Today, I wasn't planning to race hard. I had a long run scheduled for today, and Jerry's employer paid for this race, so I figured it would be a fun way to do my long run. Then Kendall (Nathan's girlfriend) said that she would be running it also, and it was her first official 10K--so naturally, I wanted to run with her!
She is training for the Martian Half Marathon next month, and had nine miles on her schedule today; so, she showed up early for the 10K, and ran miles before the start of the race. (In retrospect, she should have signed up for the double--the 10K and 5K, back-to-back.) After picking up my packet, I parked near the starting line and then went into Panera for some hot tea while I waited for the race to start, and Kendall met me there after her "warm-up" mileage.
Her long run pace is about 12:30/mi, so we lined up behind the 70-minute pacer. The race ended up starting 13 minutes late, and my toes were absolutely FREEZING from standing there. I just couldn't get warm! I was so happy when the race finally started.
We ended up running slower than Kendall's planned pace, because we were chatting the whole time. It was actually really enjoyable (it would have been more so if I'd dressed warmer). I hadn't seen Kendall in a while, so it was nice to be able to catch up.
As we were running, Kendall noticed that she would probably have to keep running after the finish line in order to get in nine miles, and she really didn't want to do that. So, we did something I've never actually done in a race before--we took a couple of detours on the course to ADD mileage to our race! We just did a couple of out-and-backs on side streets in a neighborhood, so that Kendall would hit the nine-mile mark before the finish line of the race.
This was her longest run to date (she did eight miles last week), and toward the end, she started struggling a little. Her goal was to run the whole race and not take walk breaks, so she was focused on that. She started talking about how she might get emotional when she crossed the finish line, because it's her first 10K. Nathan wasn't going to be at the finish line because he had work stuff to do, so I offered to run ahead to the finish line so I could get a picture of her at the end. When I thought I had half a mile to go (I forgot that I had added distance, so I actually had just under a mile to go), I sped up to make it to the finish line, get my medal, and then be ready to take a photo when Kendall got there.
Right before the finish line, I heard, "Hey Katie!" and it was Nathan! He'd showed up to surprise her, which was pretty awesome. I didn't notice while I was running through the finish, but Kendall's mom was there, too! She even snapped a picture of me just before I finished.
|Always with my eyes closed!|
Even though Kendall and I ran the first few miles slower than her projected pace because we were talking, she ended up finishing her nine miles with a 12:30-ish pace, so it all worked out well. And we had fun!
I'm super bummed I forgot to get a picture WITH Kendall after the race! We were chatting with Nathan and her mom, and it just slipped my mind. But she did really great, and I'm sure she's going to do well with her half-marathon (I wish I could be there, but it's the same day as my goal 10K). Thanks to running with Kendall, this was the most enjoyable run I've had in a while! The miles went by quickly. Here are my "official" results (for 6.2 miles, rather than 6.6, which is why there is a discrepancy between this and the Garmin):
I wish Nathan had told me he'd be there, because I would have stayed with Kendall through the end; but I wanted to make sure she'd have a picture of her first 10K. Seeing how surprised she was made it worth it, though ;)
Now, I don't have any more races scheduled until my goal 10K on April 10th. I'm thinking I may want to do a tune-up race in a couple of weeks (a 5K), but I'll have to see what races are going on. I get SO nervous in race situations that I'm afraid that's going to ruin my goal race. When I PR'ed the Shamrock in 2013, I felt NO pressure at all, because I was just running it "for fun". I always tend to do best when I don't have goals. I need to work on being less nervous on race day!