Perfect 10 Race Recap

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Originally this race was one of my goal races.  In the last month or so I’ve been having pain in my foot (and hip and legs).  At first I thought it was that I needed to change my shoes.  I changed to a new pair of the same model shoe and the pain persisted.  It was feeling pretty bad all the time.  I was getting through runs ok sometimes and then feeling terrible after.  My coaches became concerned and I became seriously concerned.  It went on for too long.

I went to my regular doctor because they have a walk-in clinic and radiology on site.  I questioned whether or not the doctor that saw me knew anything about feet but I didn’t care because I got her to order an x-ray which was my goal.

She was absolutely distraught that my foot wasn’t broken because she had no idea what to do.  She ordered a bone scan which I ignored and then I saw a sport medicine chiropractor.  He came highly recommended by many of my running friends and I had run with him before so we had been previously introduced.  He thinks the problem is inflammation.  He has done some treatments and recommended icing it as much as I can.  Icing is hard because for one it hurts….ice directly on the skin is not friendly …and two, I have to sit still.  This does not happen often.  But the ice seems to be helping.  The pain is significantly reduced.  He says it feels better and that I can return to my regular running schedule but I should skip speed work.

So I decided it would be best to focus on my real goal race…the half marathon in November and to run this 10 mile race as a training run.  Physically this was the easiest 10 mile race I’ve ever run….mentally it was the hardest.

As with all =PR= races, it was super well organized.  Packet pickup was Saturday so I decided to sleep in and go to DTP late.  I did a 30 minute shake out run which included a short break at the turn around because I wanted to lower my heart rate and make sure I ran slow on the way back.  I then spent some much needed time talking to my coaches while waiting for packet pickup to start.  When the last runners finished we headed back to the store.  There was a line for packet pickup….because people were there early.  Once they were ready for us the process was super quick as always.  I got my bib with chip, race pin, and race shirt and then headed home.

I rested and iced my foot for the rest of the day.

On Sunday we got up early and headed over to the race site.  Since I knew it was just a training run I really wasn’t nervous at all.  There was no pressure and I was just focused on having fun.  I didn’t even bother to do any running to warm up.  That’s what the first mile was for!

I walked around and found friends.  I’m starting to know more people at these local races which I absolutely love.  I like having people to talk to before the race starts.  I chatted with my DTP buddies and headed to the start line just a few minutes before the race.  There were pace groups marked which I really appreciate and they seemed to work pretty well for this race.  I started back with my slower training pace and not my typical race pace.  Starting slow was super hard.  I really had to focus on not running to fast.  I looked at my watch quite a bit to keep my pace slow.  It was easy …..it felt too easy for a race.

This is the first race that I wore my hydration vest.  I wear it for all of my long training runs so I’ve very used to it at this point.  I was grateful that I had sips of water when I wanted them and didn’t have to mess with the water stops.  As we got to the first water stop I noticed that the first table was almost out of cups ….glad I didn’t have to deal with that!  I suspect that the other tables were fine but I moved out of the way and didn’t pay much attention.

I passed my buddy right after mile 3 and told him that I was feeling good and that it felt super easy.  I told him that it was mentally hard though and I was trying to slow down even more because I knew I was still a little too fast for my training pace.

I hit some downhills and ended up speeding up before I saw him again.  I told him it still felt easy but that I was trying to slow down.  He must have been paying attention to my time because he let me know that I had sped up.

Big smile because this run is easy!  Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.
Big smile because this run is easy! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.

After seeing him I hit a long boring section of the course.  The 10k runners had turned off towards the finish so the crowd had really thinned out.  I talked to anyone around that was willing to listen.   I decided to walk a few times to adjust my pace.  I felt ok but didn’t want to get hurt or too burned up from this race.

Right after mile 8 I saw a guy who was struggling.  I had been watching him walk and then run and then struggle.  I decided to drag him along with me and encourage him to finish strong.  So I ran with him and pulled him along.  I think he probably hated me but I needed something to keep me from getting to bored and to help me run slower and I’m pretty sure he needed a little bit of motivation.

The finish is an evil trick because you turn into the school and think you are going to the track but have to run the bus loop first.  Luckily I knew this was coming and I’m used to running the bus loop on the days that the track is closed.  I drug this poor guy around the loop with me ….he told me to go ahead and I told him he could do it.  I sped up a little because I’m sure he was sick of me.

Still smiling!  Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.
Still smiling! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.

 

I picked up someone else who was walking and pulled her along for a strong finish.  And I also kept looking behind for the guy.  I slowed down on the track to let him beat me….it was only fair after I made him run the last couple of miles.  And I didn’t care about my time anyway.

Coming into the finish - my buddy is in the green jacket in the background...paying no attention to me!  Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.
Coming into the finish – my buddy is in the green jacket in the background…paying no attention to me! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running.

Overall I was a little bit faster than my recent training runs but close to my desired pace.  I felt good afterwards.  The distance felt easier than I expected.

I’m bummed that I didn’t have an opportunity to PR the 10 mile distance this year but right now I have bigger goals in mind and breaking myself for this race just didn’t fit into my long term plan.