Well, triathlon season is over, so why not celebrate by…doing a 10K 5 days after my last triathlon?!! Ok, I’m not famous for having the smartest ideas–but it sounded fun at the time.
My last few triathlons have all ended with a 5k, which meant that my long runs haven’t really exceeded 6 or 7 miles…not much need with a 5k. So, I have not been training for 10ks…but luckily, I’ve been racing for the past 10 years or so, which means my legs have lots of “muscle memory.” This memory sometimes forget how FAST I’ve run before, though!
Midnight is not a good time for me. I’m usually in bed by 10:30, and almost all of my races have been early morning–so this was definitely different. I ended up having a Diet Coke and a Balance bar at around 9:30 or so to give me a little bit of a boost. I was running with my friend Ryan and his friend James–running with guys is different, because they could care less if you actually run WITH them. Girls, we can chat on our runs–with guys, you just listen to your music and run…much like when I run by myself, except we get to carpool and talk about the race together. We had to be out there an hour early, which is ridiculous–we literally had to stand at the start line for an hour, so I was definitely ready to get this thing started!
There were pace markers to start the race (7 min miles, 8 min miles, etc) to help create a smooth start, but they did not work. It was obvious right away that my group was not only composed of 8 min mile runners, but also 12-15 min a mile runners. I don’t hate on slower runners (I am a slower runner to those who run 6 min miles!), but run with your pace group! We spent the first mile trying to get through runners–but it was packed (L.A. traffic on a bad day)…so spent most of the mile jogging. This is OK at a marathon because you have 25 more miles to speed up to your pace…but in a 6 mile race, it is a big waste (and you have to give up the hope for a personal record). After awhile, I felt claustrophobic, so I left Ryan & sped up & maintained a decent pace for the remaining miles.
I could definitely tell it was midnight: 1) are those prostitutes out on these sketchy roads, high-fiving me?, 2) the smell of fast food messing with my mind and my stomach in mile 4-5, 3) drunken boys along frat row at USC, 4) my legs, my stomach, my breath–instead of getting better towards the end (I can usually finish a 10k pretty strong…like I’m waking up), I felt myself wanting to go to bed. I was able to sprint at the end, but my shoe lace came untied–I got yelled at for stopping right at the finish line to tie it, but being yelled at really doesn’t affect you when you’re tired, it’s 1am, and you just ran 6.2 miles.
It was a good start to the next several months, which will focus on longer distance races. I’m running a half-marathon in a few weeks–which I haven’t trained for, but will add 2 long runs to my training before then…and then L.A. marathon in March. I’m sure I’ll throw in another 1/2 & a 10k in there, too, but mostly excited to try my new program–which has you running only 3 days a week–but at a faster pace, which I definitely need for a decent marathon time. There’s still cross-training to do, so I can bring out my bike on the weekends. It’s going to be fun.
In Summary= I will not be running at midnight again.