Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Rob's parents visited over Memorial Day weekend, which freed me up to run the University City 10K while they watched Will.

It's been a really long time since I've run a 10K, even though that is one of my favorite racing distances.  The most recent one I did was probably back in 2004.  I was training for some marathon (Madison? Green Bay?), and I was scheduled to do a 20 mile training run on the day of the Christie Clinic 10K in Champaign-Urbana.  My plan was to run over to the race start from my house (approximately 6 miles), then run the 10K, and then run back home.  When I arrived at the race I happened to catch up with a guy I knew from the running club, and we ran the whole thing together.  He was wearing 11 year old racing flats that he'd run thousands of miles in, and I thought that was awesome (note, this was before barefoot running and minimalism were "in").  We talked and joked for about 4 miles, and then for the last two we shut up gave it all we had.  I ended up with my 10K PR that day.  I can't remember my finishing time and can't find it anywhere online now, but I'd guess it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 47 minutes.  I ate some Great Harvest Bread Co. bread and then ran back home-- pleased with the knowledge that my 10K PR had come as the "middle leg" of a 20 mile run.

I was an animal back then.

God, I miss those days.

At any rate, as I recently toed the line of the University City Memorial Day 10K,  a "fast" time was not my goal-- I just wanted to have some fun.

There were so many people doing the 5K and 10K that day that it was hard to line up at the starting line.  I ended up behind several women who had on mascara and were wearing long pants (it was at least 85 degrees out).

Sidenote: Something I have never understood about St. Louis is that I always see people wearing in winter running gear in the summer.  Even when it is close to a hundred degrees, there will be a couple of people out at Forest Park wearing tights and long sleeves.  I just don't get it.

Anyway, once the "gun" went off, I ran. It felt so good.  It had been such a long time since I ran fast.  I was streaming past people (in their long pants) and it felt completely effortless.

And then my shoe came untied!

I've been running for 18 years, and I don't think my shoe has ever, ever, ever come untied before!

I bailed off to the side and tied it as quickly as possible, then I hurled myself back into the pack to try to make up lost time.  I had no idea what my pace was going to be.  I was afraid that it just felt like I was going really fast, but once I got to the first mile, it would turn out that I was running 10 minute pace or something.  So I was very, pleasantly, extremely pleased to hit mile 1 at 7:53.  I don't' know if I've run a sub-8 mile since giving birth 3 years ago.  And this was with a 10 second pause to tie my shoe.  And I still felt great.  I took this as a good sign.

I told myself to keep this pace for the next several miles, and so I did.

There were hills, lots of them, but they didn't phase me.

My plan was to vamp it up once I hit mile 4.  I made a feeble attempt to do this, but quickly realized I couldn't.  It was almost 90 degrees and I'd been running hard for over a half an hour.  I suddenly felt terrible-- jelly legs and nausea--but mentally, I found this hilarious.  I only had two miles left!  This was so unlike running a marathon, when on several occasions I've ended up running something like 18 miles while feeling just as terrible.

I gutted it out and finished in 49:00.  Even.

Not setting any world records here, but I was beyond ecstatic that I was able to run a reasonable 10K without even training for it, and the most important thing was that I felt so great!

The next important thing was that I had fairly even splits:

  • Mile 1 - 7:53 (had to stop and tie shoe)
  • Mile 2 - 7:43
  • Mile 3 - 7:49
  • Mile 4 - 7:51
  • Mile 5 - 7:52 (Oh hey! Feeling really bad, but kept with it).
  • Mile 6 - 8:00 (Ohhhh hey!  Feeling really, really bad, but still clinging to 8 min pace by the skin of my teeth!)
  • Mile 0.2 - 1:48 (There's the finish line of my first 10K in 7 years and I did it in under 50 minutes!)

Hoping I get a chance to run another 10K sometime before, say, William goes to college.

Thanks for reading.

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