I did it!
I ran the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k in 1 hour and 23 seconds.
It’s not the time I wanted but I’m so happy I conquered my first 10K!!
This is only my third race and definitely the largest (over 40,000 people!). Because of the size, there were a lot of variables that I hadn’t run into during my earlier 5k races so I learned a lot. These are things I really wouldn’t have been able to know unless someone told me so for any future racers out there, I’m going to help you out!
Five things I learned from my first 10k:
1. Rain clothing – I brought a hat to wear because rain was in the forecast. It didn’t rain during the race but it did during that 2 mile walk to the start. The hat keeps the water from getting in your eyes and also keeps you a bit warmer if the temperature cools off from the rain. During the run I held my hat the whole time since I didn’t need it but because it’s just a lightweight baseball cap, it was easy to fold it up into the visor and run without it being a distraction. Better to be prepared than be caught hat-less in a downpour!
Another rain tip that I didn’t do but should have -> My coaches from the YMCA training team said to cut a hole in a trash bag and wear it like a poncho. You wear this until the race starts to keep dry. Once you’re done with it you can just throw it in the trash! Such a great idea. It would have been nice to have started the race warm and dry.
2. Fueling – Hydrate not just the day of or the day before but all week long. Same thing with healthy food. Course we should be eating healthy and drinking lots all the time but if not then definitely the week before a race. You’ll have so much more energy on race day and you won’t have to worry about excess bathroom breaks from chugging water the day of.
Also skip the alcohol that week! Even though my husband knows he shouldn’t drink before the race, he drank beer the night before. Let’s just say he had major pains during the first mile and paranoia the rest. 🙂
3. Park far away – If it’s a giant race then don’t try and attempt to park close. We spent probably 30 extra minutes in traffic trying to find a place to park until we gave up and drove back to my sister’s apartment. We then walked the 2 miles to the start of the race… in the rain. It ended up being great despite the rain because we got to warm up our legs and also see the top runners fly by us! A 4-5 minute mile is unfathomable! They were gazelles. My point is, take the extra time to park and walk. It’ll keep you from being stressed out when trying to park and dodge all the people near the race site.
4. Start in the right wave – One of the main reasons my time was slower that I wanted was because I originally placed my sister and I in with the 12:00 minute pace runners . I had NO idea we would be much faster than that once our training was over. We spent a TON of time running fast then running much slower to weave around people. I don’t have knee problems but my knees were quite sore from all the twisting and side stepping. My friend Liz who also ran the race said that her Nike + told her she ran an extra .2 miles from all the weaving! My advice to you is that if you know you’ll be pretty dedicated when training then up your pace group just in case. If you’re in the group that’s too fast well they can just run around you instead! Ha.
Oh I forgot to mention that my husband was in a faster pace wave to start but he decided he wanted to start with us (way slower) so he had it even worse! Course he still beat us by a lot but he had to pass a lot more people. Tough.
5. Enjoy it! – During the race I had a cold so I spent a good amount of time coughing WHILE weaving, slowing, and going. I could have been miserable the whole time but by mile 2 I snapped out of it and enjoyed the sites. If there are obstacles in your way, it’s okay. You can always run more races but not that specific one for another year! So stay in the present and enjoy!
Now that I’m a seasoned racer (ha), it’s time for a marathon! My husband and I won’t be doing the Marine Corp Marathon because it sold out in 2 hours! BUT we will be running the Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 1oth. Look for more run-related posts as I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot more when I’m training to run 26.2 miles. Only TWENTY MILES more than the 10k, EEK!
Did you learn anything? I hope so. If not, do you have any racing tips that I missed?