Distance: 10.07km Time: 1:09 Pace: 6’51 kCal: 971 Heart: 146/166 RPE: 6 Type: 10k Race
Last Sunday I ran the Cinco de Mayo 10k event Reaching for the Cure.
This was the first 10k race towards my marathon training, and I must admit that while it wasn’t the dream race I thought it would be, it was a great learning experience.
If you want to get the point-form of what I learned, scroll down to the bottom. But if you want to see some cool pictures and learn more, read on…
The Day before the big race
Yup – it all starts the day before. Why? Because I was so excited! The OC Marathon was happening on the same day as my race (Sunday) and that meant a really cool Health Expo with lots of great stuff.
So off I went to check it out. I bought a new (Halo) hat for the race – one that I was told would keep the sweat out of my eyes – and boy do I sweat! I also stopped at nearly every booth, picked up a ton of race applications, and checked out all the cool finisher medals. Don’t you just love this one from Disney?
Okay, okay… so I was caught up in the moment and really thought that I could sign up for every single 5k, 10k, half-marathon, mud-run, marathon, and triathlon.
Of course, I didn’t think about the cost, the race conflicts, or even the physical endurance levels. Anybody can run, ride, or swim a thousand miles a month – right?
Oh that’s right!
I’m supposed to be running a marathon in October, not all these events in between.
Oops… Stay – Focused – Blaine!
So back home I went – with my timing chip, bib, pins, Red Robin coupons, and a t-shirt. I rummaged through my goody-bag, threw all the race applications to one side (except for the Disney Coast-to-Coast one… hmm… next year?), and got all my things ready.
Ah… I’m all organized.
So neat and perfect (for a guy) – everything is ready!
Time for some sleep…
I’m up and I’m off. Everything went like clock work as I donned all my gear and headed out the door. I got to the race in plenty of time and watched the half marathoners take off.
There was a lot going on and everyone was in a great mood. Even the volunteers were having a great time.
Now I’m lined up with the other runners. Great. 5 minutes to go.
Time to get my watch ready and my iPod Nano setup with my 1 hour of running music.
Still lots of time, lets shuffle that new playlist, then I can…
3-2-1 – Bang – And we’re off !!!
Whaa… ? Three minutes early!?! Woa…
Oh no… the crowd is pushing forward. I’m not ready! Yikes!
I’m starting to… panic? I never panic! But, I made an exception. Oh No!
But there I was, frantically trying to get everything ready, as I was slowly being pushed towards the front.
Now I’m passed the starting gate with my hands full of cables and ipods and …
I started to panic!
What a predicament, as a hobble along, only to find out that my footpod is not synced to the nano. Noooooo…..
So, I slow down to a walk and try to collect my inner peace.
I’m going to get this fixed and then take off. I’m already 3 minutes behind, but that’s okay as I realize that my hidden goal of being under one hour and 8 minutes was not going to happen (don’t even ask why I made that goal ‘cuz I don’t even know).
Tick-Tock… Tick-Tock… Fiddle Fiddle… Tick-Tock…… Done!
Now I’m off and running, listening to Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Samira Saeed and others
(I bet you don’t know who the last singer is!).
But then my pace was strong and steady.
My pace was strong and steady.
My breathing was good, and I fell into my running groove – the one that’s come to be my best friend over the last few months of training.
It was a nice day, the people were great, and I just passed the 2k-mark. My problems at the beginning of the race were a distant memory.
At the 3k-mark we took a wrong turn. What? Where is everyone going? This isn’t the route that was on the map. Oh no! Why? WHY… Panic attack number 2? What’s going on? Now I’m thinking about the course so much that I forgot about running. My stride was shortening, I was starting to pronate (not good for someone with bad knees), and I lost my breathing pattern. I didn’t even know what was going on!
At the 5k-mark now and realized that I had the course backwards. Reality sets in and my brain finally listens to my body. We then discover that I was just limping along for the last 2 clicks.
Then I swallowed water and started to chokeOff comes the headset and back to the basics.
My plan was to stay focused on the last 5k.
I make the turn, and grab some water while still running (I wanted to make up time). I swallowed the water in the middle of my stride and started to choke, cough, and gasp for air.
Oh man… what was happening to me today!?!
But luckily, no more panic attacks.
At the 7k-mark it was getting hot and I was getting really thirsty. My new hat was totally drenched with rivulets of water running over my temples and into my ears – what’s with that!?! I want my old hat back! Silly Silly me. That hat is like a running companion. It was at this point that I made a silent promise to always sleep with my old hat under my pillow the night before any race.
Next, we were running along the canal, but it was all dried up and I kept on envisioning myself running in the desert. I don’t thin this is what they mean by positive reinforcement!
At the 8k-mark I had my first ever Energy Gu. Did it help? Mmmm… maybe. But I wish I had some water afterwards. Very sticky. Why they hand it out at the end of the water station, I’ll never know. But, it was a flighty-thought as I still had a few more clicks left.
My pace was slowing down, but I was staying focused, and I knew the end was near. Now… everyone was passing me. Oh MAN! But looking back on it as I write this, I realize that it was just my imagination. It’s amazing how the mind can play tricks on you – hot weather, being in the desert, extinct dinosaurs…
At the 9k-mark – almost home. One click to go. Another hill. No problem, I’ve been through everything – wham…
I didn’t even know it was there. Now it’s my turn to pass everyone. Yeah!
Tornado-force winds? No problem. Bring it on baby!Turning onto the last stretch… POW!
Now we’re hit with tornado-force winds. But I kept going and just smiled as the runners next to me start cursing and swearing about the wind. I had just been to hell and back. If I get a quick ticket to OZ, so be it!
Less than half a kilometer to go, bring it on baby… bring it all on!
I may have had a rough start and shaky middle, but as I approached the finish line, I felt, once again, that feeling of being able to overcome any obstacle. I passed with a great sense of accomplishment and not the ‘now I can roll over and die’ attitude that I was envisioning halfway through the course.
Yeah! 10k …. complete! One hour, nine minutes. No too shabby for a first-timer, I think!
As I wobbled over to the smiling volunteers to cut of my timing chip, I thought about next week’s 10k in Temecula. It will be even hotter and very very hilly. But I know I’ll be ready for it. I’ll will be more aware and take it on with respect.
This race taught me a lot of things. I think I was physically ready.
Just not emotionally and Definitely not logistically
So to sum it all up, here’s a short list of what I learned…
- Don’t wear something you’ve never worn in training before
- Do a test run/walk with all your gear before the race – make sure everything is working
- Don’t make excuses while running (too hot, too many extinct dinosaurs, everyone’s faster)
- Make sure you have some water after you have your energy goo (they should really call it ick)
- Be realistic about your ability
- The environment can be totally different from what you expect, but Hakuna Matata
- If it’s your first time, just have fun and take things at a pace you’re comfortable with