Sunday, June 9, 2013

Heart to Heart 10K Recap

 I did it! It was challenging, but I feel fantastic and it was a great race for my first 10K.  This is really long and I totally understand if you don't get through it all.  I just want to put it all down so that I will be able to come back and read it someday.  

  The morning started off VERY early.  I got very little sleep, I kept waking up every hour or so and then finally woke up at 3:45 after having a race dream where I picked up my bib and ice skates?? No clue about that!  LOL.  I had to get up so early because I had to go petsit first and then drive an hour and a half into Saint Louis to get to the race.  We aimed for 7:15 so we could pick up our bibs and go to the bathroom and we were there at 7am. 


I think Dallas was still half asleep!  

We had plenty of time to get our bibs and stuff, I was really excited when I saw the tech shirt!  It has a TREE!!!!  I kinda like trees, don't know if you noticed the huge one on my back. ;) 



My mom arrived at 7:15, I was excited for her to be at the race!  (she lives in St. Louis)


 On top of the awesome shirt, they were playing good music and although they had some cool looking booths around as well, I avoided them like the plague, I did not bring money to spend!

They had a lane blocked on the road, so I was pleased to see that, and since Dylan (my oldest) and Savannah came, I had a photographer to take a shot when we took off. 


Do you notice something about this course from the picture?  See that little hill on the horizon?  Uh...yeah...that was the smallest one I encountered.  LOL. 

The start was tight, it took a bit to get around people and find a comfortable pace.  I wasn't really running at a comfortable pace though, I was running too fast.  After giving Dallas so much trouble for taking off on our last 5K, I did it myself!  There were just so many people and I think I thought if I could just get through that first mile faster, it would clear up.  What I did not account for were the hills.  When I say that I didn't account for it, I mean that I found the race map WEEKS ago, did a google map and a ground/street level view, and "virtually" walked the whole thing on the map!  Guess what?  When the camera is on top of a car when they are taking the street level pictures, it doesn't show the severity of the hills from that angle.  I had even told Dallas that there were just a couple hills and it looked pretty flat.  Wrong! 

Before even the first mile, I was huffing and puffing, but at least everyone had spread out.  There was a water station before 1 mile and I passed it.  When I saw another before mile 2 I was really pleased and passed that one as well because I didn't need any yet and it looked like they were going to have a lot of water stations.  At this point the 5K split from us and we kept going a different direction.  Definitely lots of space now and I liked that.  Dallas was behind me until now, caught up for a bit but then we hit another brutal hill and he fell behind.  

I kept thinking that the hills would be over soon but each time I thought that, there would be another.  We ran through a lot of lovely neighborhoods.  Lots of shade from trees and no worries about cars.  When I spotted another water station a little before mile 3 I decided I better take my gel and get a drink.  I grabbed a water and kept going but was pretty unhappy when I realized it wasn't even a half a cup. It was gone and I wanted more.  I figured there would be more at mile 4, so I just kept going.  

I was pacing a few different women, they would walk on the hills and I would pass them and then they would run again and pass me.  At some point I actually tried to walk a bit on a hill and my knees immediately hurt.  Back to running! 

This race was really different, I loved it, but I also pushed myself more than I ever have when training.  I never really relaxed and ran my comfortable pace, I kept thinking if I could just push my pace just a little more than my norm, my time would be better. In hindsight I probably pushed a bit much for the distance of this race.  When the hills started to really slow me down I pushed even more because I knew that my time was going to suffer because of them.  

Dallas was behind me somewhere, and mile 4 arrived with no water.  I was perplexed but figured there would be another soon.  More hills and then finally a slope down towards the last neighborhood I knew we would run through.  As I entered the neighborhood, which we would loop through and back out, I noticed a water station...on the other side, where people were coming out of the loop.  Really?  I was parched at this point and if I didn't have to submit this time I might have run over to get water, but I was so determined and nearing 5 miles.  And another brutal hill.  

I walked a bit, trying to catch my breath, just as I started to run again, the theme song from Peter Pan song came on.  Up until this point I had almost tuned out my music, it was strange, I usually really get into my music.  Peter Pan is one of my favorite rides and to hear this song as I was struggling up this hill, determined to get this time to submit to Disney for my half, I almost cried and pushed more.  I had a horrid stitch in my side and my breathing was more labored than any of my training runs, but I told myself that I just had to finish!  

Then I nearly got run over by a cop on a motorcycle.  LOL.  He was driving up the neighborhood street right down the middle.  When I went to move over, he did too?  Finally as I got close enough he just stopped right in front of me.  For a second I thought I was in trouble or something but when he didn't do anything I just kept running.  One of the women who had been going back and forth with me, ran up behind me and said "what the heck was THAT???"  and we both laughed.  

What seemed like a year later and somewhere around 5.5, I finally got to the water station coming out of the neighborhood.  I grabbed three cups of water!  Dumped one on my head and chugged the other two down.  Water has never tasted so good. 

I turned out of the neighborhood and headed up the main street, knowing I had to be close now but my heart dropped when I saw what was ahead.  Another HUGE hill.  I  was looking at my phone and saw that I was at an hour and 2 minutes. (Dallas was using my Garmin)  I thought for sure I wouldn't even break 1:10, it seemed like so far to go still.  I turned the corner for the final road that headed to the finish and was slapped in the face with yet another hill.  WHERE did these hills come from and where were the down parts of these hills? We should be in the clouds at this point!  

I was starting to panic when I had to walk again for a few seconds.  I fumbled with my earbuds and yanked them out.   I was so stressed at this point, I could see the turn into the parking lot where the finish line was at the top of the hill, but it seemed so far away! Finally I was there, and even though it felt like I had nothing left in me, I sprinted to the finish.   My brain registered seeing the 1:08...and the picture of my face crossing shows it all.  The relief of being finish washed over me.  I love this shot. It's not the prettiest of race photos, but the look on my face is exactly what I was feeling.


I headed for the nearest grass and laid down for a second to catch my breath.  I was spent, my runkeeper was saying 1:08 and I knew that I gave this race every ounce of my being.  Relief, exhaustion, and happiness were all I was feeling.  I know, this sounds all so dramatic, but I really did give more than I thought I had to give.  I don't think I have ever pushed myself that hard for anything and it was a fantastic feeling.  

Naturally it took about 5 seconds for me to return to my former picture-obsessed-nature! Dylan caught me taking a pic of my medal to send to Rey.



So, my official chip time was 1:08:11.  Yesterday I thought it was 1:08:10...that's what the paper said that they had put up, but for some reason when I look on the website, it's 11.  I'm ok with that, I had a harder time swallowing the 6.3 miles that my runkeeper told me I ran (would that .1 have shaved my time more??) 

I'm really happy with my time, honestly.  I would love to know what my time would have been without those hills, but unless I move to Florida, all my races are going to be hilly, so I better get used to it! When I first started training for the 10K, my over-the-top-happy-time was 1:08.  I had only had adjusted that in my head after having ran 6.2 in training in less time than that.   Regardless, I have my time to submit to Disney and I'm proud of that time for my first 10K!  I can always try to improve it in October when I run my next 10K.  

Dallas came in after me at 1:11:01 and we sat for a bit, drank some water, and checked our times.  We headed to Starbucks for a treat before having to head straight back home so I could get to my mid-day petsits.  Dallas wasn't very pleased with his time, but still said he felt really good.  Ironically, he was the only Male 16-19, so he could have gotten any time and won his age division! We had a good laugh about that.  I came in 10 out of 13 in my age group (womp. womp.) and 89 out of 121 doing the 10K.  On the bright side, I wasn't last.  LOL. 


Really sorry for how long this was and if you read it all, you are a gem!  I had no pain running (except when I tried to walk)  but my knees are pretty sore now! 

Have you ever pushed so hard during a run that you knew you had given every last bit you had to give? 

33 comments:

  1. Congrats, Karen! Sounds like a very rewarding finish. You write so well, I was a little stressed reading the recap! LOL

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    1. LOL! Then I really conveyed how it felt! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the run as well, I remember thinking "I'm really running this and I've been waiting and thinking about this race forever!" and enjoying the sights, but there was an underlying current of stress and beating that clock that I haven't felt before, even in my previous races!

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  2. I just lost my whole reply! BULLOCKS. I'll have to go see Kelly and ask if that's the right use of such a word!

    Anyway, short form this is why I called the race fabulous on facebook. (You're self explanatory!!) Some races are fabulous because you sail through, PB, and feel all your hard work. This one is because you had to go deep just to get there!

    AND I just realized your mother must be TALL - totally randomm thought!:!:!

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    1. Noooo! I hate that you lost your reply. I love Lisa-replies! :)

      Yes, my mother is tall, it's strange that both my sisters are short because both of my parents are/were tall...lucky me, b/c I got some of that height! ;)

      Yes, dig deep! It feels great. I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself today. LOL

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  3. OMG!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm so proud of you!! Seriously hills KILL you, I promise if you continue to train with them Princess won't even phase you!! I owe you a margarita in Mexico if you feel otherwise! Or...well we can just grab one regardless. :)

    Yes I have felt that way, I usually save a little for the end, like an energy reserve. the Vernon Mothers Day Race I did...I had nothing..... NOTHING left. It's an amazing feeling though. To know you literally gave it your all! Congratulations! <3 I knew you could do it!

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    1. Thank you so much Meg!!! <3 Uh...I'll take you up on the margarita, regardless! Let's have one at Disney! Pineapple margarita at Cava de Tequila/Mexico baybee!!! ;) It really did feel amazing...but I woke up from a brief nap this afternoon and my runners high is gone and I'm feeling a little down. I hate that! Guess I'll have to run in the morning to fix it! LOL

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    2. OMG Jalapeno for me, I'm in! It's official! La Cava de Tequila is my 2nd home <3. Oh gosh, I love naps. I should be a cat....or a senior citizen, one of them hahaha. Run, princess, run!

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    3. Ooooh, I have not tried the Jalapeno! I tried the Avocado, which I thought I would love b/c I love avocados, and I didn't like it. Also tried the Blood Orange and that was yummy, but the Pineapple was my favorite. Yummmy! Ok, we're totally meeting there. I'm drooling now. LOL

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  4. Congratulations on your 10K! Great job! I pushed myself super hard at the Disneyland Half last year because it had been so long since I PR'd that I REALLY wanted it. I ran so hard the last half mile that my lungs sort of burned for the rest of the day. I got my PR, so it was worth it.

    Anyway, way to go!!

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    1. Thanks Jamie! Yes! My lungs were on fire. I'm still sore this morning but I am going to drag myself to the gym for a run! LOL...I'm still blowing my nose and sniffling after reading your blog post on Bam! <3

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  5. That's a great time! Congrats! I love the shirt, too. So nice to have your pain rewarded with a nice shirt and a great time!

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    1. Thanks Jan! I wore the shirt today for a run and although I love the design on it...I really don't love tech shirts, I guess! I think I'm used to the fitted compression tanks. It's a nice souvenir of my first 10K though!

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  6. GREAT job Karen, and an awesome time to submit for the Princess Half!! I am so excited for you! :0)

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    1. Thanks Lauren! I'm so excited for tomorrow!!!!!!

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  7. That's an awesome time and an awesome race! You gave it your all & you conquered it! Way to go!!!! Hills and all................

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I hope you had some good runs this week as well!

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  8. Did you weave in and out of people much? That can add to the distance (and wear you out!). I saw this post recently: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2009/03/racing-line-understanding-how-courses.html and tried to stick close to the curb on my last race - it was the first time that my recorded distance was right on the race's official distance.

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    1. I didn't weave much and was trying to stick to the "shorter" inside of the neighborhood streets we were running. Better than having it too short! That happened on my last race.

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  9. loved reading your post. A lot of people do intervals and it winds up speeding up their times... so it doesnt surprise me that you were pacing people that were walking hills. if your knees hurt when walking, try shortening your stride a little. that is what galloway recommends for aches and pains while walking during a race.
    i have also given it all during races. but then again, i have had races that just happened easily. You should be proud of your accomplishments during this race. you've got a great proof of time for disney, and that will allow you to stop for more photo ops during the phm.
    can't wait to share that experience with you!

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    1. Me either Amy!! Tomorrow I make it official! WOOT!

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  10. Awesome job, lady! Looking good too! Loved the outfit for the race. Congrats on the finish time, I have yet to get that low of a finish time on a 10K, so kuddos to you!
    Those hills can be a pain for sure, but you didn't let them defeat you and that's fantastic.

    It feels so good to leave it out on the course, doesn't it? To just have that spent feeling after the race. I always feel disappointed in myself when at the end of the race I feel like I could have given more but held back for some reason. You run with your heart and that is fabulous! Congrats again!

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    1. Thanks Lena!!! OMG, the after-depression though...how do I deal with it? By yesterday afternoon I was feeling really down and "lost". I have the PHM to train for, but I can't really start long/hard training for that yet and I feel kind of like I put all this energy into training for the 10K and now I don't know what to do? I ran this morning, an "easy" 3 miles on the treadmill and it was horrid. Is that some sort of rule that the run after a race has to suck? LOL. I have been searching and searching for more races and I have a couple, but I want another NOW...it's bizarre. I thought I would feel some of this after the PHM b/c I had read that sometimes runners feel like this after a race, but didn't expect it for the 10K. I don't have another 10K until October but some 5Ks this summer. The one on the 29th of this month is my next but it's a fun-Glow Run, so nothing to "train" for. Sorry...I just went off on a tangent! LOL

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    2. No tangent, I know exactly how you feel. You have all this hype and expectations when you train for a run. Then it comes, you run and afterwards you are bummed. It's like planning a wedding, you have months of prep for one day, then it goes so fast that it's a complete blur. Then you're left with the memories and the longing to enjoy more of the moment that has passed.

      If you think this is bad, sweetie, just wait until after PHM. I will admit it, I was depressed, almost immediately, like that same day. After the race had happened and people started leaving to go back home and get back to "real life", I was left by myself wandering around in a recovery haze missing my friends I had made and friendships that had made stronger that weekend. I was a mess and my pictures from later in that day showed me as a depressed runner. It carried on for a couple of weeks after and my runs did suffer.

      I found it easier to get over the depression by concentrating on another race. I think that is why we newer runners are always looking for the next race, we need something else to focus on. I think that is why I enjoy registering for runDisney races so much, because they go on sale at least 6 months before you run them, so while you are finishing your training for one race, you have this next one looming in the distance. Having Dumbo to look forward to helped me with my Princess depression.
      Wow this was a long reply! Geez! Sorry!

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    3. No apologizing for long replies, I love them! :)

      I have read about people being sad after their races, I think I definitely have to have a race to focus on in the future to help me. I'm unsure of how the PHM will be, I thought it would be fine with my family all there and then spending a few days at WDW but now it looks like I'll be going with just my daughter and her friend and they won't be at the finish line. I'm worried that I'll feel all alone at the end?

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    4. My suggestion: get on FB Princess boards if you haven't already and find some runners you can connect with on there to have a base of people to possibly hang with at the race. Also, if you haven't already, join the page Team runDisney. I'm on there and LOVE it, I met all my current runDisney running buddies on there and that is the group I ran and hung out with during PHM. It's a fantastic group of people that are welcoming and supportive!

      I find that having people you can talk to in the running community is essential and at runDisney races, with the thousands of people that are there, knowing that there are like-minded people there cheering you on, makes the experience that much more rewarding!

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    5. Thanks Lena! I am on a couple Princess boards on FB and the rundisney as well! I'm meeting quite a few people through blogs as well, so hopefully I won't feel lonely if it's just me and the girls. I think I'll be fine touring and such, it's right at the FINISH that I'm thinking I might miss that Rey isn't there. The girls will be back at the room sleeping, no doubt, so I'm thinking it might be a bit lonely heading back to the resort, especially since my friend that I'm running with will have her family there with her at the finish.

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  11. Congratulations and great job on this race! 5 miles until water? I think i would have fainted! You are a trooper for sure!!

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  12. Awesome time! I'm pretty sure I get that look of relief at the finish line too. ;) Hills are my biggest weakness- great job on plowing through them. :)

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    1. Thanks Kim! I am STILL a little sore today from those hills, I can't believe it.

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