It’s no secret that the 10k is my least favorite race distance. It’s just a sufferfest. The distance is too long to be short and too short to be long. It is not my sweet spot. I’d much rather run a 4-miler (popular in NYC due to the layout of Central Park) or a half marathon.
Here are a few reasons why I had a bad race day at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k
- I psyched myself out about it from the beginning because I know just how hard 10k races are for me.
- I haven’t ran any hard miles since the Brooklyn Half.
- I worked out several days in a row last week and my body was ready for a rest day.
- This is lame and I know it, but it was humid!
- I need to run more hills.
While I had a rough plan for how I’d run the race, I was still undecided and nervous. So naturally, I tweeted out my concerns. I got this response from Mary Wittenberg which made me feel a bit calmer since it confirmed my strategy (yes, even coaches doubt themselves!)
I woke up at 6:30 and had 8 ounces of water, one cup of coffee and a cinnamon raisin picky bar. We jogged 2.25 miles to the start line corrals. I got to my corral super early and I stood there dripping with sweat. That’s when I realized how hot it was.
After the gun went off, the race was even more crowded than usual. I smiled to myself as nearly everyone was passing me during the first two miles. I thought, “I’ll catch them on the back half of the race.” I tuned into my breathing and kept my pace conservative and around an effort level 6 (on a scale from 1-10). I felt confident that I’d be able to pick up the pace when I hit the 5k mark.
From 5k on it was stop and go. I would speed up to what felt like a good manageable tempo effort only to be told “no” by my body. At times I wanted to give up and just jog, but I’m trying something new this year. Unless I’m feeling sick or injured, when I feel terrible I’m going to slow down and recover a bit then try again. Why give up? Or why not at least give it my best effort so I can get in a good workout and therefore hopefully elevate my fitness level?
That’s what I kept doing this until I crossed the finish line. I thought I’d surely be able to punch into gear when I hit the final 800 meters, but once again I was wrong. I had to slow down again until I hit the last 400 meters where I forced myself to sprint to the finish.
My final sprint to the finish line was significantly slower than it was at the Brooklyn Half Marathon (read my recap here). And I ran the last mile before the final sprint at almost the exact same pace, but it felt so much harder! I actually felt a bit nauseous.
My (all over the place) garmin splits:
Official race time: 50:09 (8:05 pace; nearly three minutes slower than my 10k PR)
I’m mostly focused on improving my overall fitness right now, so I’m not concerned with how things went. I just hope that in a few months from now my fitness will be much better.
Next up on my schedule is the NYRR Retro 4-miler on Saturday.