Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Women of Wonder 10K Race Recap

posted by Leila Z. on ,

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I had a few running-related goals this year, but one of the more results-oriented of them was to PR in at least one distance this year. June brought about a successful 5K race in the Magnuson Series, and I decided to capitalize on that fitness by chasing down a 10K PR to boot. Plus, I was excited to take part in the Women of Wonder race; it's a very "up with women" event and takes place on my (very flat) home course around Green Lake, so I was in! I was hoping to be able to debut my Oiselle singlet, but it didn't arrive until a few days later -- but I visualized myself wearing it during the race! :)

I didn't have my new Oiselle singlet yet for this race, but I had it on in my mind!

I decided to do this race about a month out, so I started tailoring my weekly track workouts to longer intervals and doing slightly longer tempos as well. I've decided my new favorite workout is 2K repeats, and now vying for my least favorite workout (with 800s) was a brutal 3 x 2 miler that I did about 10 days before the race. I was slightly concerned about the race distance -- as a frequent run commuter I get plenty of mileage, but often in several 2-3 mile runs a day, so I don't often run 10K in one go. I made sure to do at least a couple of longer (for me) 7-ish mile runs in the weeks leading up to the race. My race goals were: A) break one hour, B) PR (previous PR: 1:04:42), and C) stay mentally tough when things got hard.  


Packet pickup was available at Super Jock 'n' Jill the day before the race, which was super convenient. Even more convenient was the fact that I convinced my husband to go pick up my packet for me, since I was "working", and totally not watching "Entourage" while my Very Important Simulations were running. 

Race Day

Race day dawned rather gloomy and grey -- my preferred conditions to run! It was misting ever so slightly as I forced down an egg and chapati (I was awake but my stomach wasn't). After some more bed lounging to refocus, I got dressed and jogged over to the starting line, arriving about 10 minutes before the start.

You know how some days running is just magical and you feel as if you are springing from cloud to cloud? Well, this was not one of those days, to my disappointment. I didn't feel exceedingly horrible or wonderful; instead it was a race where (happily for me, on the day), you get out of it what you've put into the training bank.
Smiling and happy pre-race
Miles 1-3: 9:36, 9:36, 9:33

At the start there were corrals rather unhelpfully labeled "A", "B", "C", and "D", and the announcer clarified not at all by saying "6:00 and under at the front, joggers behind, strollers behind them". As has happened before, I had no clue where to start, but finally decided to stand near the front of the "B" corral. I think perhaps I should have started further up because when the gun went off even I (who usually start very conservatively) wanted to go around the people in front of me.

I quickly locked into my pace and focused on feeling relaxed, running strong, and looking out for the tangents of the road. My plan was to run 9:35's through the first half, so I was pleased with how easy my consistency felt.

Mile 4-5: 9:26, 9:31

The race course was two laps around Green Lake. As I came around the first lap, I saw Greg and Phil cheering, the ladies from Running Evolution giving high fives, and two guys in wigs belting out "Sweet Caroline" karaoke-style; between that and my 5K split (29:47?), I think I got too excited for mile 4. I tried to reel myself back in, partly unsuccessfully.

I wanted to run the first half controlled and race the second 5K, but dang, I was tired. Mile 5 in particular was me trying to rachet down the pace, though it's not necessarily reflected in the split. I latched on to a group of ladies going a bit faster than me to let them pull me along, but then felt intensely irritated that they were running and chatting while I was doing everything to stay with them. By this time the light refreshing mist had also devolved into a pretty substantial rain.

Mile 6: 9:20
Last 0.2 (Garmin says 0.26): 2:07

I was as tired as ever here, but through the fog still tried to give myself a pep talk about how many times have I run intervals when more tired than this? And that were longer than this? And run them faster than this? I passed the group of ladies I had latched onto in Mile 5, and unfortunately had to do some extra work dodging the straggling 5Kers who were uniformly walking 4-5 abreast. By this time it was raining pretty hard, but to their credit, Greg and the 8yo were still out waiting to cheer for me. I kicked as much as I could the last couple of tenths (couldn't muster much) and crossed the finish line in 59:10.
Serious painface and the world's most unflattering photo must mean I'm doing something right?
This was a huge race for me -- more than a five-and-a-half minute PR! Most importantly, I had a race plan and was able to execute it pretty much perfectly, even on a day when I didn't feel sparkly. And, through training, I have managed to become a bit more comfortable being (sometimes quite) uncomfortable during races -- I'm excited to capitalize on my current fitness and work toward some other distances in the coming months (stay tuned). Finally, many thanks to Greg and Phil for coming to cheer in the rain, and especially to my dear husband for the "coaching" and listening to a slow bird obsess over incremental progress!

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