Go! Saint Louis Halloween 10K Race Report

So, as mentioned in my previous post, I woke up at 5 am VERY sore from my Yoga adventure the day before.  I tried to help improve the situation by using my foam roller, but it didn’t seem to help much.  After dallying and procrastinating, I finally gathered up my stuff and hopped into the car a little after 7a.   The highway was practically empty so I got to the race pretty quickly and parked a good half mile away to avoid traffic while leaving after the race.

I did a quick .5 mile warmup to the race start, stretched, and realized my rump was going to remain sore for the entire race, as it didn’t respond well to the warm up.  Whatever I did to my hamstring the day before strained it and honestly, I was in pain.  Lovely.  Not in-tears-pain, but pretty uncomfortable.  Should I skip the run and head back home?  Should I try to race it and just see how things go?  Should I just decide to make it a ‘fun’ run and go easy?  Well, being the competitive person I am, it was option B, ‘racing and seeing how things went’.  I still had plenty of time before the race started after stretching, so I headed out for another half mile warm up to make one more attempt at loosening things up and then finally headed to the start line.

There were so many people in fun costumes, I slightly regretted not dressing up, but since I drove solo, I felt funny showing up solo in costume.  Perhaps if JMR had come along, but the thought of me whipping out bumble bee antennas and wings solo after parking my car just didn’t seem right.  The next thing I knew, the horn sounded and we were off!

I looked down at my watch and saw high 6’s and knew I was going a bit (ha, more than a bit) too fast, but also knew I’d probably settle into a better pace within a next half mile or so, which was the case.  Soon, I was running with a group of people around my pace and started to pay attention to who I was running nearby.  One guy, who seemed pretty even with my pace (high 7’s) had an Ironman 70.3 2012 shirt on, and I wanted to ask him about his race, but I couldn’t see which one it was (it was on the front of his shirt), he was running with headphones, and finally I recently read a blogger’s post where she ran a half marathon wearing her Ironman shirt and was slightly irritated at having a discussion about her Ironman during the current race.  So I kept it zipped, but made it my mission to try to keep up with him.  I also saw another stl tri club-er and was running pretty close to her pace as well, but I knew she was speedy, so I also tried to keep her close.

This run sucked.  Just thought I’d add that important note.  From the first mile I felt tired (hello yoga and late night with a few adult beverages..argh!) and knew that this run would be anything but ‘easy’.   I passed time amusing myself with people who I ran with and their fun costumes, if they were running in one, and knowing that the faster I ran, the sooner I would be done.  One guy in particular stuck out in my mind, he was running with his iPhone and Siri was telling his pace and mileage at EVERY mile marker ‘You are at mile 1.  You are running at a 7:45 minute mile pace.  You will finish at XX ….’  I don’t even know what she said after the pace comment, but she was babbling and it was really really annoying.  This had to have been this guy’s first race because that’s downright obnoxious for other runners and kind of rude.  Wear headphones! (ha, one of the few times I would actually suggest that)!  But really, it was just weird, and he was holding his iPhone while running, wouldn’t that be pretty uncomfy by mile 3?  To each his own I guess.

Finally, after lots of mental talks (You are not walking!), I was rounding the 6 mile point and finishing up the last .2.   The wind was brutal!  It honestly didn’t want me to finish!  I’m glad I wasn’t on a bike because I would have honestly been knocked off.  I’ve run in wind, but nothing that crazy!  As I was getting beaten by the wind, I could hear the announcer shouting, ‘Under 50 minutes!  Racers, you’re getting close to 50 minutes!’ and I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  My last 10k (which I do believe the course was short .2) I ran last Thanksgiving in Quincy, IL, I ran in 48:58, and I just tried to crunch the numbers while running but was still baffled.   How had I run that fast last fall?  Argh, so frustrating!  I managed to cross the finish around 50:43 which was really disappointing.  I feel like this season that I’ve gotten slower rather than faster after the New Town Tri in July.  I haven’t done any speedwork though, so perhaps that would have helped.

Regardless, I had finished it, which was much more to say than last year when I was a DNS (Did Not Start), due to worry that I would burn out my legs doing a long run that Saturday, the 10K that Sunday and the RnR the following weekend.  I also finished faster than I had when I ran it in 2009, but I feel like I’ve come a lot further fitness-wise than where I was then.  Oh well, so many things to learn, and even then, you have your good days and you have your bad days.  But I do know if I make it to the start at RnR, an early bedtime the night before is in order!

I hobbled back to the car after finishing and when I got home, yelped in pain while getting out of the car.  I had done a number on my hamstrings.  Oy.  I iced them when I got home after showing but had never felt that sore after a 10k let alone a Half Marathon.   Hopefully it was due to the wild Yoga, but if it doesn’t improve this week, the 10K will be my last running race of 2012 and RnR won’t happen.  I’m really disappointed if that is the case, but I’d rather call it a season than do more damage that will put me on the bench for a longer recovery than just a couple of weeks.

Even though the run was rough, I’m glad I did it, stuck with it, and didn’t walk!  I was having some tough moments and now I know that even if my speed hasn’t improved this season, my mental toughness definitely has.  If I had run it last year, feeling how I did today, I would have walked, but this year I didn’t, so I’ll take that victory!

Next up race-report-wise….hopefully an RnR race report….stay tuned.  Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting on ice packs and taking it easy 🙂

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