Race Report: Hellyer 10K

So, yes, I did run that 10K this morning. I almost didn’t. Last night, I was basically crying from the idea of having to run it. But, two things convinced me to get up at 5:40 a.m. and drive to San Jose, where no one wants to go. Well, three things. 1. If I was going to not do it, I should probably run that by Coach Mario and I didn’t really want to text him at 11 p.m. and be all like, ‘heeeeyy…’ and 2. If I didn’t do it, I would have to do a hard workout or something, I’m sure, and that sounded awful — it was either race or lay on the couch, nothing in between, and 3. I said I was going to do it on the internets and, well, I didn’t want the world wide web to think less of me.

Off I went.

The short story is I continued my streak of having run virtually all my 10Ks between 40:20 and 40:55, regardless of my fitness level. In all fairness, that’s only like three open 10Ks, so it’s not as impressive a streak as it sounds. The 10Ks in triathlons, of which I have run many many more, I do consistently in 41:xx. Obviously, I’m putting it all out there in the bike and the swim and that’s why I go so much slower than when I don’t bike and swim first. Um…

My goal for this race was 39-flat and I was going to run all my miles between 6:15 and 6:20. That didn’t exactly happen. The first mile I ran in 6:08, which wasn’t really between 6:15 and 6:20, but you know it was close-ish, so I felt pretty good about that, though I didn’t feel so good about how much my legs hurt 400 meters into it.

Side note: The first mile of a race always cracks me up. There were maybe a dozen guys hauling ass ahead of me for that first mile, full-out sprinting, who all promptly disappeared after the mile marker, and you kind of want to lean over to them and say: Really? You’re going to run sub-6’s for this whole thing? Really??

After the first mile, there were two guys up ahead and one guy next to me. My goal became revised to: top three overall and top woman. Don’t get passed! (As we’ve discussed, I have a huge psychological issue with being passed. More scared of that — and of looking stupid — than of not catching someone. Idiotic, yes.) My second goal became: do not lose this guy next to you. It turned out I wasn’t really capable of any other goals, like running between 6:15 and 6:20 miles. Since the guy next to me was running in the 6:30s, then 6:40s, then maybe a 6:50 in there, that’s what I ran. And, it took every ounce of strength I had to do so, especially in the middle miles when I had to claw my way back next to him each little up and down and turn.

Right before the second mile, we were gaining on the one guy right ahead of us. We had slowed down a lot (in case you can’t do math and thought I kept running 6:08s and somehow still crossed the finish line in 40:48) and yet we were gaining on him. And, then he stopped and was done. I wondered, then, if I was in enough pain to stop too, but I decided I wasn’t and cursed my shitty luck.

After that, it was just me and the one guy running down a bike path all by ourselves with some other guy like four minutes ahead of us. That doesn’t feel like a race. That feels like a workout gone terribly wrong.

A little before mile 5, we merged with the 5K runners, who had started 20 minutes after us. All of a sudden, there were people to pass and I could work my way up through the crowds, so I pushed it, dropped my running buddy (about which I felt slightly guilty) and pulled off a 6:28 last mile. What does this teach us? All that shit, it’s just in your head.

Here is the only photo available of me. Since there are pictures of the guys before and after me, I am convinced the race photographers didn’t post pictures of me because my shorts made me look fat. They were just being nice. Obviously.

The back of that girl in the white tank top. Yeah that's me for the brief period after the turnaround I thought I'd put the drop on my running buddy, but was just lying to myself.
The back of that girl in the white tank top. Yeah, that’s me for the brief period after the turnaround I thought I’d put the drop on my running buddy, but was just lying to myself.

Then, I hobbled my way through a cooldown and we called it a ‘training day’ for Boston.

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