The 10K distance is not one I run often, in fact, I believe I have only run two prior to yesterday's race. Ryan and I did the Vista Strawberry Festival 10K last year because he needed proof of time for his Disneyland Half Marathon (we are already signed up for this one again in May) and I did the Disneyland 10K last year as part of the Dumbo Double Dare (yep, I'm doing this challenge again this year as well).
I LOVE running with my hubby, but I do have to note, his pace is a bit slower than mine for longer distances. With that being said, when we ran the Strawberry Festival 10K last year, it was at his pace, so our finishing time was 1:00:17. For the Disneyland 10K I was trying to save my legs for the following morning's half marathon, along with stopping for character pictures along the way, so my finishing time was 1:03:32.
For yesterday's race I was really hoping to get a BIG PR (Personal Record) - I mean technically it was the first 10K race I was running at MY pace and not just "for fun", so hopefully I would be able to crush my current times, right?
Although this was going to be a race that I was doing for "time", I still wanted to go out and have fun! When I decided to sign up for the race, I knew I wanted to dress up for it (it was the Cardiff KOOK race for Pete's Sake), but what should I do?! Then it came to me! I would dress up like Jessie from Toy Story! And with any luck I would be able to "Run Like The Wind".
Here is a picture of "Flat Carlee" that I took on Saturday of my race outfit. I think it came together pretty well if I do say so myself. I even "made" the cow socks out of soccer socks and black duct tape I cut to make the cow "pattern". My royal blue Sparkle Athletic skirt worked perfectly as my 'jeans'.
Sunday morning came and I got ready for the race. I was PUMPED it was a local race (I think the starting line was about 15 minutes away from our house) and that it started at 8:30am - that is like SLEEPING IN (especially compared to some of the runDisney races I have done in the past). Even though it was close, we still made sure to get down there with plenty of time to spare (I would MUCH RATHER be an hour early somewhere than get that panic-y, rushing feeling when we cut it too close). We sat in the car for a while to keep warm (it was only in the 40s) and then when it got closer to the start time we headed over towards the start/ finish line.
Of course we had to take a couple pictures while we were meandering around - I mean I was dressed up - gotta document the craziness ;)
|Told ya it was chilly, I had to wear Ryan's coat before I got in line to start.|
I LOVE seeing folks I know at races, which is another reason I love running local races. I heard Henry call my name and we HAD to get a picture together before the race!
Since it was a local race, there wasn't must organization in terms of starting corrals or anything like that. They suggested that you seed yourselves based on your pace, with the elite runners up front and the kids and strollers in the back, but you know how that works... No one wants to go to the back, even though your time doesn't start until you cross the timing mat, so everyone just crowds up front.
There was a singing of the National Anthem and then we were off. A few of the photographers had asked Henry to start up front so they could grab some pictures of him (I mean, who wouldn't want to capture the moment of a GIANT FOOT running barefoot). Around the time I was running by Ryan and Walt I was coming up to pass Henry, so we got a few more pictures together - and even one of us giving fives as I passed him.
The course was great, for the most part (I will get to my "cons" about it shortly). We ran on the 101 the whole time. Super scenery! Running along the Pacific Ocean for 6.2 miles is AMAZING! The weather was great (a little chilly to start, but then once the sun started poking through the clouds it warmed up rather nicely - probably about 55* by the end of the race).
The issue I had with the course wasn't really with the course itself, but was with the organization of the 10K and 5Ks. You see, they had the 10K start at 8:30am (although ALL of the information that was sent out said a 8:15am start) and then the 5K started at 8:59am. The 5K course is obviously half the distance of the 10K, so their turn around was about 3/4 of the way into the 10K course. This made the last mile and a half or so extremely crowded, not to mention the fact that the 5K runners were then having to "merge" into the 10K course that already had runners on it. I think I would suggest pushing the 5K start time back a ways if they are going to "share" the course. Another bummer for the 5K course was that it didn't even go by the Cardiff Kook!
Anyway, back to my race... I realized about seven tenths of a mile in that I had gone out too fast. I wasn't really watching my Garmin (I only looked at it when I heard it beep for the mile splits), but could feel my right shin start to tighten, which happens when I am running too quickly (I am not sure if it is because my form changes when I am going faster or what). I looked at my watch and I was right... I was at about 8:15 pace (GRRRRRR, THE EXCITEMENT OF A RACE ALWAYS GETS TO ME AT THE BEGINNING). I started to slow down a bit, knowing that the ache in my shin wouldn't go away, but I didn't want to make it worse. I knew I wanted to stay around 9 minute miles, which would have put be finishing around 55 minutes (which is what my goal was). I slowed down a bit and tried to keep my pace consistent (I was keeping around 8:40 minute mile pace at this point).
Around mile 4 the tightness went away (thank goodness) and I was able to really kick it in. There was a decent hill around then, but I was able to power through it (I actually enjoy running hills - makes me feel strong, especially when I am passing folks ;)). There wasn't much crowd support throughout the race, but I did always get an extra big smile on my face when a kid would tell him parent - "Look, it's Jessie". I even had one lady yell "Go Jessie Go".
I really loved that the race ended under the Encinitas sign. Not that it had any significance for me, but that it was visible a ways down the road ;). I saw it when I was probably a half mile out and knew I could kick it into gear. Okay, I probably started my kick a bit too early, since I was doing a little huffing and puffing at the end, but hey, it got me my current PR!
|Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, after about mile 1, the wind was a little too strong and kept blowing my hat off, so it ended up around my neck/ on my back for most of the race. I think the braid even looked like a tail at times...|
I finished in 52:38 (which was the official time, seems as though my Garmin must have started 2 seconds after I crossed the starting line). I was STOKED! Do I think I could have gone faster? ALWAYS, but I was very proud of what I accomplished. (I think if I would have started with a slightly slower pace I would have been able to consistently speed up instead of having to deal with the shin annoyance. Slower makes me faster?!) I beat my previous 10K time by about 7.5 minutes and finished with a smile on my face! My splits from the chip showed that I got faster, even with the hill - the first 5K was 26:44 and my second 5K was 25:54. I came in 20th in my division (women from 29-34), 290th overall, and 98th female [not too shabby with over 755 finishers].
|And yes, I do think the Shwings on my shoes really helped to make me FLY! (A review of them coming soon ;) )|
On the way back to the car we had to get a few last pictures.
And don't you worry, I am sure Jessie will return in a future race or two.