I race in SparkleSkirts
**Edited the "race" section because clearly my tired brain wasn't working right and I meshed together the reports of miles 3 and 4, skipped mile 5, and called mile 6 "mile 5".
Short version: On Sunday, December 16, 2012 I ran my first 10K. It was called the Hot Chocolate Run. It was put on by NYC Runs (a new organization developed as an alternative to NYRR races), and was held on Roosevelt Island which is a tiny island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. My goal was sub-1:15, and my super secret goal was sub-1:09. I ran the best run of my short running career thus far and killed all my goals, with a clock time of 1:08:2X (I saw 21 just before I crossed, but the results online don’t give official clock times), and a chip time of 1:07:47.
Background/Training: Began running in August, training for my first 5K that I ran on October 13th. Immediately after I ran that first race, I knew I had got bit by the racing bug hard and looked for more races to run in. I signed up for a Turkey Trot 5K in November, and with encouragement from some of my real-life friends who run (wasn’t on the forum at the time to have any input from you guys!) I decided to sign up for this 10K. There was a 5K option too for this race on the same day just earlier in the morning, which I almost registered for, but I did what felt crazy at the time and registered for the 10 instead of the 5. I decided to follow the Hal Higdon Novice 10K program, and started the program the week after my first 5K. My 5K PR (set during the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving) is 33:33 (destroying my time on my first 5K which was 37:07). I have a history of getting bad calf cramps during the second mile, it has happened during both my 5K races, and about half my training runs. I have tried many things but have not found the solution yet to prevent this from happening, except for running and hoping for the best. I warm up, wear calf compression sleeves, make sure I have enough potassium and am hydrated…..still happens.
Goals: (for the record I wrote this section last night before the race) According to McMillan when I plugged in my 5K PR time of 33:33, I could expect a 108:32 during this race. However, I didn’t expect even close to that for several reasons: A) I would need to maintain an 11:02 pace. The first 2 miles of my last 5K were 11:03 and 11:05 and I was running at a very hard effort. I had enough energy left to pick up the pace to finish strong for the last 1.1 mile but I knew I could not maintain that kind of pace for 6.2 miles without burning out. My last few long runs were at about a 12mm pace. While that pace was very comfortable and I knew I could probably run a bit faster than that, 11:02 for 6.2 miles didn’t sound realistic for me. So my goals were:
B) Run the whole thing (and hopefully not have bad calf cramps that make me have to walk or drastically slow down at all)
C) Sub 1:15
Super secret D goal: Sub 1:09 as McMillan seems to think I can do
Pre-race: I found out mid-way through the week the forecast was going to be rain, rain, rain on race day. I was a little bummed, but knew I could suck it up buttercup and deal. On top of that, on Friday an email was sent out from the RD that there would be course modifications due to part of the course having damage from Hurricane Sandy that was unable to be dealt with before race day. The race was on Roosevelt Island, which is tiny. I have never been out there before, but the original map was incredibly simple…2 loops around the island. We got an email detailing a modification that involves going onto a dirt road for a bit, and some extra rights and lefts but no accompanying map (good thing I wouldn’t be anywhere near the front of the pack and would have plenty of people to follow!!), and a warning that the dirt road could get very muddy. So that made things intriguing. On top of that I wasn’t feeling very well the week before the race, and had been really low energy, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be at the top of my game...I hadn't run since last Sunday! But I was determined not to let a bad week, possible rain, a last minute course change, and some mud get the best of me. No excuses, play like a champion! Suck it up, Buttercup! Just Do It! (These are my self-motivating mantras…the second courtesy of a thread on the RA BF). I picked up my race packet the day before at a LRS in Manhattan. The woman flipped right to my bib and exclaimed, “OH! I flipped right to it! What luck! I bet you win now!” to which I laughed, I would certainly not win. “Swag” was a mug to put our hot chocolate in at the end of the race, being the Hot Chocolate Race and all. I was happy with it, as I have a lot of shirts, and am an avid coffee and tea drinker. And hot chocolate too, of course.
The race was at 10:00am. Woke up at 6:30, had my one cup of coffee (learned the hard way from a pee emergency during my first 5K that 16 oz of coffee pre-race is a BAD idea), a little over half of a 24 oz Gatorade bottle, and half a bagel with peanut butter and sliced banana on top. Since I am a HUGE NY Giants fan and am always sporting Giants gear on Sundays, it was a no brainer to run in a Giants shirt. I actually have a really nice Nike Dri-Fit Giants shirt that I got for free for doing the Giants blood drive earlier this year, so I knew it was the perfect Giants gameday/race day shirt! Forecast this morning had changed a bit, the pouring rain was not supposed to start until after the race, but there was still a chance of drizzle or light rain during the race. Temp at start time was supposed to be 44 degrees. After careful consideration, I chose to wear a thin long sleeved tech shirt under my SS Giants shirt, compression shorts with running shorts over them, and my calf compression sleeves. I debated between tights, capris, and shorts heavily, so I threw tights and capris into my drop bag just in case. 44 is such a hard temperature for me to plan clothing for, especially with rain as a possibility. Here is me modeling my race outfit before leaving, and yes my number was already pinned on before I left my apartment because I was terrified I would forget it otherwise:
I knew that I likely wouldn’t keep that Giants Santa hat on for the race, especially if it was rainy, because I knew it would annoy the crap out of me, but I figured it would be fun to wear before/after because I assumed there would be a lot of holiday themed clothing worn at the race (and there were). I threw a visor into my bag to wear for the race in case of rain. I took the subway from my apartment in Brooklyn to Roosevelt Island, which takes about an hour and 15 minutes. As planned, I met up with a friend of a friend who was also running the race who I have met at a few parties and am friends with on Facebook. Chatted with her, warmed up for about 10 minutes, took off my sweats and hoodie and stashed them in my bag, decided to stick with the shorts, checked my bag at the bag drop, used the porta potties twice, met back up with my friend, and lined up at the start. There were no pace groups for this race, so we lined up in the middle of the pack. She runs slower than I do, so we agreed to run our own races and meet up at the finish. Most people were dressed in a lot more clothes than I was….most in tights and running jackets or hoodies, but I felt ok about my choice. Here I am before lining up at the start:
Race: I mentally dedicated my race today to the families of the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut, because they have been on my mind so much. I don’t have a Garmin, so I don’t know my splits. I turned my horribly calibrated Nike+ on, mostly so I could check my elapsed time as I wanted, but the instant pace is wonky and I planned to run by effort anyway. But my iPod was in a zip pocket inside my compression shorts, so checking it wasn’t easy and I only checked in twice.
Mile 1: It drizzled a bit but not too much, and drizzle was as bad as it got for the duration of the race, thank goodness. I ran the first mile a comfortably hard effort. Tried to not run TOO easy, but wanted to be conservative as not to crash and burn. My training plan only went up to 5.5 mile long run, and my normal long run pace is 12mm….so my race plan was to run a little faster than my easy pace for about the first 3 miles and then see what I had left in the tank to pick it up a little. I never checked my time at the first mile marker, so I really had no concept of what my pace actually was. I hadn’t run in 6 days because of feeling so awful all week so I didn’t know if my lack of running and extra rest leading up to the race was helping or hurting my pace, and wouldn't find out until the end of the second mile.
Mile 2: Usually this is when my calves cramp up…..they pretty consistently KILL somewhere between mile 1 and 2, so I kept running at what felt a little faster than my easy pace, but still conservatively and kept hoping for the best. But they DIDN'T CRAMP !!! At the second mile marker I couldn’t resist my curiosity and hit the button for the Nike+ to read me my time through my headphones. I was expecting somewhere between 22 and 24 minutes, I was terrified however that it was going to be over 25. I hit the button and it said 20:43. UMMMMMM WHAT THE…..?!?!?! WHOA I was running MUCH faster than I thought I was! I was running faster than my last mile of my November 5K, and that effort was unsustainably hard at the time. I felt proud of myself, but knew there was a lot of racing to go, so I carried on.
Mile 3: I realized that since my calves were still feeling fine, it was likely that they were not going to cramp up, and I was more than thrilled. I clearly forgot this mile when I first did my RR, because I just meshed miles 3 and 4 together....so I guess it wasn't too memorable haha. This is when we went over the dirt road for the first time, but since the predicted pouring rain didn't start til after the race it luckily didn't turn into a muddy mess.
Mile 4: We cross over the finish line for the first time at what I estimate is about 3.4 or 3.5 miles, and then did another loop of the island that is slightly shorter than our first loop (which had a few weird turns right after the start). When we crossed the 6 mile marker (marked for the second loop) a few very lean, very fit looking men in singlets and split shorts came SPRINTING past nearly taking out a few runners running a similar pace to me and I knew I had just been lapped. Well, that feels GREAT haha. The clock on the finish line when I crossed it during the first loop was 37:01. HOLY CRAP considering we were about 3.4-3.5 miles into the run at that point, it is possible that I may have unofficially broke or came really close to my 5K PR of 33:33, and I was NOT running at "5K effort". If I had run the 5K earlier this morning instead of the 10K, I would have had a huge PR I think, so I was all smiles. Water station was right beyond the finish line, tried not to slow down too much while grabbing water and nearly choked. Oops. Note to self: SLOW DOWN NEXT TIME! Checked in with Nike+ at the 4 mile marker. 43: xx (can’t remember exactly). WOW! Still running faster than I ever thought I would.
Mile 5: Still feeling good, still running comfortably hard, but starting to get a little tired. I was very VERY VERY happy at this point that I opted for the shorts and not tights because I was SO hot and sweaty. Like, felt as if I was running in a sauna. I actually was kind of wishing for the rain to pick up to cool me off and was regretting the LS shirt under the SS shirt and wished I had just worn short sleeves.
Mile 6: This is where I started feeling like I was dying. I relied on my awesome playlist on my iPod to get me through, did a lot of huffing and puffing. I tried to pick it up during this mile for a kick but I didn’t have much left in the tank. Even though the effort was more and I FELT like I was picking up the pace, according to the difference between my finish time and what my time was at 4 miles, my pace dropped a bit here. I really, really wanted it to be over, but pushed on. At what was probably 5.5 miles, I REALLLLLLY wanted to walk, but I kept repeating in my head, "You have permission to jog but you do NOT have permission to walk" (THANKS LTH for this!!!) and I didn't walk, or jog. I kept running as fast as I could. I hit the 6 mile marker and actually said OUT LOUD, accidentally (luckily there wasn't many people very close to me), “SUCK IT UP BUTTER CUP!” and pushed even harder.
Last .2- I literally thought I was dying, like my heart was going to explode or my legs were going to quit, but I pushed and left everything I had on the course. I saw the clock…. 1:08:21, as I approached the finish line. Oh my god, I was going to break my super secret goal. I gave it everything I had! And a special surprise unlike my first 2 races, they actually announced my name when I crossed the finish which was cool!!
Post-Race: I was so, so happy....but so, so, so tired. Was tempted to collapse and lay down on the wet grass, but I forced myself to walk around a little. An older gentleman who I was leap frogging with a bit during the last mile, who I actually managed to out kick in the end, came up to me and congratulated me. I got 3 glasses of water and a glass of Gatorade after I had caught my breath and was certain I wasn't going to die. My friend’s friend finished a few minutes behind me, 1:11: xx, which was a LOT faster than she was planning, she PRed by quite a bit, so she was over the moon too. Here’s me after the finish:
And the 2 of us...she got a cooler bib than I did even though I registered before her. I think it's because my last name is so late in the alphabet, boo:
Then we enjoyed our hot chocolate in the race mugs, exhausted but happy:
When I got home I checked my chip time online. 1:07:47. I am over the moon!!!!
Sorry this is very long, I am very excited and a wordy person. If you made it this far thank you for reading! And thank you so much everyone for all your support and advice!
PRs: 5K- 28:16 (5/5/13) 10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13) 4M- 41:43 (9/7/13) 15K- 1:34:25 (8/17/13) 10M- 1:57:23 (6/15/13) HM- 2:21:47 (10/12/13)
I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to
Smaller By The Day
LOL...don't apologize for long RR's. We want details! Sounds like your training is really paying off. Great job today, and congratulations. I think there will be a lot of PR's in your future.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
St. Jude's Hero Profile
Great job on your first! Congrats.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: Space Coast Marathon
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Grand Master for a day
Great job! I'm really glad the rain held off for you. What a way to smash even your super-secret goal!
I giggled at your picture in the mirror, with your Yew Nork shirt. I'm relieved to see in later pictures that it isn't actually backwards.
Well done, Kristin. Great RR. PRs are always nice and that is a sweet mug!
Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 5 Apr
Mountains to Beach Marathon - 25 May
Squidward Bike Rider
Very cool! Two of my friends did the 5K.
Congrats! You sound like me at the end of my races, LOL! I just want to lay down! Nice work though.
Do you even run?
Just realized that I only reported 5 miles in the RR....went back and realized I meshed together miles 3 and 4, and then was a mile off for the rest of it so I went back and fixed it lol
You may be right
Awesome Job! Nice pictures and I like the mug.
Don't believe everything you think.
Very very very very good job!!!!
So, are you signed up for the next one or stlll on the fence about it?
Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)
Very very very very good job!!!!
So, are you signed up for the next one or stlll on the fence about it?
Signed up!! Just gotta figure out a training plan for the next 6 weeks
Nice report and way to crush your "A" goal!
That mug looks very useful, and while I am not a Giants fan, I do love them for making the Patriots have two less Super Bowl victories.
Holy smokes! You crushed even your super duper secret goal!!!!!! WOOT! What a great race! I'm so glad you didn't have to deal w/any of your usual calf cramping. Everything just sort of came together for you perfectly. That's pretty awesome.
Signed up!! Just gotta figure out a training plan for the next 6 weeks
since it is short, I would just forgo a training plan and work on miles miles miles...look at your weaknesses this past race and focus on those.
2. Maybe start adding progression into some, not all runs, where you run 5 miles at your normal easy pace and then kick a little harder on the last mile (this will help in your next 10K mentally so your not hating life at the end....hating life as much).
3. Maybe do some short hill bounding at the end of 1 or 2 runs, where you would bound and focus on your push off, knee lift, spring and arm motions...like 2-4 @ 10 seconds.
Or just find a training plan for 6 weeks!
I have a hot chocolate run coming up in Feb....easy PR for me, 1st 15K race.
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