Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ten for Texas 2013: Race Recap


I started running again late July after a two and a half year hiatus.  I quickly signed up for a local 10-miler called Ten for Texas.  I needed a goal, so I wouldn't quit exercising in the crazy Texas summer heat.  My primary goal for the race was to finish.  However, I quickly realized that I could do better than that and pushed my goal up to 10 minute miles.  Training was going well and I finished several six milers at a 9 min pace so I decided to make my goal finish time 1:30.  This was maybe a little too ambitious.

Race day started early.  I woke before my alarm at 5:15 am.  I dressed, ate a breakfast of Nutella on toast and drank about 8 oz of gatorade.  I left the house at six.  I brought both my arm band for my iphone and my hydration belt.  I didn't intend to use my belt, but lightening and thunder made me change my mind.  I didn't want to risk my phone in a downpour.  I took all the water bottles off my hydration belt (I can't run fast with them in--too much sloshing and bouncing) and walked from the parking lot to Market Street.

Upon exiting the portapotties, I ran into my running buddies.  Serendipity.  We hadn't planned a meeting spot.  More friends joined up with us, too.  I guess the portapotties is just the place to be.

After taking pictures and chatting, we lined up in our designated zones.  I lined up at the 9 min spot, hoping to make that my goal.  The race hadn't even started yet and I was already soaking wet.  It was so hot--75 degrees already and the humidity was about 95%.  Why, oh, why, couldn't the race have taken place on Monday when the weather was perfect--50s and no humidity? Oh, well, it is what it is.  I live in Texas.

My stats aren't perfect, I started my phone early and I forgot to turn it off when I finished, but I'll put out the best numbers.

Miles 1-5:  9, 9, 9:39, 10, 9:30 I was sweating a lot, but my heart rate was good.  I was really happy to see my husband and kids just after the two mile mark!

These miles, I didn't feel like I pushing it too hard.  At mile four I realized I was slowing a bit, I worked a little harder and got my feet to turn faster and brought my pace back down a bit.  The heat and humidity were really getting to me, though.  I knew this meant I would probably have to go for my plan B under 1:40 or ten minute miles.  Woodlands Parkway has a slight uphill grade and I could feel it by mile 5.  I couldn't wait to turn the corner and start the slight downhill.

Mile 6 and 7: 10:13, 10:30--Ugh!  The sun came out as I turned the corner and I was having a hard time with the heat.  I took my Gu at mile 6 water stop.  I think this was my downfall.  I should've taken my Gu earlier, like mile 4.  The Gu helped a lot, but with the sun and humidity was wearing me out sooner than if it was a cooler morning.  I had never ran more than six miles at my 9 minute pace and that was on a much cooler day.  I started to get discouraged.  Even though I had changed my goal around mile 5, I still harbored a secret wish that my adrenaline would kick in and I would be able to give it my all.  Instead I was talking my feet into turning over. And, by the way, where was that rain that the heaven's promised earlier!  Seriously, I could have done with a little of that downpour now.

Miles 8, 9, and 10: 11:20, 11:13, 11:30  I did not want to run.  My feet felt like they were in a sauna.  I don't know why.  It's not like I'm new to running in the humidity. I was wearing the same socks I always were.  Honestly, when I finally took my shoes off at home, they were all wrinkly--like I'd been swimming.  That has never happened to me before.  It is now hours later and my shoes are still wet.  I don't get it.  I  must have stepped in a puddle, though I don't remember it.  Or maybe it was all the cups of icy cold water I poured on my head that dripped to my feet, but I digress.  My sauna feet hurt and I couldn't move them.  Just after mile 9 we had to climb a very short hill to get over the overpass.  I ran over it and let my feet fly down the other side.  That felt good, but the momentum didn't keep.  I had to go back to talking my feet into turning over.

At last I entered Market Street.  I couldn't see the finish line because it was in the courtyard.  Someone yelled out, "Just three more turns!"  This gave me a little bit of a boost and I was able to pass a few people.  After the third turn, I was able to see the finish line.  I don't know where it came from, but I did those last 50 yards in a sprint.  My ap put my speed at 6:20 min/mile for those last 50 yards.  I passed a lot of people on that stretch.

I crossed the finish line at 1:43:40, or at 10:22 average pace--most of those extra minutes were logged in the last three miles.  It's okay, though, because next year I'll have a time to beat.

I am very proud of myself.  I had a baby eight months ago.  I started running three months ago.  At the start I couldn't run a mile at 11 minutes and now I ran ten miles at less than that pace!  I didn't get my goal number, but I gave it all I had today.

I loved this race.   It was such a fun atmosphere and the race food was divine.  I loved that my husband brought all five kids to the finish to cheer me on.  He is a special guy.  I am very lucky.

And, I can't wait for my first marathon in March!

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