Things to not do in a race

Yep, it’s been a while. I will try to formulate a rational explanation excuse later (maybe), but right now I prefer to just jump right into my story as if my recent absence from this blog was completely imagined. And who knows, maybe it really was. Like in Inception.

On Saturday, I ran my second 10k ever. I’ve run about three times as many half marathons and marathons as I have run 5k’s and 10k’s. Runners are weird, irrational people.

I signed up for the Midtown Raleigh 10k basically just because I wanted to do one more race before the worst of the North Carolina summer heat and humidity descended and there wasn’t a single race over a 5k to be found in the area. I talked myself out of running the half marathon because I hadn’t run more than 6 miles since the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. In retrospect, the half marathon may have been a safer bet because at least I know what I’m doing when I run a 13 mile race. Apparently not so for 6 miles.

Let me count the fails. Also known as things to not do in a race…

Don’t weight lift and run all week and do a BodyPump class the day before the race, all along telling yourself you’re just going to take the race easy… only to get there and talk yourself into racing the hell out of it.

Don’t go into your second 10k ever with your only plan being: “6.2 miles is a lot shorter than 26.2 miles. I’m good.”

Don’t run your first mile in 7:20 only to leave yourself barely able to struggle bus through a bunch of 8:20+ miles the rest of the way.

Don’t repeatedly tell yourself to save some energy for the absolutely soul crushing 3/4 mile hill that you know is coming right before the finish line, and then just don’t listen to yourself at all. There was walking involved. It wasn’t pretty.

My time was 51 minutes even (8:13/mile pace) and I  placed 24th out of  267 overall, 7th out of 267 women, and 1st of 45 in my age group. Yes, my poor race technique was ironically rewarded by me placing first in my age group. How did that happen? I suppose I have my stupidly fast first mile to thank for that.

Despite all my sarcastic negativity, I know that I should be happy with the race to some extent. I placed well (my first ever age group win) and did PR over my first and only other 10k. My criticisms are mostly of how poorly I planned and executed the race and the fact that my average pace was slower than my pace in my last half marathon, even though the distance was much shorter.

I am noticeably inexperienced with shorter distance races, but this just means there is a lot of room for improvement if I decide to keep running them.

What is your favorite race distance? Ever had a big race day fail?

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6 thoughts on “Things to not do in a race

  1. Lassiter Mill Hill is a killer yeah? I specifically chose not to run that event this year because of the heat, humidity and that hill finish from last year. I ran the Half last year, and was soaking wet by mile three. I picked a 10k much closer to home, in fact just four miles from the house. Run the Quay. Much like you I am more trained for longer distances, and hadn’t run a 10k in close to two years. Had a good time though. Congrats on the 1st in AG.

  2. I’ve done half marathons and 5ks, but have yet to sign up for a 10k, mostly because I have no idea how to run it. Half marathons you keep a steady pace that’s comfortable and for 5ks you can go much faster–I’m afraid for a 10k I’d either start slow and have a ton of energy at the end and feel frustrated that I could’ve gone faster or I’d go too fast and burn out by the end.

    • I’ve only done two 10k’s and struggled with both of them. The first one (which was several years ago) I think I didn’t quite go fast enough because I finished faster than expected but still didn’t feel really tired at the end. This time I think I had the opposite problem and was a bit overly-confident.

  3. Pingback: Vega Sport review | Endorphins Junkie

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