Edit: Added some additional thoughts about the race at the end.
I woke up very sore today, and for good reason. I successfully completed my first 10K race yesterday! It was a hot, HOT morning but my time was not too bad. I was really hoping to finish in under an hour but my official time was 1:02:41. Had I not walked for about 30 seconds each while taking water at Miles 1, 2, 3, and 5, taken Gatorade AND water at Mile 4, and taken water at the unexpected water station around the 9K/6.5ish mile mark, I would have made my time. I otherwise never walked. It was a crowded race, for sure, but I knew that going in. All BAA races are a clusterf***. People seed themselves at the 9:00-9:59 pace when they should be in the 13:00 pace. I passed a LOT of people walking very early on. It’s frustrating to say the least. But then again, no race is run alone so I need to work on not letting idiots bother me.
- I ran mostly negative splits (each mile faster than the last).
- Mile 1 – 10:23 (constantly trying to slow myself down)
- Mile 2 – 10:14 (still trying to go slow)
- Mile 3 – 9:57 (finding my groove)
- Mile 4 – 10:03 (Gatorade AND water here, remember)
- Mile 5 – 9:37 (making up lost time)
- Mile 6 – 9:43 (resume natural-ish pace)
- Mile 6.2 – 9:34 (wanting to sprint but realizing it wasn’t going to happen)
- I placed 4,878th overall, out of 7,811 finishers and 9,500-ish registrants.
- I came in 444th out of 874 in my age group, females 30-34.
- Out of all 4,430 females, I was 2,215th – just BARELY out of the top half.
- At one point around the 5-mile mark I was running a 4:03 pace. That’s 13.2 mph.
- I burned 747 calories.
- My Garmin Forerunner 10 thought it was 66 degrees. I wish!
- I have officially logged 123 miles on my current running shoes – the Mizuno Wave Rider 19s. They have a lifespan of 300-400 miles, so I may actually need to replace these bad boys before Christmas (they’re usually one of my big gifts from my dad).
All in all, I’m pretty dang proud of myself for finishing the race, not walking except through water stations, and feeling rather OK afterward. I have a long way to go to be ready for the BAA Half Marathon on October 9, but fortunately there are 104 days between now and then to get myself there!
Next up is the Firecracker4 – a 4-mile race on the 4th of July through that starts and ends in downtown Saratoga with a course that goes through some residential neighborhoods. It’s going to be hot again then, but I heard some homeowners stand on their front lawns with hoses spraying the runners. Um, yes please!
That’ll be interesting, because normally I like to eat, ice bath, and nap after my races, but I have to work on Tuesday morning so I won’t be able to nap for long on Monday before driving 3.5 hours back to Boston.
I was going to run this evening to shake out all the aches and pains, but I’m actually really achey with significant pain behind my left knee. I’m sure it’s nothing, but I’d rather give it rest today. Heck, I might even not follow my training program this week. I’ll most likely go for a run Friday or Saturday, definitely will do about 1.5 miles on Sunday as a pre-race shakeout, but won’t stress about the weekdays. This is my first week of Tuesday night coed softball, and our games are at 6pm or 7pm so I will have to work earlier on Tuesdays so that I can leave earlier. Now it’s unlikely I will ever run on a Tuesday this summer, so my Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday running schedule isn’t going to work anymore. I’m thinking Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday, but we’ll see. I really like my weekend runs and not going to work tired more than once or twice a week.
I wanted to add an addendum, in case anyone is thinking about running the 10K and does a “[name of race] blog” Google search like I do every time I sign up for or am thinking about a race. Overall, I think the BAA puts on excellent races, but they are definitely catered to elite athletes. The self-seeding system only works as well as the honor system, and they send all sorts of warnings about how the course will be closed after a certain amount of time. However, that is NEVER true. They always keep the course open much later, but that warning might deter people who are thinking, I can’t quite run a 10K in 90 minutes, so I guess I shouldn’t bother. Do it! Be the last person on the course – who cares?!
And while I understand the volunteers are following instructions, they can be really mean and scary. The people at gear check were great and super helpful. One even helped my brother get his bag into the clear gear check bag. He didn’t necessarily need help, but she offered it. The volunteers at the water stations were also great. But when I got to the finish, I just wanted to drink some Gatorade, stretch, and catch my breath. I wasn’t quite ready for water or snacks. So when I finally was, I went back to the refreshment tent, still very red & sweaty, wearing my bib and medal. But I was turned away. A bouncer-esque volunteer actually said to me, “I can’t let you back in.” I said, “Excuse me? How do I get more water?” I probably shouldn’t have said “more” but my brain wasn’t working 100%. He pointed to another volunteer and said, “She’ll let you in.” So I walked over to her and said, “He said you could let me back in to get more water…?” She told me no, that I had to go back to the entrance. That is legit about 400 meters away, and I’m desperate. I shuffle as fast as I can, but there is no way to get back in. The gates are all secured, and only people coming directly from the course who have just received their medals can get back in. So I gave sad puppy dog eyes to a volunteer and said, “Can you let me in? They forced me to walk all the way back here to get water.” I could tell he really didn’t want to, but I was already pretty much climbing in between the gates, so he said, “Sure.” I mumbled some curses under my breath, and then took three goddam bottles of water for myself.
I have read similar accounts about BAA volunteers and the BAA’s general elitist attitude. I wouldn’t go that far, but they are definitely a professional running organization and it shows. However, I paid my $225, couldn’t even run the 5K because of sinus surgery that sent me to the ER the day of the race, so I deserve to be there as much as the next guy.
I’m definitely not going to let that one negative experience deter me from re-attempting the BAA Distance Medley next year, but reading others’ experiences makes me feel better – knowing I wasn’t alone and it’s definitely not personal.