(A week late and, sorry, no pictures!)
Late this summer when I decided to continue working with Coach Kelly, the first thing we did was sit down to come up with a plan for training based on my desired race schedule. Since the run portion of my Iron Girl triathlon was the worst of the three disciplines (35:35 for a 5K) I really wanted to concentrate on running during the off season. I had a list of a half dozen or so 5K's I wanted to run hoping to steadily improve my time. I also mentioned to her that I wanted to try a 10K...next year. However, Coach Kelly decided the timeline would be a bit different: the 10K would be done before the end of 2010. So, she started checking the 5K's I wanted to do to see if any of them also offered a 10K. I crossed my fingers hoping none of the races had a 10K, but no such luck. The choice: the Baldwinsville Kiwanis Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I had about 3 months to prepare, so I wrapped my brain around the thought and marked it on my calendar. Although I was nervous, I never doubted I could finish it.
In the week leading up to the race, coach Kelly devised a plan for my race. In a typical 5K, I run zone 2 for the first mile, zone 3 for the second mile, and all out for the rest. For the 10K, the plan was to run zone 2 for the first half, then treat the second half like a typical 5K. Recently I have been participating in the YMCA running clinic guided by local running rock star Kevin Collins. The Saturday before, I ran 1:05 in a low zone 3 and logged 5.5 miles. That was only 0.7 miles shy of the Turkey Trot, so I was confident I could finish the race in less than 1:15 which was my goal.
Two days before the race I started feeling a slight tickle in my throat and even felt a little warm. I hoped and prayed I wasn't coming down with a cold. I continued to feel the same the day before.
On race morning I woke up still feeling like crap. I had my typical PB&J sandwich with coffee/chocolate milk about 2 hours before the start fo the race. This has worked well for me in the past with 5K's, so I didn't want to fix what wasn't broke.
I got to the race about 1/2 hour before th start and got a nice parking spot only a few houses down from the start line. Cool! I jogged a little to warm up in the 25* weather and was pretty calm waiting for the horn.
The horn sounded about 10 minutes late, so I was anxious to get going. We started off and the very first part was up hill and got my HR up quickly. By the end of the race I would learn that Baldwinsville was a lot more hilly than I ever knew. It seemed like I was getting passed by everyone. I started to worry that I would come in last...something I definitely didn't want. I can hold my own running 5K's because there's usually people who walk, but there were no walkers here. For a moment I really questioned if I should be doing it, but I had started and I was determined to finish...even if it was last.
I was having trouble running in zone 2 probably because of my cold medication. I ran most of the race in zone 3, but I actually felt OK doing it.
Just before the half way mark we made a left turn. I had been wanting to turn around to see how many people I was "beating," but I had resisted the urge. However, once I made that turn, I had to take a look. I saw about a dozen people. Please, God, don't let them pass me!!!! My plan was to speed up the second half of the race, so I convinced myself that they probably didn't have a cool plan like I had and they probably would be slowing, not speeding up.
Another thing that happened at about the half way mark was my stomach started growling. My PB&J sandwich 2 hours before a 5K might not be the best plan for a 10K. Will have to work on this!
I saw the last water station and estimated it was about 1.5 miles from the finish. Two ladies had passed me just before the table then stopped to get a drink and walk a bit. I was determined not to let them pass me again. There was an up hill, so I turned it on as best as I could. I even passed one more person on my way to the finish. As I turned the corner to the finish, you could practically hear crickets because most of the crowd was gone and on their way home to their Thanksgiving feasts.
I crossed the finish line in 1:07:44 and got a high-five from someone in a polar bear suit. He was probably wishing us slow pokes would finish so he could get out of that stupid smelly suit. I was very chilled at that point. About 2/3 through the race, I was hot and took my hat off to cool down a bit. Eventually I put it back on before the finish, but I had probably left it off too long. I was looking forward to the pizza being offered, but it was gone by the time I finished. Not only was there no celebration when I finished, but there was little food either. Very disappointing for something that was a milestone for me. The water and banana I did manage to get tasted like crap, probably because of my cold.
The walk to my car was brutal. I was freezing, hungry, and just wanted to go home. Note to self: park your car close to the FINISH line, not the start line!
Anticipating a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't eat a lot when I got home. I probably should have because I really started to feel queezy, but I did snap out of it once I got turkey, stuffing, etc in my tummy....YUM!
Although my legs really felt stiff the rest of the day, I was pleasantly surprised when they didn't hurt the next day. Maybe my body is getting used to this running stuff after all!
So, I've got one more race planned for 2010 (It's a Wonderful Run on Dec 11, a 5K). I definitely will do more 10K's, but I think from now on a 5K is sufficient on Thanksgiving Day. That way I'll actually get a slice of pizza!