Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing in a PR

I ran the Inaugural Ringing In Hope 10K today at 3:30pm. I've done the Fairfax Four Miler as my New Year's Eve race for the past two years, but when I got an email advertising this race, I opted to do it instead. The main reason was that I really wanted a 10K PR that lined up with my other race times. My previous 10K (47:55) PR had been set on a very hilly course and I knew I could do at least a minute faster. Another bonus was that the race was at 3:30 instead of 6:30, so it would be lighter out and not as cold. The past two years the four miler has had a real-feel in the teen's, and it wasn't fun. I also liked that the proceeds went to charity.

3:30pm was an odd time for a race, so I wasn't quite sure what to do about eating. I decided to have a sandwich for breakfast and a bagel for lunch. I made sure to hydrate throughout the day and yesterday as well. The weather forecast was calling for a real-feel of 55, which is actually on the warmer side for me. I couldn't believe I was worried about a Dec. 31 race being too hot.

I wore my Pacers singlet and my red running skirt. It actually ended up being somewhat overcast and about 52 degrees, which was actually really nice. On Dec. 31, I could have been facing high winds, rain, really cold temperatures, but I think I lucked out.

My husband Greg and I got to the race, got our bibs and D-Tags, and did a 1.5-mile warmup on the course. I noticed that it was rolling hills, so I decided to use my tried and true strategy of even effort: faster on the downhills and conservative on the uphills.

Miles 1-2
The first mile was way too fast at 7:15. But the first quarter mile was all downhill. So the downhill combined with the adrenaline of a race start made for a fast start. However, I knew I'd be running that quarter mile uphill at the end, so I was glad I banked the time. For most of the first two miles, I was leap-frogging with one woman who was running a steady pace, but I eventually passed her for good.
Mile 1: 7:15
Mile 2: 7:33

Miles 3-4
There was a woman next to me who commented that we were doing a lot of downhill running, which worried her for the way back. I thought that it was about even with the ups and downs, and the only hill I was really dreading on the way back was that final one. At the water station, I took water and poured it all over my head. I was on the verge of getting too warm, so I figured the water would prevent that. Another interesting thing about this race was that it got cooler as the race progressed. Normally it's the other way around, but this time the sun was setting, and I actually did cool down during the last three miles.
Mile 3: 7:34
Mile 4: 7:23

Miles 5-6
Finish Line
Every time I run a race, I end up with some mantra that helps me through. I usually think of this mantra during the first few miles. Today it was: "It does matter". Sometimes when races are hard and I start to bonk, I tell myself that it doesn't matter, there will be other races. And that it's okay to slow down. So today I told myself early on that it does matter, and that I wanted a solid 10K PR that I could be proud of. I'm used to slowing down a lot during the last two miles of the 10K and I fully expected that to happen today, but I insisted that I would maintain a solid effort. And it worked! I actually ran the last two miles faster than expected:
Mile 5: 7:28
Mile 6: 7:28

I actually got a boost during mile 5 when I was running just behind a guy who smelled really bad. We were running at the same pace, and I didn't want to speed up, but it finally got so bad that I sped up to pass him and get a good distance ahead of him. If it hadn't been for that, I might have run a 7:32 mile 5.

The Finish
The quarter mile downhill that started the race made that last 0.2 really a killer. I stayed strong up the hill, and then there was a nice downhill for the last 0.05. I looked at my watch at the top of the hill and it was 45:55, and I told myself that I had better come in within the 46's! I was targeting a 46:30, but would have been happy with anything in the 46's.
Last 0.26 (according to Garmin): 7:26

My official time was 46:34 and I placed 4th out of 46 in my age group. There were some really fast runners there who I was eying at the start line. Simply based on what these girls looked like, I knew my chance of an AG award was slim. I placed 20 out of 225 women, which was nice-- but I am usually in a higher percentile.

Greg and I did a cooldown and then went home. He ran a two-minute PR of 44:51. He just keeps getting faster! Tonight we are going to celebrate all the wonderful things that happened in 2010 with a nice meal, Rock Band, strawberries in chocolate fondue, and of course champagne.

This was the best year of my life: I got married to the man of my dreams, we bought a beautiful home together, and I set major PRs at every distance except the marathon. Greg and I have so much to be thankful for. I'll miss all the excitement of 2010, but I know there are many things ahead of us.

Happy New Year.

8 comments:

  1. Great job! That mantra really worked great for you!

    Have a happy new year!

    Connie

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  2. You really had one awesome year! Congrats on your PR. Send some PR dust my way in 2011. I miss running so much!

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  3. I'm so happy for you, Elizabeth! It truly has been a great year for you and 2011 will be even better! Great mantra - I'm going to borrow that. I'm forever telling myself that it doesn't matter. I may be slow, but it does matter and I need to get back to running and I need to run smart, like you do. Thank you for being a major inspiration for me and for being such a wonderful friend! Happy New Year! And Happy 10k PR!

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  4. I'm so happy for you, Elizabeth! It truly has been a great year for you and 2011 will be even better! Great mantra - I'm going to borrow that. I'm forever telling myself that it doesn't matter. I may be slow, but it does matter and I need to get back to running and I need to run smart, like you do. Thank you for being a major inspiration for me and for being such a wonderful friend! Happy New Year! And Happy 10k PR!

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  5. Congrats! I really like that thought process during the 5-6th miles. I generally tell myself something similar "if not now, when? What are you saving yourself for?"

    Great minds think alike! Again, congrats!

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  6. Happy New Year! Great job on the PR! Way to end a wonderful year. Hope 2011 continues the awesomeness for you.

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  7. Congrats on the race, and your new PR!! I agree with everyone, I too have a tendency to let it go and this past year I've tried to tackle that mental barrier of keeping it together through the tough spots!

    Happy New Year!

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  8. Well life for you I think has only shown since 2010 to get better... At least on the running front but I think everywhere else too, plus you know me now... the second greatest man you know lmfao.. Hey I'm allowed to dream aren't I? I'm not trying to take you from the greatest man nor do I want too bc it's great to have someone where if the going gets tough I can say anything too and hopefully get real honest answers from!! That's what I love about you and why you're someone I truly value!!

    Also, it's funny how you used a stinky ass man to motivate you to get FASTER.. Some get slower bc they don't have it in them and you said YES ELIZABETH... YOU ARE BETTER, F-THIS STINKY ASS MO-FO I'M KILLING IT.

    And for this time period in your life guess what? You killed it!! WOOT WOOT!!

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