Thursday, November 25, 2010

Race with Grace 10k 2010 PR - Very Thankful

Yesterday morning was the 20th annual Race with Grace 10k in Hilton, NY. I was hoping for a PR - I had been doing some 10k specific training in preparation for this and one more 10k in 2010 (year end goal: break 45 minutes). I ran this last year (46:35), and was happy to return to a course I have some experience with.
Was asleep by 11, and felt well-rested when the alarm went off at 6:30 (gotta love a late start - 9AM - for a short race). Played some of my psych-up music, and then Mark (triathlete bud) picked me up. It was good to see him, exchange teaching stories (he is a music professor), and catch up. As I keep running, I learn that I have better races when I can relax and joke around with someone beforehand. We got in a good warmup too. It was pretty cold - about 30 and the windchill was 23. But, was still going to wear my lucky Asics shorts. So we stripped down (I convinced him he needed to ditch the tights too), and with a quick hug to my parents, headed to the start.
And then there was the siren. Last year, I blasted through the 1st mile. This year, was still fast, but 7:04 was more manageable. I decided to ease up a little, it was also really windy, so I felt easy was the best way to go. 2 miles - 14:39. Right on pace for a mid 45 finish. Got to the 5k in 22:36 - 7:16 pace. At this point, I wanted to start making a move, but rather than picking it up a ton, decided to pick off a few people who were hovering around me. Holy crow, was it windy! I can't remember my 4 mile split, but it was at that point that I started to go back and forth with people. This was when it really started to feel like a race - it's much easier to push when you know you'll only be running for 15 more minutes. I decided to keep the gloves on a la Bill Rodgers (even though metaphorically this was when they came off). Then relief at mile 5 - just 1.2 to go. Was going back and forth with one guy (Steve - he had friends cheering for him), and he finally said "Just go!" So, kept going, and just aiming to pass and not be passed. Passed a few more people, and started to feel like, "Wow, I am moving along." Then, finally saw the 6 mile mark. No thoughts other than just go. Wearing my pink visor, it was easy for my dad to see me, and I could hear him yelling "GO GO, haul it in!" And so I did!
:-)And now I have a nice shiny new 10k PR
I was so excited! I did not expect to run that fast. This is me with Mark, who finished in 50:x
x (he did his first full Ironman this fall and on Wednesday will start training for his second.
This is me with a friend of mine form high school - Jen. Jen ran XC in high school and college, and has always been both a good friend and a competitive runner. It's nice to know that we can still see each other every once in a while. And me with my two sponsors/supporters/fantastic parents.
It was a great race and a wonderful way
to kick off the day.I am blessed. I got to wake up in a warm bed, and eat breakfast. I was able to run a race, and finish in a time I am proud of. I got to finish with hugs from my parents, and then go home to see my brother too. I was able to talk to friends up and down the East Coast (and congrats to Jenny who ran a 31:48 PR in a 4 mile race) and to toast them in friendship. I had a lovely dinner with my family.
Very thankful indeed.

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