The night before the race I was talking about the weather with my mom. She was telling me how hot this past weekend and this week are going to be, while my local weather was predicting rain the morning of my race.
A roll of thunder woke me up last Saturday morning. So I shuffled out to the kitchen get my cat her breakfast and try to wake myself up without coffee.
Slightly off-topic: how do coffee drinking runners down a mug without the coffee aftermath striking during the long run/race? I avoid it on race days and still deal with that issue.
Thankfully the rain stopped, but I still grabbed a Ziploc to put my phone in in case it was a monsoon during the race.
September overall hasn’t been a bad running month. I ran a total of 150 miles in August, which is my highest mileage of the year, so having to scale back in September wasn’t a surprise.
The first full week I got my weekly mileage done but was physically exhausted on my long run Saturday. I decided to run five miles at the gym and spend the bulk of my morning doing lower body resistance training, which helped out my stiffness immensely.
During the second and third weeks I decided to run streak Monday-Friday so I could have the weekends as down time with my boyfriend. Streaking is one of those things I know I suck at, but continue to try again once every few months.
I managed to squeak out 30 miles both weeks, even though physically it was killing me and compromising my speed. Note to self: this is not a fun or effective way to train.
In the two week period I also took time off from resistance training, and by the start of last week I was starting to go batty.
So for the last week of September, I decided to take a break from running to recover and cross train. Monday and Wednesday were elliptical days in lieu of running, and Tuesday and Thursday were regular lifting days – lower body before work and upper body during my lunch break.
On Wednesday my company offers a yoga class, so I decided to resume that. Turns out yoga the day after lifting is a horrible idea.
My back felt better though.
Which brings us to Saturday, September 28th. The Run Like A Girl 10k.
Thankfully it didn’t rain after 7 a.m. and the sun came out. My boyfriend left his phone charger at my place, so I made a detour to return that to him before heading to COSI downtown.
I haven’t been downtown on a Saturday morning for a while, so I forgot how fun and relaxing walking around there can be. The flowers at Columbus Commons are still in full bloom and the atmosphere was so calm – not at all like a weekday.
It was sunny but thankfully not too hot ‘n humid at the start line. I knew runners could run with strollers, but I don’t remember seeing as many dogs last year for the 10-miler I ran.
So I made an effort to pet as many dogs as I could. One lady was there with her Basset hound, a middle-aged girl in a purple tutu. I can’t remember her name now, but I do remember she passed me to the finish line.
Then it was go time.
The first two miles were fast. I figured I must have ran those in 8:30. I felt strong and great, and had a very brief walking break when I reached the second incline on Long Street.
At Mile 3, heading south on Marconi Blvd to pick up the Scioto trail, I started to feel the heat and the course. In theory Columbus is a nice, flat Midwestern city. In reality the hills creep up on innocent runners and I didn’t realize what hit me until I had to take a few more walking breaks on the inclines.
Miles 3 and 4 felt like they went fast in spite of the hills though, so I can’t complain there.
Mile 5 is where I came alive. Typically the first 30 minutes/3 miles are the one that kill me, and then after the third mile my blood sugar stabilizes and my body accepts we are indeed running and it’s okay.
However, this time around I had a burst in the first two, felt the adjustment in the second two, and by Mile 5 I felt good, like I was in a comfortable happy groove. I even ran up the hill on the fifth mile and didn’t die.
Pulling through the last hill to the finish was a challenge and I felt it, but pull through I did.
Final time – 1:00:51
I had a feeling in my gut this 10k was going to be a PR. It only took me three years and 10 races, but I finally got the elusive PR in a 10k.
Typically I don’t run as well in heat and humidity, so the fact I maintained a 9:49 pace is damn near miraculous. I’m proud of myself for that part of my race and am still on my happy cloud.
September started off on a funky note but ended on a pretty high one. Next stop: October, with the Indy Half at Fort Ben on the 5th and the Columbus Marathon on the 20th.
Happy running until next time,