Race Report: Sporting Life 10 KM
I began this year with some big goals for my racing which included a lot of PBs in some distances I have not tackled in a long time. I wanted to see how much I had improved and I was aggressive in my time goals. I tackled my 5 KM distance earlier this year and the Sporting Life 10KM was the only race this year where I was planning on racing the 10 KM distance.
It is both scary and humbling to say you are racing something. It is easy to go to the start line of a race announce to everyone else that it is a training run or a nice tempo effort while internally you are hoping to crush the race, but to openly acknowledging that you are going to put everything you have into a race is a completely different animal. Because it is scary to think that you might not reach that goal and everyone is there to witness that you just didn’t have what it took that day.
It IS scary, but it’s worth it because then you put everything you have into it. That is what Sporting Life 10 KM was to me.
Let me start by saying that this race is largely downhill so you have a huge push of speed which is great for an endurance runner like me who is not familiar with racing the 10 KM distance. I knew that it was a speedy course so I set an aggressive goal of sub 38 minutes. This goal saw me at the track at 5 am to get my speed workouts in during the weeks leading up to the race and doing run therapy like a crazy woman. My shin began bothering me a little bit in the lead up to the race and working with the professionals in my life who supported me in continuing to train (I never would have raced if I was told not to run), I did the best I could to keep inflammation down and stay healthy.
Leading up to the race, I was cautiously optimistic. I knew that I needed to be careful with my shin but I had put in the work and my running has progressed significantly since the last time I raced 10 KM PB in 2014 (42:01). The race morning, I headed to the start line for 7 am as my wave started at 7:30 am. I loved the early start, especially as I am normally up and at it by 5 am so this was perfect for me.
I was so excited to do this race because I would be running with 4 of my friends who were either pacing me or racing the same time as me. I have never been paced in a race before and was eager to see the benefits.
The race began right on time and I settled into the first KM, trying not to go out of the gate too hot. My overall goal was to run 3:45/km for the whole race and see what happened. When a race goes well for me, the first couple km float by for me which was certainly NOT the case for this race. I was painfully aware of every foot fall and km marking, right from the beginning. I knew going off the start line that it would not be my day but I did not allow that to be an excuse and did my best to stick to the plan.
I was so grateful to have my friends there with me and even as I fell behind on the pace as the course flattened out and the wind picked up a bit, they were encouraging me to keep moving, blocking the wind for me and trying to distract me. I didn’t have an easy 10 KM race and I needed to dig deep in order to get to that finish line and I am proud of that. I finished with a time of 38:08 which was off of my time goal, but was a healthy PB from my last 10 KM on the same course.
I am not ashamed of my time in any way. I worked hard for it. The challenge was accepting that it was not my goal time. I accepted it and moved on, focusing on what I could learn from the race.
Things I did right
- Running with my friends. I loved this and I found that it helped make a difficult race go by much faster than it would have otherwise.
- Eating a staple meal before the race
- Racing with New Balance Zantes. These were a perfect amount of cushioning and speed for me to feel confident on the course
Things I did wrong
- Looking back at my training week, I may taper more for my next race. I did not feel fresh on the startline and that was a problem
- Racing with a tweak. Even though it didn’t hurt while I was running, I know my shin was a psycological factor to my racing and it is always hard to race when things aren’t feeling perfect.
Since the race, I have taken a break from running to make sure I am completely healthy before launching back into my Ironman 70.3 run training. It has improved significantly even after one week of rest, but I am planning on giving it at least one more week to be safe. Losing incremental fitness is not a huge deal compared to losing weeks due to injury.
So what is next for me? I am shifting into an endurance focus for the summer. I have a 300 mile race in a couple weekends (some of that is paddling and mountain biking), the IRONMAN 70.3 in July and the Sea Wheeze half marathon in August. Fall is full of more endurance focused activities which just seems to be my comfort zone. Will I be pushing back to 10 KM at some point to get that sub 38 min monkey off my back? ABSOLUTELY! But for now, I am focusing on what is next and doing that well.
What races do you have this summer?