I really enjoyed racing the Newport 10k on Saturday, and I can’t say that about a lot of races… usually because I’m too focused to look up and appreciate the race, ha! But the course is great, through Jersey City and pretty flat, with a finish mile along the water with great view of the NYC skyline.
I typically don’t race well a week after a half marathon, but I felt my legs bouncing back by Thursday and coach Tia gave me goal ranges which were race pace for me, so I decided to go for it and see how I felt.
I experimented with two new-to-me things for race day: coffee and music.
Coffee: I am not a coffee drinker, and often get to a race feeling sluggish early in the morning, so I thought it was worth a try. I’m not sure what the verdict is yet. I did feel more alert and ready to race, but I also felt a bit shaky and was nervous my blood sugar would crash… from only abut 1/4 of a mug! I’m definitely sensitive to caffeine… I need to experiment a little more.
Music: Again, I don’t run with music unless I’m on the treadmill, but I’ve had a sort of mental block with the 10k. Those are paces I never run in training (other than mile repeats) and I was afraid it was going to hurt. My goal was to distract myself with music, and I think it helped!
We had nearly perfect weather, around 59 degrees, although there was more wind than I would have liked. The race started just a minute or two after 8:30 am.
I settled into a good pace and was surprised with how easily the miles ticked off, 6:48 and 6:43 for miles 1 and 2.
Confession: 10k paces intimidate me. I can hold near 7 minute pace for 13 miles, but going 10-15 seconds faster is mentally a scary place for me. So this was a good mental boost that yes, I can do these paces and they can feel manageable.
We weaved through downtown Jersey City. There were many turns, so my Garmin was a bit off from the mile markers by mile 3. 6:48
I was running with a group of 5-6 others who were all very consistent with their pace, so I focused on staying with them and not worrying about the pace. Miles 4 and 5: 6:47, 6:55.
By mile 5, I was beginning to hurt, as expected. And then as we hit the final mile, we were running largely into the wind along the water. The views were awesome! But the wind was a challenge for me and I felt my pace slipping away. 7:08… oops.
I don’t know how much of this was physical and how much was mental, because when I knew I was close, I picked it up for the final .3 to a 6:34 pace. It’s nice to have a little zip at the end of a race!
There’s something to learn from every race, and I’m learning that the last mile is a struggle for me until I see the finish line. I could work on mental toughness to hold on at that point, but overall I’m really happy with my effort, especially just six days after the half!
And as 10ks are my least favorite distance, I’m glad I made myself do it and honestly, it was a fun distance today! Someone help me remember that for next time.
On to 5k training…and maybe my first one mile race!
Do you race 10ks or do you prefer longer (or shorter) distances?
What’s your least favorite distance?