Monday, October 01, 2012

Shelia Stride 10K aka 10K Goal Met!

Yesterday morning, I ran another race. This was a regular road race and not a mud run.  Even better, it was here in town.  I was very happy for that since it started at 7AM.

I was doing the 10K, and my goal for the race was to finish in under an hour.  The last two I did were both in 2011, and I had finished just over an hour both times.  As a result, I’d done a couple of 9 mile runs over the last couple of weeks, hoping the longer distances would help my legs and cardio be ready to push it on race day.

Then Wednesday, I came down with a cold.  I blame the 2’s and 3’s from church the previous Sunday.  I wasn’t sure how I’d do, but I figured getting my goal time was pretty much out the window.  I canceled my last short run on Thursday to give my body more rest in hopes it would heal.

It turned out to be a mild cold, and by the time I got up Sunday morning I was feeling pretty good.  Maybe I could PR after all.

I’m still not quite sure what happened Sunday morning.  I got to the race in plenty of time and wandered around a bit.  I hit the bathroom one last time and then walked back to my car to empty my pockets.  I thought I’d have about 5 minutes before the race started, but as I got back to the start line, they shouted go, so I took off.

Not too far past the start line, I was passed by a friend.  I was supposed to be doing this with two friends, but I hadn’t seen them before we started.  One of them caught me and said the other couldn’t make it at the last minute due to a long night with a sick daughter.  Then he took off at his own pace, and I was on my own.

We hadn’t made it more than a quarter mile when my shins started bothering me.  I hadn’t given them much thought, figuring I’d be up in plenty of time for my legs to warm up.  Obviously not.  I stopped for a few seconds to stretch them, but they still were bothering me.  Not enough that I couldn’t run, but enough that they were noticeable.  I decided to keep going and stop and walk if they got to bad, but after mile one, they began to feel okay, so I just kept going.

Most of the course was on the bike path that travels through town.  Since it was the other side of town from where I live, it was very nice running an unfamiliar stretch.  It’s the nice part of the path, too, not the part right next to the road.

I kept a close eye on my watch, trying to keep my pace around 9:30.  If I was under that, I didn’t back off, but if I was over, I’d start speeding up again.  Every time I passed a mile marker, I’d check my time, and I was under10 minute miles, but not by much.

When I hit 3.1 miles, I checked my time again.  I was just over 30 minutes.  That’s when I knew it would be very close.  The suspense was beginning to kill me.

It wasn’t until I hit mile 5 at 48 minutes that I began to have faith I could actually make my goal.  My legs didn’t feel too badly, and I wasn’t nearly as tired as I thought I’d be.  I pushed just a bit more, always aware that I didn’t want to overdo it and miss out at the last minute.

I made the final turn toward the finish line at 59 minutes.  Fortunately, I just had a few feet to go, and I poured on the speed.  According to my watch, I finished in 59:16.  My official time via the race organizers was 59:20.  I’ll take either.  Even better?  I finished 24th overall out of 90 something people doing the 10K.  Actually, I saw lots of people walking the course behind be after I turned around about mile 4, so that doesn’t surprise me.  But it still made me feel good.

So, despite my potential set backs, I made my goal.  Might I have gone faster without them?  Probably.  But for today, I was rejoicing in my time.  Plus, I’m happy that I didn’t feel like I was going to die like I did when I hit my first 5K in under 30 minutes back in March.

My shins are definitely a little sore today.  I’m debating about trying to run on them tomorrow or if I should let them rest all week and wait for ultimate Frisbee this weekend.  I’ll probably decide based on how they are feeling tomorrow.


MountainHawk said...

Congratulations on meeting your goal!

Mark Baker said...

Thank you very much.

That Loud Redhead said...

Mark, that's fantastic!! It was an exciting read, too! I'm so glad you met your goal!! Congrats!

Mark Baker said...

Thanks. I was trying to make it an exciting read, although I did spoil the ending in the title. :)