When you wait a month to write your race recap,the race becomes a lot less exciting.
When all the life changes happen in between the race and the day of the recap, the race becomes a lot less exciting.
When you remember your PR, the excitement returns.
I signed up for the Scotland Run 10K on a bit of a whim. I just started running again March after taking a break. I only ran one time after the Richmond Marathon, a difficult 8-miler a couple of weeks later, and then it got cold and as Andy told you all, I don’t do cold well.
The weather got warmer in March, so back to the running grind I went. Only this time, something was different.
I was much faster.
Like, MUCH faster. I was always a 10 minute mile runner on average. I’d be happy with a run if I finished in anything under 10 minute miles. A few times, I was able to push myself faster – like the Women’s Mini 10K in June 2010 and the 4 Mile Race to Deliver that November. Both those runs were extreme situations. During the first, I was pissed off and during the second, I was gunning for a PR. During both, I felt like death.
But now, I can run sub-9 minute miles and feel great the entire time.
I’m not entirely sure why this is.
My guess is that my newfound speed (relative, of course – I’m still not an actually FAST runner) comes from a combination of factors – the countless sprints and heart rate bursts at Refine Method, all the miles I logged during marathon training and the nice long rest I gave myself.
I signed up for a few 10ks – one in April, one in May, one in June and I plan to sign up for one in July when registration opens. My goal was to work up to a PR in the June 10K – the Women’s Mini 10k, exactly two years after my last PR in that race.
Once I realized I was naturally faster, I thought maybe I should try to PR in the Scotland Run. The thing is, I didn’t run very often and I didn’t do any type of training or speedwork. But I also knew, based on my recent runs, that I had it in me.
The night before the race, I was debating if I’d even go or not. I realized it started at 62nd street on the west side. I was at Andy’s old apartment on 95th and 3rd, the complete opposite corner of the park. The thought of spending money on a cab, dealing with coat check, getting back home after didn’t seem appealing. I went to bed not sure if I’d do the race. I made a playlist just in case though.
I woke up still not sure if I’d go, but once I got out of bed it was clear I was racing. I got ready, applied my company’s brand new BB Cream for the first time (I sound like an ad, but I really wanted to test this out at a time I needed SPF but wouldn’t wear real makeup) and headed out. A guy who was clearly also going to the race got on the elevator at a lower floor, and I asked him if he wanted to share a cab with me. Then I banged him.
We did share the cab though, which made my stress about paying to go to the race disappear. I checked my coat and made it to the start with time to spare. It was a gorgeous, sunny, cool day and once I was around all the other excited runners, I was really happy I made the trek to this race. I felt really, really good.
And we were off.
I completed the first mile in exactly 9:00. That was my slowest mile of the race.
I’m sure you can see where this is going. Especially since I already gave it away in the title.
I seriously felt amazing the entire time. The first mile flew by which is always a good sign, and when I feel good I run faster. Central Park’s hills were rough as always but I pushed through. My iPod Nano got into Shuffle mode a few weeks ago and I forgot to try and fix this before the race. It took me a few songs to realize they were out of order, and once I did I was a little upset because Jesse from Flywheel introduced me to a really fun, fast song during his spin class that I wanted to hear – Press It Up by Sean Paul. I never did get to hear it during this race. But the music was still awesome.
It was around mile 5 that things got tough and I was ready for the race to end, which is funny because that was my fastest full mile of the race. As soon as the last mile started, I got nauseous. Very nauseous. I was pushing my body hard and it was time to be done. But I always finish a race strong, and this one was no exception. As much as I wanted to really sprint at the end, I did what I could knowing I had my PR.
Official NYRR time: 53:55
Official average pace: 8:42
To put this in perspective, I finished my first 10K in December 2009 in 1:03:22. And my 10K PR before this was 56:05. And I had just taken months off from running and didn’t train. I was beyond elated to finish this race and get my PR! I even walked back home after just to extend my happiness outside.
I also snapped this photo when I got back home to see how my BB Cream held up and also because I was very happy. The cream held up well during the race! I have chronic acne on my chin and you’d never know.
Back on topic.
This race made me crave a half marathon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a convenient half anytime soon. They changed my beloved Queens Half Marathon (another surprise PR – I think I’m capable of more than I realize) to a 10K. I’m registered for the Newport Liberty Half Marathon in September (right by my new apartment and directly in front of my office) and the Richmond Half Marathon in November (I loved racing there so much last year, I can’t wait to get back) – and I WILL PR in one of those. If not both.
I just hope this newfound speediness doesn’t disappear as suddenly as it arrived.
I’m glad to be back in the racing game. I’ve said it before – I like racing more than I like running. Although now that I’m consistently getting splits in the 8s, I’m beginning to like running a whole lot more. Seeing improvement is the greatest form of motivation there is.