Day 87 Race

I did a 10 miler race on Sunday morning. I only did this just once a year. 10 miler is almost like 13.1, a half marathon. This was the longest run/race-wise I had since December. It is a good preparation for next week. 

I wasn’t fully ready for the race. I woke up in the morning with a bit of soreness that was clinching on from past Wednesday night. I hadn’t been stressing myself with longer runs since, trying to nurture my legs back to optimal condition. I had a club run on Thursday for 3.5 miles. It was a low stress run.  I rested on Friday, trying to recover. On Saturday I was out for whole day and it almost counted as a rest. I had a fast mile run in the morning, that might have prevented me from healing completely before this race.

 While trying to do some warm up run, things weren’t looking good and I felt an onset of a cramp in my calfs. I haven’t been drinking water much yesterday and this morning too and so I was really asking for it. I had a late breakfast too and it wasn’t good. The food was slushing inside and I had a bit of stomach-ache  as I started running (normally I don’t eat before a run). Luckily pain was gone after a few miles. 

 I decided just to start slow and see how it would go, praying that I could finish the race. 

The first couple miles were good. I started at the back of the line at the 12-13 minute pace. Slowly worked my way to the front (mid pack). There were couple late bloomers like me, they actually over took me and never see them again.

I was not struggling with my breathing. After a few miles, the pain / soreness was gone and I could exert strength on my legs. I pounded the pavement with a bit harder but not full force. I think I ran near 90% speed. I felt I couldn’t push too much too early, fearing I would be out of breath and would pay for it at the end.

I remembered passing the halfway mark. The race by then seemed to dragged a bit. I felt a bit tired and my breathing was a bit heavier. I was thinking, if I couldn’t do 10 miles, what make me think I could do a half marathon next week, and a full one in a month. I came to realize / brought to mind how long a marathon really is! It is not easy.

The people cheering were saying keep working it. Keep on. My muscles didn’t give me any more problem. My breathing was still regular. Mile 6/7, I was cruising a bit. I stopped at all water stations and was easily got back into pace afterward. I was keeping the same pace with the person in front. It was not a smart move looking back, but I felt I couldn’t over take the person at the time. 

At Mile 8, I got my burst mode back and started passing people again. I thought other people were slowing down but in fact I was speeding up. I did not look at my watch at all and ran purely by feel.

I continued pushing to the finish line. I did not get to pass as many people as I wanted toward the end.  In my mind I saw 10 people ahead of me and my goal was trying to pass all ten of them. I think I passed about 5. I think everyone were speeding up too and I lost track of who I was going to pass. The last couple people were very hard to close the gap.

I had a negative split and was happy. I didn’t intentionally trying to run one. I was listening to my body the whole time but it came out good. The first half (8K), I ran 43:42 and the second half (8k) 41:06. 

Comparing to my best (PR) from last year, I was 5-6 minutes slower. It is kind of disappointing because I have been closing the gap for 5k (30 seconds away from a PR) and 10k this year (also 30 seconds away) but couldn’t do it for a 10 miler (5 minutes!). 

Looking at my data I reached the 10k mark at 59:15 and this is quite slow compare to my usual time, about 5-7 minutes slower. My 5k split was 28:10. It seems I started a bit too slow (lost 3.5 mins there).

Ya, who care right? Usually I don’t analyze  my small races. This is kind of the first test for the marathon in April. One thing I came away was I am not ready for running a marathon next week, even though I wanted to do it. I was hoping to upgrade my half marathon to a full. This race put some sense back in my head not to do it.

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