Monday, April 27, 2009

GW Parkway 10 miler

So happy to be done and no longer running in the hot sun.
Yea!! A good picture of me running and/or after a race!! Well, as good as a picture can be when you're sweaty and red-faced.

An "action" shot of me putting my phone back in my pocket. Stephen's not the best at taking pictures of me during the race as he's never successfully done it. He gets distracted so this is the best action shot of me on Sunday.

Yesterday (Sunday) was my first race of 2009, the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler. Both days this weekend were predicted to be hot and set records for the highest temperatures. Knowing this, on Saturday I made myself carry around a drink all day and drink as much water as I could possibly drink. I was so glad I did this as Sunday ended up being 94 degrees (temperature during the race was in the low 80s).

I started the race with a time goal in mind—I wanted to pace at 11 minute miles which would mean finishing the race in 1 hour, 50 minutes. And I also wanted to run as far as I could before I took a walk break. I made two rookie mistakes at the beginning:
1) I started off way too fast for me. I was doing 9-9:30 minute miles…way too fast for me. At mile two, I felt it and knew I needed to slow down.
2) I was close to the start line with all the faster people which only made me go faster. I was trying to keep up with other people instead of running my race.

I only got 19 minutes (right around the beginning of mile 3) of running in before I had to walk. And I knew I had been going too fast because my legs immediately felt like lead. I couldn’t imagine going 8 more miles. I was already tired and knew that I would have to do my 4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking method to finish. I talked to myself and went to the talk that always helps me finish a long run. “Don’t think about how many miles you have left, don’t think about how many miles you’ve done, just focus on the next 4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking. You can finish this race and you can do it in the time you want but just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.”

Miles 3-5 were okay. I wasn’t feeling strong but I kept going and was able to keep pacing at an 11 minute mile.

Mile 5 I lost my iPod. I didn’t physically lose it but my iPod was having none of the heat and sweat and stopped working. I was so sweaty, the sweat had gone through my case and got to my iPod so it stopped. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to have to do another 5 miles with no music. This officially sucks.” But then I reminded myself that I did complete a half marathon with no music so 5 miles was nothing compared to 13.1.

Miles 5-7 were uneventful. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

At mile 7 I got so hot. When it’s August and I’m acclimated to running double digit miles in the heat, the temperature won’t bother me so much. But since the hottest temperature I’d run in since last summer was 70 degrees, my body (and everyone else’s) just wasn’t prepared for that type of heat. I seriously thought about quitting. I was tired, I was hot, I didn’t want to go on. And then I saw an 87 year old woman running. Well, darn it! If an 87 year old woman is going to finish this thing, I’m sure as heck going to finish it as well.

Miles 8-10 had no shade and it was just hot. People that live along the parkway were standing out in their yards with their garden hoses spraying water so that we could run under the cool water and that helped a lot. (I have no idea who those people were but they are amazing!!) I knew at mile 8 that I probably wasn’t going to make my 1:50 goal but I still kept aiming for it.

My final time was 1:51:24….sooo close to my goal. My overall pace ended up being close to 11:08 miles. Honestly, when I realized how close I was, I was mad at myself. But then I realized how I really had given it my all and with the weather, I’m glad I came in so close to my goal.

I was sooo glad I wore my hydration belt. I almost didn’t wear it but I’m glad I changed my mind. With the temperature, I needed to have water accessible to me whenever I needed it and not just every couple of miles at a water station.

After the race, I foam rolled for 10 or 15 minutes. Today I have a little bit of soreness but nothing too bad at all. I have a horrible burn from my sports bra on my neck but that's the only thing that truly hurts. (It also makes me feel like a true runner.)

I’m proud of myself for finishing. I had talked myself into quitting at mile 7 but I was mentally tough enough to keep going.

Next race will be the May 10 half marathon. Oh boy, that's only 13 days away. What was I thinking?


Juice said...

Congrats on finishing in that heat! And so close to goal! Sounds like you learned a lot from this experience and you'll do even better next time. :)

Juice said...

PS What is foam rolling?

Lynn said...

You did awesome! Great pics sweaty and all :)

Bi0nicw0man said...


Fatinah said...

foam rolling right after the race - total genius!!


I love, love, love those pictures of you!

Heather said...

foam rolling?

Congrats on the race girl! Never quit is a great attitude!