Saturday, February 25, 2017
One week ago my coach asked me what my goal time was for this race. He asked for a strong goal and an ‘I am happy with it’ goal. My strong goal was sub 40:00 and my ‘I am happy with it’ goal was 40:30. I was hoping that I was not too far off from what I could actually run. When I take long breaks from racing it is hard to know where I am actually starting from again.
In the week leading up to the race, I felt great. My hard run on Tuesday went well. I was easily able to run the 1 mile repeats at 6:26 pace, and I took it easy the rest of the week.
The race started and finished at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. I arrived there a little before 6:00am to warm up. There was plenty of parking, and luckily I found an alternate way into the parking garage. When I got there, I saw a two block line of cars waiting to get in. I am not very patient at races, so I got out of the line, went around the block, and got in the three car line to the same garage. I guess impatience pays off on race day. So I had plenty of time for my 2 mile warm up, drills, and strides. I made my way to the corral, and I hoped that the race would start on time. The wind chill was bitter, and I think I was one of about three people that did not bring gloves.
After 10 minutes in the corral, the race began. I made sure I did not start out too fast, keeping my pace near 6:30. There were a few small hills in the first couple of miles, and we went through part of a really nice neighborhood in Fort Worth. Families were standing outside cheering us on.
After the first couple of miles, it is hard for me to give many more details about the course. I am always so focused on my pace, my breathing, and the person in front of me that most everthing else is a blur.
Let’s see… around mile three I began catching up to people. I passed a couple of men and gradually started catching up to two women. I made sure not to pass them too quickly,so that I didn’t burn through too much energy. Between miles 4 and 5, I passed them, and I felt comfortable at the pace I was holding. (This probably means that I should have pushed myself a little harder. I have not mastered the 10k pacing yet.) Between miles 5 and 6, I started gaining on another runner. I knew that if I kept her in my reach through the 6th mile then I could pass her before the finish. I held on through the last hill and knew the finish was coming up. There was at least one more turn before the finish. I made sure not to ‘kick’ too early, and I was a few strides away from her before that second turn. When we turned, we had about 100 meters left, and I cruised to the finish a few seconds ahead for a time of 40:32. 7th Overall Female. 10k Personal Best!
For my first race back, post hip injury and flu, I am happy with my time and performance. I felt strong. My stride felt even. I had no pain, other than the pain I felt in my fingers. I was able to comfortably do my 2 mile cooldown. I am making a comeback. First race of 2017… Complete.