The last time I ran this race was in 2013 and I wasn’t in speedy shape. It was in that period where I was so tired and thought I was overtrained but later found out it was because of ovarian cancer. I wanted this race to be…not a revenge race because I’m not giving cancer that power over me…but a redemption race. I have done 11 10Ks now but had only raced them twice before. I mean really, really raced. I felt good and strong going into this and was hoping to lower my PR I’d set at the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K back in December. This course was flat but curvy and with a few u-turns in it but I felt like I could run well here.
The race was supposed to start at 8 but we received an email a few days before saying it was moved to 7. Woo! Perfect! We also received our bib numbers and corral assignments. I was bib 612 and I was in corral 1. A perfect PR Storm was brewing.
Even though the time had changed, I had no trouble getting up at 4 on Sunday. I ate breakfast, got ready, and then drove down to Knotts Berry Farm. I got there just before 6 and got my bib and chip and went back to the car to get ready. I wanted to do a warm-up so I ran for 2 miles around the parking lot. I also had a gel 15 minutes before the start. Then I got into my corral to wait.
Before you know it, it was 7 and they were doing the pre-race activities and then it was go time! One of the cowboys from Knotts started us off with his shotgun! We were off! I think I ran pretty smart from the beginning. I tried not to look at my Garmin but did glance at it when we hit the 2 mile marker. I saw that it said sub 16 min on my watch and was like "Uh, oh". Maybe I shouldn't have looked at all because not soon after that, I started getting a stitch in my right side so I backed off a little to try and work it out. This mile was my slowest, just under 9 minutes. I think maybe I psyched myself out a little.
Once we hit 3 miles though, I picked it up again. I settled into the pace I'd planned to run and tried to keep 2 guys running at similar pace in my sights. Those miles were pretty uneventful. We passed the 4 mile marker and then the 5. Just as I passed the 5 mile marker, I reset the lap on my Garmin so I would know how much exactly was left. I looked at the time that had elapsed and started calculating my finish time in my head. I was surprised to figure out that I might make it around 52 minutes. I was hoping for under 52. I did not have the extra gear I'd hoped for at the end though. And I didn't take into account my garmin being off because I hit 6 miles, and then .21 miles under 52 but I still wasn't done!
But then there was the last turn to the finish! I saw the clock and knew I had finished just after 52 and was pretty excited. I just needed to see the results to see what my official time would be.
I got my super cute medal:
Woo!!! My old PR was 54:54 so that was a huge PR for me and better than I'd hoped for. I was hoping to be in the 53 min range so I was really excited and happy. Can you tell?
So, I am very happy with this race. I love that for the 10K, I set a real PR and not just a post-cancer PR. It’s the only race distance I can say that about. For now. :) I hope there will be more to come!
Of course, in thinking about the race, I’m sure there is something I could have done better.
- I probably did go too fast in the first 2 miles and that cost me later.
- I think that I went slower than I needed to once I started using my Garmin to keep me on pace. I WAS running hard but I finished thinking I had more in me.
- I think that I just don’t know what it should feel/hurt like for a 10K so the more I race them, the better I will get at gauging how hard to race it.
- If only I had found 10 seconds somewhere! Just kidding...mostly. ;)