Love Your Heart 10K Race Report

This 10K race report is long overdue — so long overdue, in fact, that I wasn’t really going to write it. But then I realized I have recapped every race I’ve done since beginning this blog, and this was my first ever 10K race, so I had darn well better recap it! Did I run 6.2 miles? And how did it go? I’m sure the internet must know!

I’ve been interested in doing some shorter-distance races (5Ks and 10Ks) since completing my longest-ever race back in December. During the time of adding on more miles and more miles, I started to feel a smidge overwhelmed by training for distance all the time. I wasn’t doing much strength training (unless you count yoga) or any speed training at all, and I wanted to get back to both of those things. I wanted to go shorter, but I really wanted to go faster!

It was taking my knee a while to rehab from the IT band problems that hit me during the marathon, so I slowly built back up to being able to run 3 or so miles pain free. I knew the 10K was coming up February 19th, but it wasn’t until maybe two weeks before that I was sure I’d even be able to complete it. It didn’t feel great, wondering if I could even run six miles, let me tell you, especially coming from a training period where six miles was a short run! I knew it was smarter to take it slow and not re-aggravate my just-healed injury, though, so I waited to commit to the race until I was sure. It took me a super-hilly six-miler in my neighborhood to get the confidence to sign up for the 10K.

The race takes place in Chewacla State Park, a beautiful wooded area with streams, small waterfalls, and miles of trail. The race wasn’t a trail run, though: it went straight up the main road to the summit of the park — where an absolutely gorgeous view can be had — and back down, consisting of two very hilly out-and-backs for a total of 6.2 miles.

Pre-Race
S., Me, E., and B. Racing with friends is the best!

I managed to get my friends B. and E. to sign up for the race with me — they were both training for half marathons and needed to put in a run that day anyway — and our friend S. had already signed up as well. It’s so much fun to do a race with friends. Although we all run different paces and therefore didn’t run together, we got to wait anxiously at the start together, cheer each other on multiple times as we passed each other on the out-and-backs, and celebrate at the finish together.

Eyes Closed, of COURSE.Least Flattering Photo Ever?!
One day I’ll get a flattering race photo! GOAL. Oh also, I know it’s kind of tacky to download the proofs, but I don’t want to pay — especially for paper print copies! Sorry!

I didn’t really know how to race a 10K, I have to admit. With a 5K, my philosophy is to start out fast and then hang on for dear life. You can do anything for 25-30 minutes, right? (Or, hopefully, one day, 24 minutes!) With a longer race, like a half marathon, I like to pick a moderate pace I can stick with and cruise it on in. What to do here? Gut it out, or cruise it in? I guess I struck somewhere in the middle of those, starting out at about 8:30-8:45 pace and trying to hang on from there. Most of my miles were below 9:00 except for mile 5, at which point I had seriously begun to wonder if I could keep it up until the end. I was dragging, and I walked through a water stop, dumped some on my head (it’s starting to get WARM here in Alabama!) and regained my composure. I still had it in me to sprint to the finish line and come in well below my public goal of 59:xx.

My secret 10K goal was (and is, though no longer secret) 54:xx, which I didn’t quite reach. I’m not at all disappointed though! A first race in a new distance means an automatic PR. I am VERY happy about my time of 55:47, what with the hills and the fact that I am only just now able to run 6 miles again. I’ve got plenty of time to make that sub-55 goal at some future race.

All in all, it was a blast. A gorgeous day, some great friends, a beautiful and tough course, and a successful first 10K race! Now, what to race next?

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8 thoughts on “Love Your Heart 10K Race Report

  1. K March 2, 2011 / 9:49 am

    Congrats on your great race! Sounds like you’re in a pretty good place coming back from injury.

    • Kate March 4, 2011 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks! I am just trying to remain cautious and not go crazy with either mileage, hills, or speedwork. Moderate increases only!

  2. Kristen March 2, 2011 / 10:59 am

    I was dying to know! Glad it went so well, and really glad you’ve been so smart about your recovery.

    I’m doing a 10k on Saturday, and boy, am I ever nervous. Honestly, I’m going to be really happy to keep it under an hour (especially since it’s a 4:30 p.m. race and it’s gonna be HOTTTTTTT). Wish me luck!

    • Kate March 4, 2011 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks, and good luck on your 10K! You can do it! 4:30 is a really odd time for it, but just stay hydrated, dump water on your head if you need to, and remember: you only have to hang on for 6.2, so don’t be afraid to go for it!

  3. Rose-Anne March 2, 2011 / 1:04 pm

    All things considered, you ran a great race! And you were so close to 54:XX that it totally seems do-able for your next 10K, if it’s still a goal. And I’m with you on the wish to do more speedwork and strength training. I think the only strength training I’ve done lately is carrying my groceries 🙂 And I’m excited for a yoga project I’m going to start after my half-marathon.

    PS You and your friends are so cute!

    PPS Next? Why not try a 5K to give you some more motivation for speedwork?

    • Kate March 4, 2011 / 8:29 pm

      Thank you! I think a 5K is a good idea. I have a time to beat on that from last year’s PR (26:36). I want to go under 25, and someday under 24. I should pick a local race and get to training.

  4. MC Etcher March 2, 2011 / 9:09 pm

    Great Work! Glad it went well, keep it up. Weird, I first heard of IT bands just a few days ago.

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