I’m happy to report that running the Marine Corps Marathon 10K did not end my short and slow running career! I was proud of my results, despite having battled nagging pains and an inconsistent training schedule. Here are my results!
Not quite the under 50 minute ambitious goal my buddy and I set for ourselves (she finished 30 seconds before me), but I was happy for these reasons:
1) I pushed myself but still had fun!
2) I felt cardiovascularly tested for the first time – meaning I had nothing left in the tank at the end and was out of breath! (This also means that I do not go fast enough during my weekly runs, those always feel easy)
3) I ran the whole thing! I mean I know I can physically run 6.2 miles, but I was dead by the end trying to sustain my pace! Not used to the whole running fast thing.
The day began with waking up at 6:15am to get myself dressed and pack a bag for my boyfriend and spectator to bring with him. It was a bit windy and could possibly drizzle so I wanted to be warm – I was definitely sweating during the run but happy that I chose to wear a long sleeve underarmor and crop length pants. I brought my waterproof ski jacket to toss on afterwards as we were planning on walking a bit on the way home from the finish.
The race ceremonies started at 7:45am and luckily I live around 15 blocks away, which was a nice warm up walk. I find my running buddy as we get there, and very nervously put ourselves in the 40:00-49:49 minute corral. The start line is packed anyway and our first mile is around 9 minutes. Too slow. We pick it up and our second mile is around 7:30, which is too fast, and definitely unsustainable for me! I enjoyed the gently rolling hills on the way into Virginia – my brief hill training helped me maintain the pace and pass some people on my way. My friend is timing our miles using a basic sports watch (nothing fancy here for us) and somehow mile 3 is 10:30 pace which we both agreed was very off. We decided to maintain steady 8 minute miles and pick it up slightly at mile 4. There was a downhill portion right after the mile 4 marker and my knees were not cooperating – my friend went faster than I would have liked on the downhill so I let her go off into the distance. I felt like I was sprinting the whole time! Around mile 5 I decided to try to pick up the pace but it was really hard for me at that point – the last 1.2 miles took an embarrassingly long time.
As I approach the end I see an electronic timer flashing and naively think that’s the finish line. I even yelled at a Marine “IS THIS ALMOST OVER IS THAT THE END” and he nodded. I “sprinted” a bit to the timer and someone else informs me I have another half mile to go and a giant hill to climb. Oh god. I really really wanted to walk at that point but the timer only read 44:xx and I was so gung ho that I could finish under 50 minutes still!
Since my time was 53:08 you can see that the last stretch, whether it was half a mile or more took me 8-9 minutes to run…oops!
I was very happy with my time though, which is an average pace of 8:33 minute miles. I only have two other races to compare it to, but last November my 5K average pace and 8K average pace were both 8:50 minute miles and they were shorter races 🙂
So pushing myself and a very lackadaisical training plan from last fall to this fall helped me improve. I know it’s not much but I ran 0-4 miles a week (mostly zero…) during the winter and summer months (I am a baby about temperature and daylight) and only started “training” at the end of August. Having the goal of running this 10K though absolutely helped me push through running days and regain my confidence as a wannabe runner. I also really enjoyed the distance – tough enough to be proud of, but very doable on minimal training. It made me realize I’ll have to work much harder to increase the distance and run longer races.