Sunday, October 14, 2012

Proud and Feeling More Confident!

Yesterday I ran the Rock 'n' Roll New York 10k- my fourth 10k race.  I ran this race last year, in it's inaugural year, and it was a bit of a disaster.  Baggage and pickup were horrible.  However, the shirts, medals and course were good, and they promised to make some necessary changes for this year, so I signed up again. Maybe I also have a special spot for this race in my heart because it was my first 10k.

Anthony (boyfriend) was also registered for this race, but as of Friday night, he wasn't planning on running it.  He felt bad about it, although I told him not to.  I woke up a little after 5:30am yesterday, and put my race outfit on (shorts, compression sleeves and a long sleeved shirt, and I put on gloves later), along with sweatpants and a sweatshirt to wear until I had to ditch them- it was only 39 degrees out!  When I came out of the bathroom, Anthony was getting ready too!  I wasn't planning on having him there, since he hadn't run in a week and I knew he was tired, but it was a nice surprise to not have to go to Brooklyn at 6am by myself!

We finally made it out to Brooklyn at 6:40, but had to get to packet pick up by 7am, so we started running.  Fortunately it was downhill and warmed us up because it was COLD!  We finally found the packet pick up/baggage area (note to Rock 'n' Roll- some signs in the future would be REALLY helpful) and got our stuff.  The porta-potty line was relatively short for a race- score! We put our stuff in baggage and were on our way to the start around 7:20am, for a 7:30 start.  We were in wave 1 so were up front and able to see/hear everything going on.  However, at this point I was only wearing my race outfit so it was really cold!  Fortunately Anthony and I hugged/huddled until the start to keep each other warm! Although we probably looked super cheesy! :)

I have the Garmin 110, which is basic, but I love it.  I've always had the auto lap set for a mile, which means that unless I'm constantly doing math in my head (which gets complicated when you're running lots of miles!), I never know my average pace until the end of a run/race.  However, I took my auto lap off, so for the race yesterday, my Garmin was saying my average pace, rather than pace for the current mile.  As a result, I don't have any splits (unfortunately), but liked it much better to have the whole overall race average, rather than the current mile pace.

Course map

The first three 10k races I ran were hard, and I could never figure out how to pace myself.  It's too far to go all out, but not far enough to hold back like in a half marathon. How do you do it?!  Going into yesterday's race, my 10k PR was 47:04, which I set two days before I started marathon training.  For this race, I was hoping for a PR of around 46:30. Nothing crazy, but hoped/thought it was doable.

The race got started a few minutes late, but were finally off!  The first time I looked down at my Garmin, probably less than 0.5 miles in, it said 6:44.  I knew this was too fast, so slowed down a little bit.  I settled into a pace that felt really comfortable- 7:02-ish per mile. What?! This now felt comfortable?!  Since when are low 7's manageable?!  They feel so terrible when I do tempo runs or speedwork around that pace.... However, I wanted to stick with it as long as it was feeling uncomfortably comfortable.  I felt great, was cruising along and was even singing along (not out loud- that would have been painful for everyone) to my music! I hit the 5k mark right around 22 minutes (7:05 pace). Right after that, we made the turn back into the park, and I struggled mentally for the first time.  But I quickly got rid of the negative thoughts and kept thinking, "even if I bonk the last few miles, I'll still PR! But I'm not going to bonk, I can totally do this!" Mentally, I only had a few brief moments of doubt about my pace, or making it up the next Prospect Park hill during the race, and physically, I felt awesome!  I was passing guys left and right, even up the hill the 2nd time! [I've really come to love running races mostly only around guys- it gives me adrenaline every time I pass one, or when they look over their shoulder and see a girl coming up behind them! Sorry dudes...but thanks for the extra help! :)]

I hit the 6 mile mark, turned towards the finish, and picked up my pace as much as possible!  I finished in 44:14, 7:07 pace.  I'm not one to brag or gloat about my times, or even get super excited and proud of myself for PRs (that's dumb, I know I should be happy about ANY PR). But I am SO proud and happy about this. And honestly, I'm still in shock.  I always calculate paces before races (well, also before and after every run, and probably 20 other times throughout the day....runner nerd!) but for this race, I never calculated any paces faster than a 46:00 finish.  Even halfway through the race when I was still feeling good, I was only hoping for 45:xx.  I had no idea that I had this type of race in me. After this 10k, I'm feeling so much more confident about the Philly marathon and about running in general.  I would of course to love to qualify for the Boston Marathon at Philly (sub 3:35)- who wouldn't?!  There, I said it (scary).  After yesterday, I'm feeling much more confident that it might be possible.

When I ran this race last year, my time was 48:13- almost exactly 4 minutes slower than yesterday! And  when I ran the Queens 10k two days before starting marathon training, I ran almost 3 minutes slower than yesterday! Yes it was disgustingly hot and humid, but I definitely didn't have a much faster time in me that day. It's so nice to see some actual and big results come out of this marathon training!

Based on Running Times, McMillan's Running and Riegel Predictor and my new 10k time, my predicted marathon time is between 3:26-3:28! I don't need to be greedy. I'd be plenty happy with even just a few seconds sub-3:35! However, I do have to keep in mind that this is my first marathon and 26.2 miles is, well, FAR. I don't want to be disappointed if I don't BQ, or don't finish sub-4:00. But going into this marathon, the confidence I gained from yesterday was exactly what I needed for my last few weeks of training! I just need to remember to carry it with me through my last few long runs, and on race day.

Official results:

BTW, Anthony also PR'ed yesterday!  I don't know how he does it, since he usually doesn't run more than once or twice a week, but he beat his time by about a minute! Congrats!!!

So, I've now figured out the key to racing a 10k: train for a marathon. I'm a genius and you're welcome. :)

What Garmin do you use, that shows average overall pace, as well as current pace? What did you think of the new course and race yesterday? Are you tapering now?! If you are, I'm jealous of you.


  1. Congrats on the PR!

    I've had the 110 for over a year and started having problems with mine this summer. It loses the signal almost immediately when I start running and gets it back about 3 minutes later, so unless I know exactly where one mile ends and hit "lap," or I'm running with someone else and hit it when theirs beeps, it clocks around a 12 minute first mile before reverting to 9:00ish pace and behaving for the rest of the run. Argh!

    I tried what you did at a half last weekend, only I hit "lap" at each of the mile markers because I wanted to see what my actual splits were after not hitting the tangents. My moving pace was still all over the place as it normally was. So, with what you did, did it really show your average pace for the whole run? Like, as you neared the end, it showed your 7:07 pace? Maybe I should go with this method at NYCM instead of stressing myself out with the numbers...

    Sorry for leaving you an essay! :)

  2. Thank you! That sucks about your 110 having issues! :( Mine has started having some problems on my way to Central/Riverside park- says I'm running 10+ minutes/mile, but then usually corrects itself once I get to the park.

    I also tried hitting "lap" on a run recently, without the auto lap on, but then think it changes pace to only show current time since the last time you hit lap? I wanted splits too, but it threw everything else off. So yes, without auto lap or any manual "laps" thrown in, it shows the same pace as you're finishing the run as your average pace when you end it and then go to history! LOVE IT! So for the 10k, it said 7:07 (or close, because it went up to 6.24 for that race) as I was crossing the finish line! I did it again for a run yesterday and it's so nice to know what your overall pace is! Although I wish I could still get splits. Obviously need a fancier watch for that! I'm 99% sure this is how I'm going to do it for the Philly marathon, then will just have to rely on clock times/split times for my 5k, 10k, etc splits. Or else my boyfriend has a 210, which I think might have average pace and current mile pace??

    Sorry for leaving you an essay in response :)

  3. Congrats, girl! Awesome stuff and I am so with you on your point about tempo runs at pace always feeling rotten when races at the same pace, or quicker feeling better! Maybe it's the adrenalin? Even so, brilliant work. Well done!!

  4. Wow, 23 out of 2759 for gender and 5th in your division??? That's amazing!!! Congrats! Now I absolutely HAVE to do speedwork, seeing your amazing results. What an awesome race day :)