I thought the best way to train for the Princess Half Marathon would be to complete a 5k training program, a 10k training program, and finally move onto half marathon training. I’ve definitely been making steady progress and I’m part way through the 10k program before officially starting my half training at the end of the month. I thought trying my hand at running a 10k around this time would be a good way gauge my running. It may have been a little early since I was only about half way through the program on race day, but I gave it a shot anyway.
So a few months back my friends, Lori and Lisa, asked me if I’d be interested in running an Oktoberfest themed 10k close to home and it was the perfect chance for me to give this distance a whirl. It was local, it was German, and it was the desired distance: sold! I had run 6 miles in my training a few weeks ago so I wasn’t terribly worried about finishing, it was just a matter of how fast I would go. I didn’t go very fast, but I did finish! There were a lot of reasons for my slow race, and we’ll get to those; right now I just want to take a second to say I finished a 10k race. Yay!
And now onto the not so great parts of this story. Things were not ideal at all with this race, but I finished. What made this race so wonky? Let me list the ways: the start was a mess. They didn’t have enough bathroom facilities so the line was huge at start time. Since we waited, we missed the official start and Lori took off running across the field to get the to the start line. I sort of jogged behind her, but didn’t want to push too much too early. I pushed too much too soon anyway and I was screwed up for a the first mile and a half. I also didn’t have my apps ready to roll so I spent time trying to get myself set up and trying to keep a decent pace. It didn’t go well.
Eventually I settled into my usual pattern a little bit more, but lost steam much earlier than usual since I started out too hard and since conditions kind of sucked. What were this crappy conditions you ask? The event was advertised as the “flattest course around.” They lied. It was hilly. Really hilly. Even my friends who are more experienced runners than I am said it was rough. It was also hotter than I anticipated. It wasn’t so bad in the shade, but most of the course was in the sunshine. There was no real breeze to bring relief so it was just plain uncomfortable for most of the course. I promise I only have one more complaint. The course wasn’t close to traffic so I spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder for cars. Most of the time it was ok, but passing people was a real pain in the ass. Since I started late I wasn’t with a big pack so there wasn’t a lot of other people to share the road with, but every time I passed someone or they passed me I felt like we were taking our lives in our hands. Oy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit some of my crappy performance was my own fault. I had only run once in about two weeks since I was working all the time pre-Nashville and then I was traveling. I was also exhausted from two weeks of crazy, travel, and class. I probably should have thought about these things more before I signed up for the race. These things were all my fault and I couldn’t blame it all on the race itself.
I can’t be all doom and gloom about my first 10k though so let’s talk about some positive things. Along the way there were kids standing in front of their houses cheering for the runners who were adorable. Let’s also not overlook the fact that I completed a 10k race and didn’t die! I never even really felt like I was going to die along the way since I decided part way through pushing too hard was not going to solve any of these adverse conditions. I ran and I finished when I lot of other people wouldn’t even try. That’s a victory right there. I can only get better from here and I will be ready for the Princess when February rolls around. I have plenty to be proud of after this race and a lot to look forward to in the future.