Monday, April 7, 2014

Aspire 10K Run Review

You must be tired of reading about everyone else's triumphant races on their blogs, right?  I mean, people are getting faster, PRing, winning awards, blah blah blah.  It gets boring after a while.  Where are the near misses?  The also-rans?  Close!  But no cigar!  Those are the ones we want to read about so we don't feel so shitty about ourselves!  Well, lucky for you, I'm back with another race recap!

My Pfitzinger 18/55 schedule called for an 8k or 10k race this past weekend.  Even though I raced the Kings Park 15k the week before, I kind of spontaneously decided to sign up for another one.  I found the Aspire 10k run in Plainview.  It's a nice size race not too far from home with just an $18 entrance fee as a Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) member.

Saturday morning it was 41 degrees and sunny.  I put on leggings, two long sleeve tech shirts, and a winter hat.  I found out later, I was way overdressed.  I arrived at the Plainview middle school at 7:45.  As I was walking from the parking lot, I thought I would text my friend, Leah, and let her know where I was.  Her ears must have been ringing because she suddenly appeared next to me.  We went inside the middle school and picked up our numbers and race shirts.  There was a nice size crowd inside the gym.  This race was put on by GLIRC so they had the usual delicious coffee-bagel-muffin-cupcake spread.  We stashed our new shirts inside an old desk and headed outside to do a quick warmup jog.

At 8:25 we lined up with the other runners at the start.  Again, there was no start mat.  I put my music on (I usually don't race with music, but this has been a rough racing cycle and I thought I could use a little motivation) and waited for the crowd ahead of me to start moving.  This didn't happen until almost 9am, a half hour past the scheduled start.   I decided to run this race by feel.  The 10k is my worst distance basically because I am terrible at pacing myself for it.  The 5k is short enough where you can run full speed for the entire distance.  The half marathon and marathon are long enough where you can go out slower than your goal pace and still be able to make it up later in the race.  The 10k?  Don't ask me.  Here's why:

I checked the elevation chart beforehand.  There were rolling hills, but nothing crazy like Kings Park.  I was running at a good clip, but my breathing was controlled.  I saw the one mile banner and no clock,  just a guy shouting out your times as you ran past.  I hit the first mile at 6:57.  "Hmmm, could this be my new 10k pace?" I stupidly naively asked myself.  I reached Mile 2 at 14:05.  "Oooh, this is nice!"  I thought to myself for another half mile - until it stopped being nice.  I felt myself slowing down.  My easy breathing got less easy.  I was hot and uncomfortable.  I took my wool hat off.  I tried to figure out a way I could take off my first layer without stopping or tearing my number from my second layer or dropping my hat and/or iPhone.  Impossible.  I remained overdressed and overheated.  There was a timing mat at the 5k mark which I hit at 23:05.  My 6:57 pace was now a 7:25 pace.  Miles 4 and 5 got progressively more tedious, but I thought I still had a shot at a PR.  My brain must have been fuzzy from the elevated body heat because I finished at 47:32.  28 seconds slower than my PR.   Live and learn.  One day I will get this damn distance right!     As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!

The post race party looked like fun, but I had to boogie out of there so my kids could get to their games.  No time for pictures either.  I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group and the top 13% out of the women and top 25% overall.  Eh.


  1. You can't start a blog post stating that you tanked a race and then finish with the news that you placed in your division! And by the way, congratulations once again. I know you are expecting a lot as you get closer to Boston, but 1. You won't be duplicating Saturday's weather conditions on the marathon and 2. It's the distance that you have been training for.

    You are almost Boston bound and I'm really excited to hear about your experience.

  2. 10Ks are hard, precisely for the reasons that you've stated. I try to use McMillan to figure out what my 10K pace should be (using race times from other distances), but the paces they suggest is more aggressive than what I'm capable of at that time. I think 10Ks require more specialized training runs.