Saturday, January 9, 2010

15K Was A-OK

I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about this training race which is just a "training" exercise for the real damn run. Therefore stressing for it is stupid, but I can't help it. I wasn't sure if my goal of 1:59-ish for a half-marathon was really doable and if I couldn't maintain 9:09 or better in today's race, then my fear would be confirmed.

At 4:40am the alarm when off and I got up after one snooze (seriously, 4:40am, I had to snooze once), had some PB on a pumpernickel toast and took a quick shower to wake myself up. Dragged the Husband out of bed at 5:35am (he's a good sport) so he could drive me and also hold my shit at the race. Not literally, my shit, just my stuff. Yeah.

As you would imagine there was no traffic at that hour so we made it down to Mission Bay in less than 40 minutes. Weather was perfect, around 55 degrees. Did my business at the porta potty (at races, I actually prefer them to regular stall bathrooms -- aside from the occasional smelly-ness -- because they are totally enclosed and the lines are usually shorter).

(Kind of disorganized starting line)

It's hard to find a course flatter than one around Mission Bay and the scenery kind of kicks ass.


15K is 9.3 miles; it's not a common road race distance so it was my first race at the distance and I really had no idea what to expect. As you would imagine, it is harder than 10K easier than half-marathon. I know. Duh. If I had to say how I would race it in the future is just a wee bit less effort than a 10K. Otherwise if you go out like a 10K you'll quickly be hurting.

(I like this picture The Husband took because in the distance you can see the 15K runners trudging along and the cute little ducks in front)

Anyway, so I ran the ding dang thing and it was fun. Sure, there was a point around mile 7 where I almost peed myself and had to FOCUS on RETAINING (ok, a little bit dipped out. whatever). I'm sure the flat course helped it not feel like a root canal, but I like the distance. Too bad there are so few 15K races out there. I had my new Garmin with me and have yet to set up the automatic mile splits but it was tres useful in stopping me from hauling too much ass in the beginning. It's a swearing day today. Sorry. I have the old one - the 205 - it was my Christmas gift - a good $175 cheaper than the newest model.

Finish time? Honestly, I don't know. The race was small or rather they ran it like it was supposed to be small, but 1000 people showed up to run the races. There was no clock at the finish, and 15k, 10K, and 5K were all finishing around the same time (they staggered start times by 30 minutes). We merged with those runners at various points on the course which gave me a mental boost that I was keeping up them, and I was 3 and 6 miles ahead of them. At the end, there was a total pile up, so I have no idea where the real finish line was. We were all in one long line before the finish arch-sign thingy, so as soon as I stopped running I stopped my watch. I have to trust that my Garmin is more accurate than what the race officials are going to end up pulling out of their collective butts (we'll see when they post results, maybe the finish line was actually before the pile up but it was a secret finish line or something. Feh). They did have plenty of water stations and, overall, it was run very well aside from the finish, and supports an excellent cause so I am not all that bugged by the finish line traffic jam.

(my red face 15 minutes after the run - yes, not a direct picture because I looked like an angry smiling tomato with no hair in the other one The Husband took)

At the end, Garmin informed me I had run 9.39 miles - extrapolating to 9.3 on the software I came up with 1:23:39-1:23:51 around 9:00 - 9:01 per mile. This is excellent news ("Excellent, Smithers!"). Sure, I could have a butt-tastic race day come Superbowl Sunday (yes, I am running on Superbowl Sunday) but I am now a whole lot more confident that breaking 2 hours is well within my reach. I still have two more long runs to tackle (12 and 14 miles) so I should be even more ready in 4 weeks. I hope.

Anyway, time to go veg on the couch now.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! That is super impressive! Well done. I am jealous of the scenery and the weather...and your time :D

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  2. Congrats on the fantastic run! I have a feeling you'll smash that goal of yours!!

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  3. What, that is fabulous time! Nice! Flat course and gorgeous day, seriously, what more could you ask for.

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  4. Congrats!!! THAT IS AWESOME! Sounds like a perfect day for a run.

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  5. Congrats on having a successful run! :) It makes me semi-jealous but not really because running here right now would consist of really heavy winter gear and freezing toes. I'm not into all that. You'll be just fine if you're making 9 miles in 9 minutes. Adrenaline and the rest of your training will prep you just fine!

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