Friday, February 16, 2024

My Better Half 10k 2024

Let me start by saying how absolutely relieved I am that I chose to run the 10k instead of the half this year. If had I any doubts that I was making the right decision, they fled the moment I checked the weather report for race day.

44°? No problem. Perfect, even. 90% chance of rain? No thanks.

I woke up with some stomach issues, which complicated things a little that morning. Instead of eating my overnight oats, my breakfast consisted of Immodium. Sarah picked me up at 7:15. I had been worried about leaving Zoe so early in the morning, but she went into her crate easily.
I wore new tights on race day to fit the theme and they slipped a little, which was a bummer. Another reason running a 10k was better than a half this year!
We arrived at Seward Park around 7:40 and found parking in the surrounding neighborhood. We jogged to the start. Everything is so much less stressful when you're "only" running 6 miles! I didn't even have to think about carrying water or food with me.

We had time to use the bathroom, then get to the start. We started pretty far back because neither of us were feeling incredibly strong. In Sarah's case, she'd been getting over a month-long sinus infection that she only just started antibiotics for; and actually, we discovered on Friday she wasn't signed up for the race at all! She'd been wait-listed. So, the plan was for her to join me for the first lap and then see how she felt.
I love this course.
The first lap was fairly uneventful. The hill at mile .5 was tougher this year than last (another reminder that I really need to stop avoiding hills in training) and I forgot about the second, smaller hill that the 10k runners have to tackle shortly after the first. I totally gassed myself on those hills, but managed to avoid a walk break.
I told myself, just get through the Tunnel of Love!...and then that tunnel was way farther away than I remembered it being!
We actually finished the first 3.3 miles before we walked; for context, I've been walking after 1-2 miles on training runs, so this was impressive. It was also a good reminder that I can do much more than I think I can.
I tested new headphones during this race. More on those in a later post!
At the end of the first lap, Sarah decided to hang back and let me finish on my own. I let myself walk more than I should have (at miles 4, 4.6, 5.1, and 5.8) but while running I kept a pretty good pace. I was feeling a little down about my performance, but I was also completely avoiding looking at my watch for anything other than distance, so I didn't really know my pace/time until the end.

Mile 1 included both hills. Ouch. Still faster than my training runs have averaged!
Around mile 5.5 it started to drizzle pretty steadily, and shortly after I crossed the finish line, it started to pour. I have never been so glad I only had a 10k to run! 
Not too shabby!
My tights look polka-dotted, but those are raindrops.
I was pleasantly surprised to find my time was fairly respectable! I had been expecting a 1:10 finish. We took some photos and then started the loooong, rainy walk back to the car. As my socks soaked through, I once again thanked my lucky stars I had had the foresight to switch to the 10k.

So, how did it feel? Honestly, I don't think I was totally present during this race. I didn't have a race plan or a goal in mind. I never felt like I settled into that mental and physical space where your body just sort of glides through the miles. My memory of the race feels a little fuzzy. I'm happy with the outcome but wish I had put more effort into the mental side of things and taken the time to be in the moment.
Physically, it was a struggle, but I can tell I did actually put in more effort than I thought at the time – my quads and calves were killing me the next day! It must've been the hills. (But, on a positive note, I didn't have any shin splints during the race! I guess strength training really does make a difference.)
Anyway, that makes another birthday race to check off the list! Elizabeth joined me virtually in her matching outfit, as usual, and I'm ready to close the chapter on another year. I know the next one has some great things in store.


  1. You got a windshirt, too? Sweet! The enemy of "good" is "better." LOL--"it was good but I could have done better". NO! It was a good run. It was what it was, so no second-guessing. It's always easier to re-run and improve after the fact! Enjoy your bday run, however it goes, and however many miles! Love you!