This was the first time running a 10K, so I didn’t know what to expect coming into the race. I knew I wasn’t in shape to run it as competitively as I would run a 5K, so I took it more like a hard workout. I also wanted to try and work on my pace and make sure that I would be able to finish all 6.2 miles. Race Results: 42:29, 6:51 pace. Avg HR: 185 bpm, peak 199 bpm, total calories: 909. Splits: Mile 1: 7:04, mile 2: 6:51, mile 3: 6:50, mile 4: 7:04, mile 5: 7:00, mile 6: 6:22. Placing: 29th out of 78 in my age group, 153rd out of 1500+ overall. Some neat features of the Scripps Ranch 10K and Fun Run: USA T&F sanctioned 10K course around scenic Miramar Lake – This is where I’ve been having my ‘long runs’, so I was very familiar with this course. The 10K will use ChampionChip timing for unsurpassed accuracy – This is my first time racing with these chips, I think it can tell when you actually pass the start and finish lines, but I could be wrong. Each subsequent race I’ve been doing has gotten bigger and bigger. First race was like 2-3 hundred, and this race was over 1500! But like all previous races, men and women runners of all ages, including very young runners not even 12 years old!
The first 6 rows of the starting line were reserved for ‘elite runners’, not sure if you had to sign up to become one of those or if you think you can hang with all of them then you can go there. I’m sure it’s so that the ultra competitive runners won’t have to waste time and energy dodging slower runners in front of them. I sort of had to do that at the beginning of the race too! Anyways, I got a quick warm-up in and then stole a prime spot right behind the ‘elite runners’ which is good because it would have been tough to zig and zag around so many other runners. I was hoping I wouldn’t try to hang with those runners and just go at my own pace and try to be consistent throughout the whole race. So the race finally started, but because there were so many runners ahead of me when the gun went off, I didn’t even get to cross the starting line yet!
Because of that issue, I tried to stop my watch and reset it to start when I actually crossed the starting line, but it took a while to configure and I ended up starting the watch a little after I cross the start, but not too much to actually make me question my time. Compared to Bonita 5000 5K Race, where I tried to hang with the faster runners and died for the rest of the run, I made a conscious effort not to start off too fast and the fact that this was twice the distance as any race I’ve ran, I had to make sure I would have enough energy to finish the race. I ended up running a 7:04 first mile, big difference compared to the 5:55 in the previous race. I was able to pass a fair amount of runners (young/old, men/women) throughout the race, which was a huge confidence boost. I remember in the last race, I was so dead, I didn’t care who was passing me. This time, because I paced myself, I had energy to make little surges at turns and small down/up hills.
Side Note: It makes a really big difference to have others around you during a race. There were points in the race where there wasn’t really anyone around me and I bet that is when I was running the slowest. You can use the other runners around you for a number of things: drafting to help you keep the pace, have someone ahead of you to work towards catching, and working to not allow another runner to pass you as they try to surge past you. It’s nice to get the medals and schwag and whatnot, but I think it is the opportunity to compete with others is what makes the registration fee worth it.
So the race was about a quarter mile away from Miramar Lake, which is 5 miles, and then the last .5-.75 miles is “an exciting down-hill finish that delivers you to Hoyt Park, where you’ll realize the fun is just beginning.” Looking at my splits for each mile, I was very pleased and how consistent the times were. Each lap from before didn’t fluctuate too much and because I didn’t start off too fast, I had the energy to keep at that same pace. The downhill at the end of the race wasn’t that steep, but pretty long and I was literally flying toward the finish line! That is probably what contributed to my fast last mile+, which I am totally not complaining about J I felt pretty fatigued the last mile or two of the race, but apparently so was everybody else, because I was passed by maybe one or two other runners. I also picked off a couple too, so it sort of balanced out. Even though it was a grueling 6.2 miles, I was still able to muster out a finishing kick and passed one or two other runners at the end of the race. I was very pleased with the overall race and time that I ran. I didn’t start off too fast and was able to pace myself for the whole race, I wasn’t breathing too hard during the race which is also a good sign. I believe the next race on the agenda is going to be the 32nd America’s Finest City Half Marathon and 5K. This 10K was a pretty long distance for me to run and I don’t think I would be able to run double that (half marathon), so I settled to sign up for the 5K instead. This will be a good time to try and improve on my 5K time and hopefully break 20!