I didn’t push myself as hard in this race as I did in the 5K the week before. Which is not to say I didn’t run hard, I just didn’t run quite as hard. Which was fine. Good, even. The last (and only) time I’ve run a 10K before was when I was 7 months pregnant with Elsa. I finished in 50 minutes, and I was sure I could beat that. Automatic PR! Other than that, I didn’t really know what to expect of myself. I thought that maybe, if I pushed myself as hard as I did in the 5K, I could be in the 42 minute range. I for sure wanted to run a sub-7:00 average. But still, I didn’t really know what to expect.
Sidenote: On my way down to the race, a lady (who was very flustered) asked me where packet pick-up was. I told her I thought it was in the other direction – there would be no way she would make it there and back down to the start line in time. She was a little upset, but said she’d run it anyway. Turns out, she had been a contestant on The Biggest Loser and was doing this race as part of a 50 races in 50 states kind of goal. She only had a handful of races after this one.
The race started going up the hill, then went back down, then back up at mile 5. There were a few girls I was trying to stay with, and I eventually did pass them. When I hit the 3 mile mark, someone said I was among the top 10 women, which was totally unexpected and which I only partly believed. But it was motivation enough for me to keep pushing it and to not let any other women pass me.
That goal was nearly thwarted as I neared the top of the hill. Micah and the kids were there waiting to cheer me on. Oliver had his hand out for a high-5, and as I ran by, I missed his hand. I could hear that he was sad about it, so I turned around and we tried again – successfully. It was really only a couple of steps, and I don’t think anyone passed me, but I did lose a few seconds (which I don’t regret at all).
Micah rode with the kids to the other side of the park and caught me again about half way through the last mile. I’m pretty sure he went just fast enough to encourage me to keep my pace. And I think it worked. I felt like I finished strong, even though it was really hard by the end. I finished in 43:08, was 5th in my age group and the 12th woman overall. (I think the person who told me I was in the top 10 might have missed the pack of 6 elite women who finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of me.)
It was a good race. I’m glad I did it because now I have a real baseline for the 10K. Next time I hope to crack into the 42 minute range, and I hope, one day, to get down to 40. Although I might need Micah to pace me if I’m ever going to do that.