Last Sunday the temperature was close to 60°F and it was sunny during my long run. The weather predicted for today was 21°F, winds up to 20-30 mph and 80% chance of snow. Perfect weather to run a 10K, or NOT! All morning I was fretting about how cold and snowy and windy it was outside. I could hear the wind rattling the windows in my house all night and all morning. I did NOT want to go run 6.2 miles, not one bit. But I had registered for the race so I tried to mentally prepare myself as I packed my bag.
I made a last minute run to the store to pick up some Hot Hands and a fleece jacket for an extra layer.
Before the race I fueled up with some Endurance Crackers¹ and a Beet & Sweet Potato “Roots” Juice² as well as a banana. About 15 minutes prior to the race starting I took a slow jog around the block to warm up and did some minor stretching. I got my phone all set up with the GPS and music and timer, and I actually remembered to push “start” this time!
The first mile was brutal; we were running into the wind and the snow was coming right at my face. I felt like my face was frozen and it hurt! I looked at the woman next to me and her face was covered in snow! My husband was just ahead of me and my goal was to pass him by mile 2.
The second mile we were finally running with the wind at our backs and I passed the hubby. I was feeling pretty good about my pace and no parts of my body felt like they were going to fall off from the cold anymore.
The app on my phone would chirp in and tell me my time, miles and pace every mile which helped keep me on track. At about 2.5 miles or so people started coming back towards me so I knew that the turnaround/halfway point wasn’t too far off. I was still feeling good and keeping a steady pace.
The third mile was a steady incline and I know I slowed down a bit, but it didn’t feel too significant. There was a woman and 3 men that I kept passing and then they would pass me, back and forth until about mile 5. I reached the turnaround point feeling good and knowing I could finish the 10K in less than an hour, which was my goal.
Miles 4 & 5 were on a gradual slope downhill and I was able to pick up some speed. I had wanted to run the second half faster than the first half and was feeling good about my pace. At mile 5 I dropped one of my hot hands while trying to fix my earphones. One had fallen out of my ear! I slowed for a split second to pick it up but changed my mind and kept going. I saw the 5 mile marker and picked up the pace a bit more.
During the final mile several runners who had already finished were cooling down and running back towards me. I knew I was almost done and my app informed me that I had run 6 miles in 54:06, I pushed myself to run faster to the finish line.
I finished my first 10K in 55:33 minutes, meeting my goal of under one hour. Not too shabby I think, especially with the weather conditions and considering it was my first 10K race. I walked back to cool down and also to cheer my husband on to his own finish of 56:49 minutes.
¹ Read the Top 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds; Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds; Benefits of Sunflower Seeds; and Benefits of Sesame Seeds. ² Sweet potatoes and carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Beets are rich in phytonutrients and have blood pressure lowering properties. Read more about the benefits of beet juice for endurance athletes here.