Remember when I said, “I definitely wouldn’t consider it a PR course as it is extremely hilly?” Well, I apparently lied about that since I bettered my 10k PR by over 40 seconds.
Sometimes I really don’t understand my body. Recently, it seems like when I prepare perfectly for a race it doesn’t end up going well. Yet, I did barely anything right for this race and it goes great. First of all, I’m not near peak form right now. I took some time off after my marathon, and just barely started doing a little bit of speed work last week. Secondly, I wasn’t eating very smart going into the race. I literally ate this maple creemee the night before. I know, not smart, but it tasted so good!
I guess what I did do right was not to get nervous. I decided I was going to wing the race just for fun a few days before. I thought that I could probably better my time from last year, but I didn’t think I had a PR in me. There’s about a mile long hill in the second half of the race, so I wasn’t expecting a fast time. Logically, I did know I was in good shape. I put so much effort in training for the marathon, but my performances this spring just didn’t reflect that.
The first half of the race is an out and back on a paved road. It has a few little rolling hills, but is pretty flat for the most part. I wanted to make sure to go out easy to prepare for the hill in the second half. A few minutes in I tucked in behind a couple other women, but started to feel very antsy as I could tell they were working harder than I was. I waited a few more minutes before going ahead. I caught up to two other guys and we ran together until about halfway where we turned onto Camels Hump Road. Once I got to the hill I went ahead of them and started to push a bit. That hill sure is something and I was definitely hurting towards the top. I was glad this part was in the shade. I’m not a great downhill runner, but I did my best to let it all go coming back down. Towards the bottom, a guy had caught up to me, but I really kicked it in the last mile. I thought I heard his footsteps right behind me, but didn’t let myself glance back until the last turn when I realized I had lost him. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but kind of wish I did so that I knew how fast my last mile was. I felt good, or at least as good as you can feel at the end of a race. Overall results; 1st woman, 42:42.
I thought the race was put on really well. It was definitely on the small size, but sometimes I like those types of races more than the big ones. There was chip timing, a few water stops along the way, awesome prizes, and sundaes afterwards. I won a gallon of maple syrup – booyah! I might sneak some with me the next time I get pancakes in Mass. The real stuff is just so much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat much of my sundae since I always feel kind of queasy after a race. I do the thing where I think I’m hungry and get a bunch of food, but then when I actually start to eat I feel nasty. I normally am actually hungry a few hours after. Does anyone else get that? It’s so annoying.
All in all, I think what I need to remember going forward is that it takes time to learn certain races. I think I’ve run about four 10ks and I still have a LOT of learning left. Just because my first marathon didn’t go well doesn’t mean that I’m not a good marathoner. You can’t base your talent of the distance off of one race. There’s so much to learn. I may not be destined to be a good marathoner… who knows? But I shouldn’t assume that so soon.
The rest of my weekend has been jam-packed with as many Vermont activities as I could fit in. I got to see some of my friends, went for a run over at Mills River, and hiked up Mt. Mansfield. I wouldn’t suggest doing that after running a race… probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but we still had a blast. I’ll be spending a little while longer in VT today before heading back tonight.