Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Madison Bun Run 10k Race Recap

Have you ever finished a race when you ran well, but still don't feel 100 percent satisfied with the result? Because that's exactly how I feel about Saturday's Bun Run 10k. I got my PR and finished within the top 5 ... but I am still hungry for more.

Let me explain.

Mom and I got to the race about 45 minutes before the start. For me, this is cutting it too close. I like a full hour or more to properly warm up, get my bearings and then leisurely walk to the start line. There wasn't time for any of that. We had to pick up our bibs and then got in line for the bathroom. At the one portapotty that was at the race. ONE. For about 400 people. Of course, the line took for-ev-er. By the time we made it through that line, it was about 3 minutes til the race start. No time to warm up. No time to get it together mentally.

And before I knew it, we were off. All the anxiety of waiting in line and not getting to warm up definitely played on my first mile and I started the race too fast. More than a half mile in and my pace was still showing as 6:xx, which was not part of the plan. Finally my pace slowed when we hit a gravel/rock-covered portion of the course. It was a bit slippery and didn't really feel that great running over in flats. I could feel every rock through the bottom of my shoes.

I was sooo jealous of the 5k runners around mile 1.5 as they began their turnaround back to the start/finish line area. I was already feeling the race and knew I still had 4.5ish miles to go. At this point, I was running according to my plan so just focused on maintaining. I knew there were five ladies in front of me and I could see three of them in the distance.

Around mile 2, I started reeling in one of the ladies. I pulled up right behind her and drafted for a few seconds before surging ahead to pass. Mentally, I was thinking about some of my training runs that included 20, 30, 60, 90 or 120 second surges. Excellent practice for that very moment!

That excitement got me to the turnaround point around the mile 3 marker. I could see another woman not that far in front of me and decided I would do another surge to get past her. It worked! The only bad part was now there were no women - or even men - around me to help with pacing and no one ahead of me that I could see to help pull me along. I was all alone. And that's when my race started to fall apart.

The heat got to me around mile 4 and I could tell my pace was taking a hit. My legs weren't turning over as well and even my upper body felt tense. Every stride felt like a huge effort. Then around mile 5, I began running into the back of the 5k race and was weaving around groups of walkers. The only relief was a high five from a little girl - who then asked her mom why I was running my underwear! Totes made me chuckle. When at the Bun Run, a girl must race in buns!

I felt like I was clawing my way to the finish during the last 1.2 miles. Everything hurt - not so much in an all-out effort type of way but in a I'm-overheating-I-started-too-fast-and-this-is-way-more-mentally-challenging-than-expected type of way. Finally the finish line was in sight and I was more than happy to up my pace just to finish the darn race!

So incredibly glad to be done!

Here are my results:

Time: 45:17
Pace: 7:18
Overall Place: 5*/154
Age Group Place: 2/62

Right after finishing, a volunteer gave me a bottle of water and I collapsed in the grass. It felt so good to lay down for a bit and drink the cold water. After resting for 10 minutes, I did my cooldown run by running back on the course to find Mom. She was struggling in the heat but not once did she slow or walk. She did great, especially considering she was one of the oldest ladies at the race, if not the oldest!

Mom and I after the race!

Before the race, I had my goal time as 44:xx and I still think in better conditions I could have made it happen. I'm disappointed to have missed that time but I PR'd by more than 30 seconds and I'm happy with that. Just not satisfied. But maybe that's just part of running and racing. It's impossible to feel 100 percent satisfied with a performance because if there's nothing to improve upon, what's the point of training hard and then putting ourselves through challenging races? When looked at that way, I guess it's better to have something to chase and achieve. The hunger is always there!

So that was my main Memorial Day Weekend excitement. My questions for you:
  • Do you think it's possible to feel 100 percent satisfied with a race performance?
  • What did you do to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend?

Wishing you all a great start to the (short) week!

- ST

*I was the 4th woman to cross the finish line but 5th in the final standings

8 comments:

  1. you did amazing sun! you should absolutely be proud of that achievement! i think that going out too fast is always awful... it's my achilles heel for sure! i do think that it is possible to feel 100% satisfied with a race performance for some people but i would never want to be one of those people because i suspect they never achieve more than mediocrity. for memorial day we had family over... nothing too exciting. i hope you have an excellent week!

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    1. Thanks Nikki! It's so easy to get sucked into the excitement of finally starting the race after a week of resting up - but the extra pain later in the race is never worth it :) Hope you had a great weekend with your family!

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  2. First off, you did great! You pushed through a hard race AND PR'd with no time to prepare mentally beforehand. Personally, I think it's so important to have a little time to "soak it all in" before it's time to begin the physical preparation for a race and I have no doubt that if you would have had even just a little more time you would be more satisfied with your outcome, but it takes a different kind of strength and endurance to preserve and you did that. I think all races should leave us wanting more, if not then there's no reason to run unless we don't want to be competitive. While you may not know it now, this race will only prepare you to have great ones in the future. You did amazing! :)

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    1. Thanks Hailey! I think I was in a bit of shock during the first mile of the race. I agree, having time to prepare mentally beforehand is so important!

      Congrats on your race this weekend - looking forward to hopping over to your blog to read the recap :)

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  3. Congratulations on your PR! That time is fantastic, lady! Especially in that kind of heat and for not being as fully prepared mentally as you would have liked to be. I totally get that feeling though. I've definitely had races where I met my goal, but there were still some lingering what if's.

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    1. Thank you! I guess there's always the question of could I have given a bit more. I think at the end of most races, my answer is yes. But it gives us something to strive for at the next race!

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  4. I love this description of how you felt -- I'm-overheating-I-started-too-fast-and-this-is-way-more-mentally-challenging-than-expected type of way -- I definitely know what that feels like! Congrats on your PR and top 5 finish!

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    1. Thanks Lindsay! Every race is a learning experience - hoping to avoid that feeling during future races!

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