This lass was caught by the lads but this post title still says it all. Here’s a little recap.
The race began at 10am. Great time to start a race, especially in cooler conditions. The later start gave way for me to have a little pre-race breakfast, which I would normally never do before a short race. I had a part of a Honey Stinger energy bar and some Bulletproof coffee, plus lots of water and a little electrolyte drink. We also had an hour drive to the race, but the later start made that very nice. It was a pretty relaxed morning. Well, relaxed other than the fact that I felt like hurling. Pre-race jitters were in full-force. I could have puked. Actually, in the time between arriving to the race start, Principal Park in Des Moines, and beginning my warm up, I was shivering from nervousness. I need to race more. I think I was nervous for two reasons: A) I hadn’t really trained specifically for this race And B) since I hadn’t trained specifically for a 10k, running 6+miles hard would feel surprisingly nasty.
The warm-up: I ran an easy couple of miles followed by some strides and that got me relaxed a bit, enough to feel loosened up, ready to race and not puke.
The starting line: I looked for some teammates who I knew had also signed up but didn’t see them. I didn’t recognize any other gal runners, and although the rest of the field looked tough, no one looked smokin’ fast. So before the gun went off, I knew I’d probably be all alone.
Bang, we were off. I was running alone.
Pacing: I purposefully ran without GPS so that I could seek out my pace by feel. I was hoping to hit 6:10. Thinking that was too fast for my lack of speed conditioning but possible for my overall endurance, I knew that was the time I should aim for. I also wanted to start out quicker to give myself a cushion, which also worked out well in the race plan. My first mile was exactly 6:00. We were a mile away, but I could hear the lads start as we approached the first mile marker. Lasses get a 5min30sec head start over the lads in the Leprechaun Chase 10k. I don’t know why the premise of the race didn’t strike me significantly before the race began, but being chased by a pack of fast guys was a big deal. At least, the magnitude of my position was revealed to me as I ran a little out and back tangent between miles 1-2. There all of the ladies behind me and now running at me were cheering, “Go, girl… Stay ahead of the guys!… Win us a beer!!” Winning gender would win free green beer at the post-race party. Well. After doing a little mental math between miles 1 and 3, I figured, I’d need to be hitting 5:50s in order to keep ahead of them. Anyway. Mile 2 = also 6:00. Then things started to get ‘interesting’ and mile 3 was 6:10. I breathed through a tiny side ache between 3 and 4 and my 4th mile was in 6:25. The delirium was setting in so I am not exactly sure, but I think mile 5 was back down to 6:15ish. And that was the point at which the lead lad caught me. My last mile point two must also have been around 6:15 or a little faster so that I averaged a 6:12. Overall time was 38:33. Over a minute faster than my previous best 10k time.
This picture SO describes how I felt for the last stretch.
Fuzzy and out of it. Trying to hang on to my lead biker and finish strong.
Lucky or not, in the end I neglected to produce green beer for the masses of lasses, but I finished feeling strong and pleased to have met my goal.
I feel one step closer to a stronger marathon finish in one month.