Jason Douglas’s Firecracker Run 10K Recap
As I write the recap of my first 10K race, I am still sore and just feeling blah. That might give you a heads up as to how the tone of this post will be.
As usual, I slept poorly the night before the race. Sleeping poorly is not a new concept, with or without a race the next day. After logging a possible 5 hours of ‘quality’ sleep, I woke up later than I had wanted to, as the race was about 20 minutes from home, and parking was supposed to be at a premium. I rushed out of the house without showering, as time was of the essence, and I would be showering a couple hours later. Great logic, right?
Thanks to my iPhone and the Google Maps application, I found the location with no stress. Parking was a bit more difficult, but did find a fairly decent spot. Arriving at 8:10 with the race to begin at 8:30, I casually walked toward the mass of people and towards shirt and chip pickup. This is where things start to fall apart.
I was pre-registered, thinking that would save time at the race and money. There was a line at least 30 deep waiting in the ‘pre-registered’ line, a line which was not moving as quickly as it should have. My friend Kenny waited in line with me for the 13-14 minutes I was in it. Finally, I get my chip and shirt, and realize I have nowhere to put it, no one to give it to. Lucky, Kenny and I found a vendor to hide our stuff.
We run to the starting line, and I try to stretch among the hundreds of runners. That failed miserably. I was hoping the 80% humidity would loosen my muscles up, but that took a toll on me later in the race. There was no real starting line, which was confusing, as I started to wonder why I was wearing a timing chip on my shoe.
Out of nowhere, people start running, and the masses followed. I guess the race had begun. My goal for the race was around 56 minutes, or sub 9 minute miles. I was running alone, as Kenny is fast, and our other friend, Nik, was nowhere to be seen after we left the starting area. Things were going well, until we got to mile one, where there was a timer announcing: eight minutes, twenty seconds. F-word, I’m not pacing myself at all!
At: mile 2, I took my first water break (they were more than abundant in this race, at least one per mile), which I decided would be a good time to just walk, as water stops are so packed, they make you stop. I get going after a minute of walking and watering myself, and we reach the halfway point. I ask a runner next to me for the time (as I was one of three people not to wear a watch); she says: 28 minutes. Beautiful, right? I’m on pace for my 56 minute goal. Problem: I felt that I was going much faster than that, which ended up being an aberration on my part.
This course was very hilly. It reminded me of the second half of the Minneapolis Half Marathon I ran in a month prior, the part that killed my legs and made me useless after mile 8. My legs were already sore after 3.1 miles, and I had that same distance to go.
The second half of the race can be summed up briefly: uncomfortable, humid, heavy air, never got in a rhythm. My time, unofficial, around an hour. 4 minutes off my goal pace, which was disappointing, but made sense at the same time.
Takeaways from this race: I have no clue how to pace myself, and need to learn how to do so immediately. Also, I was not mentally ready for this race. My poor sleeping habits, my stupid brain thinking of 1,000,000 things at once, no matter the time of day, situation, etc. and not focusing on the task at hand, not stretching, not getting there early to relax and prepare; those are all factors to my poor race.
I find it interesting that I am more sore after this race than I was after my half-marathon. Does that make sense at all? No? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
This race was good, as I now have an experience in a 10K. I plan on running another on July 24th with my friend Bob. I need to follow up with him about that, thanks for reminding me!
After the race, I did something I rarely do: took a nap. This wasn’t any ordinary nap, this was a 4 hour power nap. This might have something to do with the above factors I mentioned.
Overall, it was a good, educational experience. I learned a lot about what I need to do. Now, it’s all about execution.
I hope you had a good 4th of July weekend.