July 2, 2013

What I Learned From My 10K Last Week

On Thursday night, I ran a 10k for the first time in over a year.  While a goal time was not in the forefront of my mind, I did want to run a respectable race.  With that in mind, I also wanted for this race to be fun!

1.  Training hard the week of a race is not going to produce a great result.
In the past, when running a shorter distance race, I made sure to have either a cross training session or rest day the day before a race.  This time, I kept up my workouts, even running a fairly quick 5k the day prior to race day.  The morning of my race was hot, yet I got up early and met three friends for nine holes of golf.  But I did not just play golf, I walked the nine holes, approximately 2- 2 1/2 miles and carried my bag of clubs that weighs over 10 pounds!

My morning weight training session!
2.  Heat and Humidity are not PR conditions!
We all know that poor weather conditions do not aid runners in trying to achieve a personal record for a race.  But do we always process that before, during and after a race?  For this race, my goal was to try to go under an hour, what I thought was a reasonable goal.  60 degrees is supposed to be the ideal temperature for a race and when we started on Thursday night, it was not only above 80 degrees, but humid AND the sun came out!  My managed expectations allowed me to not get caught up in my Garmin/ pace per mile.

3.  Choose your race attire carefully!
This was probably my biggest mistake of the night.  I knew as I was getting dressed that my top was a bad choice, but I liked it and it matched my new Sparkle Skirt!  While it was made of wicking material, it was tightly woven and kept the heat in.  To alleviate the problem during the race, I doused myself at every water stop to get cool.  Thankfully, this race was not a goal race or important in terms of a time finish, but I beat myself up more than once on the course for not wearing a lightweight tank top that was breathable.
A poor choice of race day attire!
4. The heat will never be my friend.
I decided that summer races are not my thing.  I run them to give myself a chance to race between big races, but I will never like them!

5. A fellow runner can make your race 
If you read my race recap, you know that a lovely woman approached me with less than a mile to go when I was ready to collapse and asked if I was running the 10k. I said yes, and she said, "come on, you are breaking an hour."  I followed along and actually got into a groove.  Instead of going 1:02, which was likely when she caught me, I ran 58:55.  Thanks again kind stranger.

Have you run a race in adverse conditions?  What did you learn from the experience?
(Pam)

21 comments:

  1. The Run For the Dream Race in Williamsburg last month was probably one of the "toughest" races for me because of the heat. I was dressed properly, but while running it I definitely re-thought what I would be wearing for the PHM in Disney. Althouhg I have thoughts of cute race costumes/outfits, I know I would rather wear something "lighter" that I will be comfortable in for 13.1 miles. ( I hope this makes sense, I feel I didn't really explain that very well..ha) But anyway, congrats on getting your 10K time under 1 hour. Thats awesome.

    ~M

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    1. Thanks so much. I will definitely be choosing my outfits carefully for our races in California next month!

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  2. Tower of Terror last year was the worst race I've ever run (actually probably my worst race EVER!). It was hot, humid, disgusting and I felt like I couldn't breath the entire race. In the end I just made the decision to take it slow and do my best to enjoy it rather than run for a good time, it's just not worth it to make yourself sick over (and trust me A LOT of people were quite sick at the finish line...I can never look at Sunset Boulevard the same!).

    And agreed on the importance of choosing a light breathable outfit! Plus for me a visor and sunglasses are so important, sunlight triggers my migraines and if I don't protect my eyes I'm totally done!

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    1. Sunglasses are a must for me too, and I think a visor is going to be added for future races when it is hot!

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  3. Like you, I know that humidity is not my friend. I completely stall!

    I know that I love running with friends!

    Everything we do, we learn. :)

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    1. Exactly Kierston. At every race, I find out something that will be helpful for future races.

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  4. Yes, you never know what race day will bring, but we do the best we can!

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    1. I always try my best and at the end of the day, that is all!

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  5. The hottest race for me was a toss up between Princess Half this year or my 10K back in late April. I'd venture to say the half just because it's a longer race, and I am so grateful I didn't wear a heavy costume for it!

    I couldn't agree more about how a fellow runner can help make or break a race!

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    1. Lauren, I was so happy I got that little nudge at the end of the race, and I was able to thank that girl afterwards too!

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  6. We live in GA and so I've come to realize that training in the summer is just not my favorite. I do it because I have to but I don't enjoy it in the least. I did Donald in January and Princess in February. And while Donald was hot it wasn't bad but the Princess was awful! After running the Princess I came to the conclusion that running Tower of Terror will require a lot more of me due to having to train all summer and then knowing how hot Orlando is still in October. I'll get to it eventually but it's priority on my runDisney bucket list is not as high as some of the other races.

    And for those of you that raced in Williamsburg for Run for the Dream...congrats! I can imagine how tough that race was due to how hot it was. We were there that week on vacation and the weekend before would have been perfect race conditions because it was unseasonably cooler and breezy. As the week progressed the temps just kept creeping higher and higher. We ran early one morning in the historic district and it was hot even early.

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    1. Christine races the Run for the Dream, and that was wicked with the heat/sunshine. However, those races do make us stronger for those in good conditions!

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  7. Live and learn, right? This weekend I raced in bazillion degree heat and learned that extreme heat and hills are not great racing conditions but now I know to be better prepared for surprises like that in future races. Also, that shirt is great, too bad it wasn't great for running!

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    1. Agree about hills too. I forget to mention the surprise hills for me in this race. They were a real treat! rolls eyes

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  8. The Esprit de She was very hot and humid, but meeting great people like you helped me have a positive attitude during my first 10K. And guess what? Because of you, we are registered for the Princess Half Marathon! See you in February!

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    1. Oh that is so exciting Deanna. Congrats on registering and hopefully we will connect again in February!

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  9. And also, your outfit? Totes cute!

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  10. Thanks for the insight! Good to keep in mind for an upcoming race I have.

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    1. Good luck with your race and stay cool!

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  11. Its always difficult to predict exactly what race conditions will be like, but kudos to for preserving despite the unideal weather! You know you can do whatever you put your mind to, even if it takes a kind reminder from a stranger to get you to the end.

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    1. Exactly...the little push from that lovely runner made all the difference, and the tasty food and adult beverages at the finish line! :)

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