This weekend I started off the new year with a bang- a fun race with good friends! Amy and Sarah are signed up for the ORRC (Oregon Road Runners Club) 10k Race Series and I decided to join them for this first event. I’m doing the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon in a couple weeks and figured this would be a great tune-up race, and would give me an idea of what to shoot for in the half.
The race was out in Forest Grove, about 45 minutes from home. I did the whole mom routine (feeding the baby before the start, changing her diaper, etc) then Zach got her loaded up in the Ergo carrier. I registered, found my friends, used the bathroom, and we waited a few minutes inside the warm school. Awesome. It was about 36 degrees outside but thankfully not raining.
I stuck with my strategy from my previous two races of not looking at my watch the whole race, and just running by feel. I was feeling relaxed about the race with no pressure, nothing to prove, nothing to lose. I hoped to run sub 8:00 miles, coming in under 49 minutes. My PR was set back in 2009 at 47:04, so I hoped to come within a minute or two of that.
Since I didn’t have my Garmin as a guide (I was wearing it to capture my splits, just didn’t look at it), I ran purely by feel. And “by feel",” I mean “trying to keep up with the girls around me.” That went ok… I kept the group of girls in my sights but never caught up to them. I felt good but was definitely working hard. I checked in with myself several times and asked “could I be running faster?” Usually the answer was no, but later in the race I turned my music up a little and tried to find a little more speed before the finish.
The course was super flat the first couple of miles through town, and then we wandered through the scenic countryside for the latter half. There were three hills in the race, all in the second half. They seemed huge at the time but my Garmin data denies that. Amy and Sarah will agree though, they were big. Definitely slowed the pace, but I just kept my head down and feet moving. The miles were marked, but otherwise I wouldn’t have known we were almost back to the school since it sits on the edge of town. So suddenly there was one last big hill, then Zach holding Penny, then the finish line! I looked at my watch in that final stretch and was shocked to see my time! I sprinted in as fast as I could and finished with a BIG PR and an even bigger smile on my face.
46:16 (7:28 average pace)
5/41 30-34 AG (they gave me the 4th place ribbon after the event, oops)
Mile 1 7:12
Mile 2 7:13
Mile 3 7:29
Mile 4 7:45
Mile 5 7:37
Mile 6 7:54
Last 0.16 1:05 (6:53 pace)
Yay!! I was super surprised and excited. I haven’t set a new PR in so long… before the 2009 10k PR, all my other distance PRs are from 2006-2007. Granted, the past few years have been spent pursuing other goals (triathlon, trail running, babymaking) but still. So cool!!
I’m loving the shorter, faster stuff right now. My long runs have been really good though too (10-12 milers at 9:00 ish pace) so I’m optimistic about the half coming up. I am going into it with a relaxed attitude, open mind, and no watch! Will report back, of course!
And a few bonus pictures of my sweet Penelope, who will be 6 months old in a couple weeks. Sitting up, giggling, rolling over, grabbing her toes, and bringing joy to everyone around her.
Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!