Sometimes you just run…
And sometimes you are lured by a deal, say two races for the price of $60. The Sacramento Running Association did just that, they offered the Super Sunday Run 10k and the Sactown 10 miler for a steal. I hadn’t run either before, mixed with my euphoria of finishing my first marathon, I signed up for both races.
Little did I know that I’d be fairly burnt out of running and an onset of laziness due to gloomy weather, would set in. Needless to say, I was in a dilemma when I realized it was time for a 10 mile race, which in my opinion, is a great distance to race. I always use the hash tag “Trust Your Training,” however when you don’t run for two weeks (besides a 3.5 miler) after a half marathon and a 10 mile race is on deck, your confidence goes down the drain. I knew the race was coming up, I was just ill prepared. The gloomy, rainy weather was a sure deterrent, but also my laziness got the best of me.
|Gear Grid // Lulu – Under Armour – Saucony – Balega – C9 – Garmin|
The packet pick-up was at our local Fleet Feet (Sacramento) and went as smooth as it can go. I think everyone is used to this routine, so it generally doesn’t take too long to dash in and dash out! Just dodge the patrons running around trying to find the holy grail of shoes!
|Sactown 10 Swag|
The race starts in the middle of the grid, fairly close to the Capitol. There is nothing fancy about this race and it is a fairly small race, for Sacramento standards. However, many of the elite runners race this event. Grrreeeat, I’m over here trying to decide if it is going to be an easy run with a bib or a race! Needless to say, I arrived with less than 5 minutes to the gun going off. I hoped into the small crowd and we were off.
This race has an individual option or a relay option. I was very surprised to see that the relay portion was split between three legs, I assumed it would be two legs, but NO…there were 2 relay points along the course. The good thing about this course, is if you run any race in Sacramento, you’ve basically ran some portion of this course. Nothing is unfamiliar, but there are plenty of twists and turns, and some hidden rolling hills in the residential area.
Right before Mile 1 (I believe) you cross over train tracks, however, if you weren’t so lucky you got stuck during the race. A train came and you either sprinted across the tracks to keep your time or you got stuck with a 2 minute break before you even completed a mile! I’ve heard some gripes from people, I know I’d be highly irritated if that was the case!
There were four water stations (3, 5, 7, and 9). All of the volunteers were awesome, they screamed out “water” or “electrolytes” like champs and were all super friendly and cheerful. Although I rarely partake in their offerings, I can completely appreciate their enthusiasm and cheers, they really do help!
When the gun went off, I still hadn’t decided what was going to happen. I knew in my heart I wouldn’t just run this easy, but I kept trying to tell myself too. “Don’t have expectations” – “Don’t kill yourself out here” – “Enjoy the run” – yeah, these things went through my head. But by mile 4, I realized I didn’t feel that bad. I felt strong so I pushed it in gear, but not too hard – I did have a soccer (outdoor) game right after the race.
Somehow I managed almost all negative splits after mile 4. I felt good and strong, the only time I looked at my watch was when it hit the mile markers to see how I ran the mile. I did look at the time, but only to guesstimate if I’d be really late to my soccer game or not. It was nice to see a few familiar faces along the course, all unexpected, but nice nonetheless. It is also nice to see all the families who come outside to cheer random people on. I love this energy and appreciate all the cheers, whistles, and claps they throw our way.
After mile 8, I decided I was going to run as strong as possible. Also, I wanted to get as many “kills” as humanly possible. Each one gave me a little boost to finish. I know not many people knew I was racing/running this event, so I knew I wouldn’t have anyone out there cheering for me. I’m okay with that, since many family and friends, come to every other race. This one was all business, show up run, run, and leave! So as I made my way along the capitol (to the finish), I pushed it into gear again – but there wasn’t really anyone around to “kill” so I just kept myself strong and even. As I made the last turn (onto 10th Street), I saw the finish line. I was looking at the race clock and I wanted to make sure I made it under the next full minute (before 1:25:00), which I did! The announcer, as usual, couldn’t pronounce my last name, so he just said “Stephanie”! Haha, I love to hear my name as I cross, just to see if they will attempt my last name 😉
|Typical race collage|
So, I guess you could say I raced about 80% of this run! I exceeded my expectations. I don’t want to rely on the fact that your body stays fairly conditioned, even if you take a two week hiatus from your sport. I put too much mental stress on myself to figure out what I was going to do. Just getting out there and letting my legs do the work, was the best thing I could have ever done. It’s a great race, great course, and really laid back – you can’t really ask for much more from a race!
Sometimes the mental race, is harder than the actual race….