October 09, 2011

Big House Big Heart 10-K Race Report

Well, it's OVER. I'm so glad!  I've been anticipating/dreading this race all summer. Since I wasn't able to run a half marathon this fall like I'd wanted, I decided to do this 10-K... and do it right! I followed an intermediate training program right to the tee, hoping to PR at this race. All last week, I kept thinking, "What if I did all this training and I don't PR?" It was such a huge deal to me to PR at this race! My last 10-K finish time was 55:05, so I was hoping for anything less than that. I figured if I try to keep an 8:50/mi pace, that will get me in under 55:05. (I later realized I was wrong about that)

My cousin Kaitlin actually organized a "team" of us to run either the 5-K or 10-K in honor of her mom, Kim. Kim died 5 years ago from adrenal cancer--she was WAY too young to die, and she left behind three teenage girls. A portion of our race fee went to charity, and Kaitlin did a lot of fundraising on her own to donate to adrenal cancer research. Anyway, my brother Brian and I were the only ones from our group to run the 10-K.
Some of our team after the race

We got to the starting line at about 7:30 (race started at 8:00). There were signs designating where to line up, based on pace. We went between the 8:00/mi and 9:00/mi signs. There were a lot of people running, so it was kind of crowded the first mile, and I didn't get to go as fast as I would have liked. The first mile went by SO SLOWLY. I kept waiting to hear the beep on my Garmin, signaling the end of the first mile.

At about the 1 mile mark, there was a steep hill. My legs were on fire while I ran up, and I know that slowed me down a little. And the worst part was knowing that I was going to have to do that hill AGAIN, because the course loops around. I kind of just made up my mind to not try for a PR at this point. My lungs and legs were killing me from the hill.

After another mile, I looked at my Garmin, and I was actually on pace for a PR, so I decided just to keep trying it.  Because the course looped back on itself, it seemed to be sooo long. I wanted to quit so badly. I was exhausted. I felt like I was running in circles and it would never end.

After running up the big hill for the second time, my lungs were on fire. Normally, I don't need water for at least 10 miles, but the hill did me in. I kept expecting to see a water station around each corner (and there were LOTS of corners), but it was probably a mile after the hill. I gulped down a cup and kept running.

After mile 5, the course does about 1/4 mile out and back. I saw my brother as I started heading out (he was almost done with the O&B part, so he was facing me). At this point, I really started thinking that I might puke. I don't think I've ever run this hard before. Then I really felt like I was going to pee my pants, which would be even worse than puking. I took the speed down a notch, and just said, "Fuck it" as far as a PR goes. I just wanted to be done!

I was so tempted to just walk the last mile in, but when I saw I was still on track for a PR (8:49/mi pace at this point), I just kept willing myself to keep going. We entered the stadium with just a couple hundred yards to go. We ran down the tunnel that the U of M football players run down, and then we ran onto the football field. As soon as I hit the grass, I saw that I just had to run to the end of the football field, turn, and run across the 50-yard line.
The final few yards (not me, I took this afterward)

The finish line

The big screen showing the runners as they finished

 I felt slow as molasses when I made the turn, but after that, I was flying. My pace was 5:41/mi for the last thirty yards or so ;)  When I crossed the finish line, I stopped the Garmin and saw that my average pace was 8:50/mi, which is what I calculated that I'd need to PR. However... my finish time (according to my Garmin) was 55:11 (6 seconds too slow to PR).

The reason for the discrepancy is because of the course length. When they measure the route for a race, they measure the shortest way to run it (the inside part of the course). So if you take wide turns, zig-zag, etc, then you might run farther than the actual race distance. This race ended up having me run 0.05 miles farther than the last one. So while I planned on an 8:50/mi pace, I forgot to account for the longer distance.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is, I did NOT set a PR today. I was bummed, but not terribly. I know I ran my hardest, I hit my target pace, and I ran HILLS this time. There were no hills in the last 10-K I did. So even though it sucks not to PR, I am happy with my time.

Here are my splits:
My average heart rate was more than 90% of my maximum heart rate...yikes!

My Garmin (a.k.a. "unofficial" results)

Brian and me, post-race (obviously)

After the race, I grabbed some water and caught my breath on the bleachers. Brian and I walked down by the 50-yard line to take pictures, and while I was walking, who should I run into but Rose from Hacker Half Marathon!!  She recognized me first, and I knew she was going to be there, so I was excited to actually bump into her among 14,000 runners! This was my first time ever meeting a fellow blogger in person--I'm sure I was completely awkward ;)  She's going to be running her first marathon next weekend, so make sure you wish her luck!
See how packed it was?!

So, my final "official" results were:

Chip time:  55:13.7 (8:54/mi pace)
Placement overall:  1,010/2,299
Placement age group: 74/223
Placement females:  364/1,236


  1. Major congrats on making it up the hills!! I cannot stand running uphill, especially if it's a race! So the fact that you had to endure the hill not once but TWICE, I think you should feel quite accomplished and need to give yourself a big pat on the back!!! Since getting healthified, I ran two 2mile races and 1 5k. I'd LOVE to one day be able to run a 10k. Any advice to someone who has only ran 3.5mi at one time? :)

  2. Wow, that sounds like an insanely tough course! And it sounds like you did a fantastic job even if it wasn't technically a PR.

  3. So proud of you, Katie. I think what you did was absolutely amazing - HILLS? Come on, you were awesome, even if you didn't meet your own expectations. Congratulations, and thanks for the photos :)

  4. You should be so proud of yourself! Congratulations on persevering, even if at times you wanted to quit! It can be a tough mental battle, but girl you won! :D

  5. Great job today! I'm in awe of your splits and agree with your take on the big hill!!

    It was so nice to meet you, even if it was brief :) We'll have to get together for a run sometime!

  6. You are amazing! I hope you celebrate your awesome achievement. YOur brother must be so happy to have you as his running "partner". :)

  7. You are so encouraging, I need to work on my mental determination. I'm so proud you didn't quit! Can I be just like you?!?

  8. I wondered about the way they measure a course. Now I know! I was off on my 10k as well. I ran an extra .07 miles. Maybe that's why that one dude was always running up the middle of the street? But he was wasting a whole lot of energy moving back to the side when a car would come. That doesn't make any sense now does it?

    Congratulations on a job well done! I'd love to get in under an hour one day. Sounds like you really pushed yourself to the limits and gave it everything you had! You felt like puking one minute and peeing the next, huh? Did you get the trots afterwards, too? Those are always fun!! NOT! After all that, you wonder, "Why did I voluntarily put myself through that???"

  9. Great job, Katie!! Hopefully next time you will PR. We were just talking this week at boot camp about some of us doing a Turkey Trot this year. I've never done any races, and it sounded like a fun one to do! We'll see who from the group really commits! Lol. =)

  10. Congrats Katie!!!!! You did great!!!!!!
    I was hoping to "bump" in to you also, but I was doing the 5K race. The course was hillier than I expected, and I only had to do one loop!!!!
    I was hoping to PR also, my fastest 5K time so far was 26:35. I was hoping to get under 26. I started pretty close to the front, which I had never done before, and that helped me run faster than I EVER have before, even on a TM. I finished in 24:10!!!!! Whaaaaat?!?!?! I am still in shock!!!! I never in my wildest dreams thought I could finish a 5K in less than 25 minutes!!! I was 9/439 in my age group!!!

  11. @Nicky

    Nicky, if you're running 3.5 miles at a time, you could definitely start training for a 10k! Have you checked out Hal Higdon's programs? They are perfect for beginners and advanced runners; and they are free. You can find them at www.halhigdon.com. There are programs for just about any race you can imagine.

  12. @michellechristine
    Michelle, My brother left me in the dust at mile 1!! He said there was a cute girl in front of him, and he followed her the entire race. He finished with about an 8:00/mi pace--something I can only dream of ;)

  13. @Frickin' Fabulous at 40
    Linda, I've discovered that taking an Immodium a couple of hours before a race helps WONDERFULLY with tummy issues (a.k.a. runner's trots)! My stomach was fine (well, other than feeling like I was going to vomit, but that was because I was pushing myself so hard!), but my bladder was not happy with me yesterday ;)

  14. @Laura
    Laura, I wish I would have known you were going to be there, so we could have made a plan to meet! Congrats on your 5k--that is an AMAZING finishing time. I would love to be that fast one day!

  15. I wish I had known you were running the BHBH run! I also live in AA and would have loved to meet you in real life!


  16. Hi Katie. Woo Hoo....way to go on that challenging run!!! Congratulations!!!!!

  17. Congratulations! A huge win - must feel so great.

  18. I read your blog every day, but I don't normally post any comments. However, this definetely deserves a big shout out to you! Congratulations on your 10K. You may not have beat your PR, but you definetely kicked some butt! Way to go ;o)

  19. You did awesome!!! I feel like I need to tell you that you have inspired me to want to become a runner.....eventually. Seriously I only started "really" working out in Jan. and I do most of my cardio on the Eliptical but recently I have had a desire to venture over to the "dreadmill" TRADEMARK SLIMKATIE (HA HA HA) and I have been trying the C25K program. I have to admit that I've had to take it slow because I have been getting shin splints but I am keeping at it and I finally fast walked a 5K distance on the treadmill for the 1st time!!! You'll probably laugh your ass off but I did it in 52 minutes! Yikes! Oh well, you gotta start somewhere right? Anywho, I'm proud of you and thanks for inspiring this fat girl to be a runner! ; )

    -Jen (jennygump21)

  20. Congrats on your race! Great tip about the immodium! I'll have to remember that in the future if I ever decide to enter a race! LOL!

  21. Congrats to you- late of course! I ran the same race but the 5k. I set a PR at 28:44 something I never would have thought of doing when I was 100 lbs heavier!


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