This past weekend I ran the Fast and Furriest 10k, this race benefits the local Animal society (hence the name). It's a really well run race (pun intended), they offer a 5k as well as a 10k and a dog walk. They have a party in a nearby park after with food trucks, vendors and awards. I ran this race in 2010 as one of my first 10k races ever, that year was my first year of running distance/road races and it's cool to see how I have changed since then. But I digress.
A few weeks ago I registered for this after debating. 10k races are hard to come by around here, and I knew I could use it as a good workout but still possibly throw down a decent time. Full disclosure- I also knew that the field is not usually super stacked, but offers good prizes. Hey, I like money/running store gift cards as much as the next person. So $20 to a good cause (the VS Animal society does so much for the city), a hard workout and potential for some swag....no-brainer.
Little did I know, the week leading up to this race was going to kick my ass. I mentally and physically felt blah but knew that I was still going to run- sometimes all it takes is one good day to turn things around. (spoiler: this was NOT that day.) I promise this won't be an all negative post, but if you don't want to listen to me moan and groan you might wanna skip towards the end.
The start is just over the river from my place, so it was easy to get to and easy to park (gotta love easy logistics for morning races). It wasn't crazy warm yet, but it was humid (typical summer morning) therefore I decided to run shirtless. I was bloated and felt like the Michelin man, but my desire to be comfortable temperature wise won out over my self consciousness. I got ready, warmed-up and changed my shoes, responded to my good luck texts and headed to the start line.
|Apparently I wasn't as enthused as the man next to me for the start.
Once we crossed over the river we were on the section of the river trail that coincides with part of the marathon course. Since I am really focused on that damn marathon, I chose to push here and practice digging a little deeper even though I was tired and struggling breathing a bit(damn humidity!). I generally felt sluggish and far from relaxed through here but I was still holding my tempo pace so I couldn't complain too much. We continued on the trail past Ford St. and got off at Court street to finish on city streets. When we turned on Plymouth we met up with the end of the 5k (same finish line), so I was weaving in and out of runners (and dogs) which wasn't horrible but not ideal for the 10k runners.
I finished in 41:57 which is 6:46 average pace (only a hair faster than my recent half marathon pace, no bueno.), not my best but not my worst. That time doesn't reflect how 'off' it felt, so there's that.
Here is where I look at the positives...
1. I took 2nd female (10th overall), which earned me $75 to Fleet Feet
2. I was able to practice pushing on 2 different sections that coincide with the fall marathon course. Seeing as I am really putting all of my efforts into that race, this is important for me. One of those sections that coincides is going down Plymouth and turning onto Morrie Silver way which is the marathon finish (basically a really important spot to be ready to push).
3. I ran this race in 2010 with a time of 45:09, so this was over a 3 minute course PR.
4. I reaffirmed my love of marathons, because so many times during this I caught myself thinking "I wish I could slow down a bit and be running a marathon, I hate 10k's".
5. Related to number 4, I really don't like this distance but I did it anyways and that's a positive. We can't live in our comfort zones.
6. This is just a sign of the progress I have made. Sub-42 is a time I would previously kill for, and now that's a "bad day".
7. I got a hard workout in with 6.2 miles at Tempo pace, solid day.
This race does also remind me of that REALLY bad race I had this past winter. Both that race and this race were my body's way of waving the white flag. I spent that night sick (and fell down the stairs, injuring my tailbone), and this time I spent the night leaving work early and spending the night in bed from being overtired and under-hydrated. I've never been a fan of the "listen to your body" thing, my body just demands it sometimes. I.e. shitty race followed by a crash physically and mentally to force me to rest and unwind.
Are you able to find good things even in bad races?
(I've gotten a lot better about this! At least I'm trying to!)
Ever picked a race because you knew you might win something?