PR= Perfect 10 Race Report

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After running some longer races earlier in the year I decided that 10k might be a good distance for me. I’ve run the Reston 10 a couple of times which is a 10 mile race. The Perfect 10 is a 10 mile or 10k race. I picked the 10k. The courses are basically the same but the 10k turns towards the finish sooner. Both finish on the track which makes for a fun and fast finish.

We got up early….too early…and made our way to the race pretty early. I was concerned about parking …for no reason of course. We sat in the car while I jammed to some music before heading out to warm out. I ran a bit on the closest road and then decided to walk around, find the bathroom, and then walk around some more. I had trouble sitting in one place this morning.

I was looking for my Twitter friend, Kim. She writes really nice race reports on her blog http://kimruns.blogspot.com/. I ran into her before the start of the race. We chatted for a few minutes and she introduced me to a couple of other people. I’m glad we met in person after tweeting back and forth about races.

I headed to the start line about 7 minutes before the race….until I got there I really hadn’t realized how big the race was. It turned out to be quite large….just under 1000 people. But for me that’s ok because I’m only racing against myself.

The start was ugly. We slowly started running to the timing mat and then when we got to the mat everyone stopped for some reason. And then of course started again. The start felt slow but I looked down at my watch and realized I needed to keep things in check because I was moving faster than I thought. After the first turn a lady that was standing next to me in the bathroom line was running with me and talking to me. We ran together for a while but she was really running must faster than I wanted to (thought I could) run so I let her go. (I checked her time later and realized that was a great decision. She would have killed me.)

start of race
Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

After that I ran on my own through the rolling hills in the first part of the course. I made my way around the turn that leads to a nice downhill followed by a tortuous uphill. Thankfully the only water stop on the 10k course was on that uphill and I used that as an excuse to walk. I walked just enough to take two sips of water and then started running again. I finished the hill…crossed the main road and then headed downhill on the other side and saw my buddy standing there. I waved and cheesed for the camera and told him I would see him in a little bit.

I made my way through the next section of rolling hills just doing everything that I could to keep running. As I hit mile 4 I knew my time was looking decent and that I just had to keep running. I didn’t want to start speeding up too quickly but I did start moving a little faster when I could. There was a nice long downhill section that I tried to enjoy. Of course that was followed by some uphills but they really didn’t feel too bad.

on the course
Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

At mile 5 I told myself I could do anything for another 1.2 miles so I just kept running. Eventually I saw the school signs and knew I was very close to the turn. I made my way back onto the school property and started moving faster. I knew I had left almost everything on the course that and I really couldn’t kick too early. I made my way through the parking lot and then sprinted around the track to the finish. I felt pretty good and I knew I was on track for a PR.

I checked my watch….and found I had PR’d by 4 minutes. I was really happy with that. I didn’t see my buddy when I was running to the finish because I was concentrating so hard on just getting to the end. After I crossed the line I stumbled around and then dropped down to the ground….he caught up to me there. I told him I was happy and I am. I ran a good race. After the disastrous 10k I did almost two months ago I was able to prove to myself that this is a race distance I can run. I have run faster in longer distances but for a 10k race this is my best one yet so I’m thrilled with that.

My next race is the biathlon next week so this after we took the kayaks out to get some paddling time in. We paddled 4 miles. So I am confident I have the distance for next weekend. Now I just have to see if I can put the two together. :-)