Chattahoochee Challenge 10k

First race of 2010!! Yippee!!

We had a bit of a crazy week leading in to the race... my car was rear ended on Monday with both my boys in the back seat - in car seats thank goodness! and my littlest one ended up at the ER on Thursday with low blood oxygen levels from what we think was an asthma attack! The whole story is on the boys' blog here)

But nothing we can't handle and you just gotta keep moving forward...

Friday night I start to get ready for the race and thinking about the race plan... once again Laura's biggest goal for me was the negative split. My original goal of 7:20 pace (which I totally thought was a stretch goal) was abandoned when I finally sucked it up and asked Laura what I should shoot for... her answer... between 41 and 44 min... ummm okay... for those who don't have an instance pace calculator in their head 41 min is 6:35 pace and 44 is 7:06.

My first thought was... wow, she really thinks I can do that? I'm easily persuaded because all of a sudden I was thinking... of course I can do that!

I love the power of suggestion.

So I quickly text my racing buddy Andrea... what do you think of going for 7:00 pace? she said, let's do it!

ahh, so here we are the night before the race and I feeling fairly confident about the idea of a 44... I had run some intervals the week before that suggested 7:00 pace avg was totally doable...

Wake up Saturday morning... get dressed, grab my banana and some First Endurance EFS, phone, race stuff, etc. and head out the door...

Music on the way to the race started out soothing... Coldplay... then moved to rockin' beats (XXX soundtrack)...

Meet up with Kate and Andrea, warm up a little, but mostly just goof around. Ran in to Coach Dan, always puts you in a happy frame of mind...

I was feeling relaxed and ready to go... I had the pacing on my watch set up for the negative split plan... The first mile was incredible, felt effortless... the only effort was keeping the pace a little slower, second mile I was starting to groove, I looked over at Andrea and said "I'm feeling good"... It looked like she was doing well too! the third mile was feeling great... it was getting a little windy, but nothing to really affect the pace... as I closed in on Mile 4 mark I was thinking, this is so cool, you can totally do this!!! Then my left quad felt a little tweak... tweak became pain, and somewhere in the middle of mile 4 tweek became cramp in left quad...

ahh, yes, the watch, looking for some negative split action starts yelling at me to speed up... I can't you stupid watch, I'm using all my concentration to keep this left leg swinging forward!

I could run, it just hurt really badly... like someone kind of stretching your muscle farther than should be possible, with every step I took... I knew I wasn't going to do any permanent damage to my muscle by finishing the race so I just took it a mile at a time...

Finally got to the second turn around... I actually stopped close to mile 6 to see if I could stretch my leg and sprint in to the finish... I attempted to stretch out the quad a little and just couldn't even lift my foot up behind me enough to do that... so I gave up on that idea and just kept running... finally heard my watch beep that I made it to mile 6... then I could see the finish and I knew I could make it... Dan (who finished long ago) was at the finish telling me to sprint... it was a really nice idea but those legs weren't going any faster...

Crossed the line... 44:30... Kate was there to catch me (Kate I told you'd have to do that!!) and Andrea was right there to give me a hug and congrats, we were so psyched with our races, a PR for both of us!

Ok... so here's the deal... I'll be the first to admit after the race I was thinking... wow, what could I have done if I didn't cramp, I was feeling so good... but when it comes down to it, for whatever reason (stress of the week, dehydration going into the race, etc.) I did cramp, and that's just what happened on the day... I dealt with it best I could and finished the race. So that's my race, no what if's floating around here... if I feel strongly enough that I have to prove to myself I could have finished faster, then I'll just have to find another 10k race.

But in the meantime, it's back to triathlon training. :-)

The numbers from the day...

The big one... finish time of 44:30 is a 10k pr of over 4:10 and improvement of over 4:45 from my time on same course last year)

Mile 1: 7:15
Mile 2: 7:02
Mile 3: 6:58
Mile 4: 7:05
Mile 5: 7:05
Mile 6: 7:15

So, no negative split... but 2nd half was only 10 seconds slower so I'll take it! and now that I look at it, I'm thinking 21:15 is most likely the fastest 5k I've run...

All in all a good day for me... I proved that I could get myself through some crappy times... I'm frustrated because I feel like I'm doing that a lot and now I'm starting to wonder if its possible I'm just a whiner...

Most importantly, I had a great time with my friends! It really makes it all worth it! That and the surprise in Alex's voice when I called to tell him we were sticking around for the awards ceremony. I was certain Kate would be getting a placing and there was a possibility for Andrea and me...

Turns out... Kate was 1st in her AG and Andrea and I were 3rd and 2nd respectively in ours!

Go Moms! :-D


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