This morning I drove over to Bonita, Ca to run my first official 10K. It was cold! My phone said it was 40 degrees out there. Fortunately, I was dressed for the cold and there was a McDonald’s across the street where I was able to pick up a hot cup of coffee.
The race started at 8:05am. The course is a jogging trail that goes all the way around a golf course and a park. Each lap is 5k, so for the 10k runners like myself (there were only 2 other runners) we had to run two laps. There were also runners doing a 5k, 50k, 50miles, and 100 miles, which means that’s a lot of laps.
The main selling point for me wanting to do the 10k was that at the time I was the only one registered for the race, so if I finished, (which I knew I would) I won. Two other people were there today to run the 10k and I’m not gonna lie…they smoked me. It was a man and a woman. I never even saw the man so he must have been flying but I was trying to keep the woman in my sight, and I did… for about half of the first lap when I finally stopped jogging and had to walk a little. I tried picking up my pace but I never regained sight of her.
I did a little run walking during the end of the first lap but I felt like I was slowing down too much so on the second lap whenever I would walk, it would only be for a tiny bit and then I’d be running again. This tall, skinny kid who was just running for fun at the park went flying past me. He looked so graceful and ran super fast. He looked like one of those ostrich dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. I, on the other hand, looked like a big, clunky machine taking one heavy step after the other towards the finish line. At one point, I slowed my pace a little too much and a group of runners who were doing the 100 miler started catching up to me. I was like, “no way! They’re keeping a slow pace because they need to conserve their energy. There’s no way I’m gonna run that slow when it’s my last lap.” I took off running and put some distance between myself and them. Whenever I’d stop to walk, I’d look back to see where they were. If I could still see them, I’d take off running again. Kind of like when the dog gets out of the house and you call it to come back but it just looks back at you, and when you get closer, it takes off running some more. That’s pretty much what I did for the rest of the race all the way to the finish line.
The race experience is definitely different than the training run experience. I definitely felt my competitive edge kick in. At first, I wanted to beat the other two runners, but when that didn’t happen, I wanted to try and beat my time so I went faster than I normally do. I kept it at a 10 minute mile for most of the race but finished with an 11 minute mile average. I also took this opportunity to try to learn. I noticed this other 100 miler earlier who was taking quick, small steps and moving pretty fast (faster than me), so I tried that. One of the things my brother the ultrarunner always tells me is that you have to look at what other runners are doing and see if there is anything you can learn. The quick, small steps seemed to work for me. It felt like it was less impact on my joints and I felt like I was gaining distance pretty fast. Not as fast as that ostrich kid but faster than I’m used to running and with what felt like less effort. I also learned about the importance of good gear. Today I was wearing the full on runner’s uniform. I was wearing the shoes, the tights, shorts (because I’m modest), headband, wristbands, and my gps watch. I was also cranking up the cool tunes to keep me pumped.
Speaking of impact & joints, my knees actually felt pretty good today. When I first got there, I did some jumping jacks to warm up and my right knee hurt a little bit but when I started running I didn’t really feel a thing. There was one section of the race where my knees hurt a little and that’s when I started doing more run walking but I would keep the walking very brief (walk to the tree, run to the next tree, walk to the sign, run the to bridge).
When I got to the finish line, my quads were sore but I felt good. I finished with a time of 1 hour and 9 minutes. The other two runners were already there and they congratulated me and I congratulated them. I told them about how I tried to keep her in my sights but that didn’t last too long. They reminded me that when you do these races, it’s really all about racing yourself and improving your time and technique. I’ll keep that in mind.
Overall, it was a very fun day, a very fun experience, the racing team was very supportive, and I met a lot of runners who I’m sure I’ll see again at future races.
Most of the gear I was wearing today (shoes, tights, shirt, head\wristbands) is Under Armour. They’re having a HUGE outlet sale if you’re interested. I do get a commission from sales made from this link or any of the UA links at the bottom of the page and sidebars. Use code SHOPUA25 to get free shipping on any orders above $25.