This year in racing started off on a positive note and even included some new bling.
On Saturday, I laced up my running shoes for my first 10k race of the year, the Bay Breeze 10k. Since we lack a vehicle, I took the BART to some remote area near Fremont, CA. As I tried to navigate Google Maps in the parking lot, I saw two other confused people, who I gathered were runners from their spandex and lack of warm clothes. Turns out, they were heading to the same race and…they were from PHILLY!!!! Not only that, but they live 2 blocks from our old apartment. We chatted the 1.5 miles to the race site, where I bid them “good luck,” as they were running the half marathon.
On a high from talking about Philly, I checked in and waited for the race to begin. I was impressed at how organized everything was too, from the insane amount of port-o-potties (seriously, this is a HUGE deal) to the speediness of the check-in and bag check process.
I decided to start near the front of the pack because, why the hell not?! As soon as “GO!” was shouted (I love small races), I settled into my pace. The coarse was mostly dirt/gravel trail, so I knew I wasn’t going to have a 10k PR (also, it was 6.3 instead of 6.2…WHAT?!). I ran the first mile conservatively, clocking 7:47 or so. At this point, I felt strong and decided to pass some people. Mile two was either short, or I was super speedy, for my split was 6:58. I still felt good though, so I made it a goal to pass people, not get passed.
Around mile 4 my ankles started hurting, probably from the uneven ground (there were lots of stones, so I really had to watch my step). However, I knew from the turnaround mark that there weren’t many females in front of me – perhaps I had a chance at an age group award!
At this thought, I set out to pass as many girls as possible. In the last half mile, I succeeded by passing one, who seemed around my age and who I’d had my eye on the entire race. Despite a curvy and uphill finish, I placed second in my age group (yay for being over 30!) and 31 out of 505 runners. My average pace: 7:34 per mile.
Although this is not my fastest time ever, the important thing to note is that I felt strong the entire race. Usually, I start out strong, then fade big time. I attribute this to my lifting and yoga practice. I’ve only been running about 15 miles a week, max, so if I were to up my weekly mileage, I guarantee that my times would also improve.
But for now, I’m 100% satisfied with my performance! How did I celebrate? Well first, I took advantage of the amazing spread after the race. I love small races because they have the BEST food – rice krispy treats, bagels, m&m’s, ice cream sandwiches…I could go on. But of course, I didn’t stop celebrating at the finishers tent! As soon as I got home, I bought a bottle of wine and some cheese. What better way to celebrate victory?!