Hey there! I hope you are having a great weekend.
I am excited because the Monument 10k, aka my favorite race of the year and one in which is the reason I became a runner back in 2010, was yesterday! Over 35,000 people run this race and it has been named one of the best races in the country, and it seems like all of Richmond comes out for it. The course is up and back the historic Monument Avenue, which luckily is within walking distance of where I live! I also do a lot of volunteer work for Massey Cancer Center, which is the official fundraising partner for the race.
As I said previously, I did not know if I would run it since I was still healing from my marathon. I was able to run 3 miles on Friday morning, which felt ok, and then after work I headed to the expo for work at the Massey booth, and spent 3 hours on my feet getting people to donate and buy shirts for Massey! I knew that wasn't the best way to rest for the race, but I had a lot of fun and had no expectations for Saturday morning.
Race morning was cold! Since this race is so big, there are staggered time starts (waves) for an hour and a half (crazy)! My wave was a seeded wave that started at 8:43. I drove two miles from my condo and parked at about 8:15, and then walked over a mile to the start. I like the walk as my warm up and because after I finish I get to walk back on the race course and see the runners. The waves are very well organized and I had no problem getting in mine with about 5 minutes to spare.
It was about 35 degrees during the race, so the perfect temperature for me! I had on ear warmers, my marathon finishing hat, long sleeves and running pants (with gloves!). I also know this course VERY well, which helps, but it is crowded, so that can slow you down. I always try to go in the fastest wave I possibly can so I don't have to dodge people.
My first mile was FAST at 8:15 and it felt fast. But once I realized how fast I was going, I definitely felt I could keep up with it since nothing will ever compare to the pain and difficulty of miles 20-26.2 of a marathon. My calf was tight, but as the miles went by and I was steadily at an 8 minute pace, I knew I could stick it out. I hit the 5k at 25:27...my fastest ever (though the back half ended up being even faster than that)! It was a hard pace for me to keep with my calf tightening up, but I did it and finished in 50:04- a FOUR minute PR!!! Isn't that crazy?! And we got medals this year for the first time! Yay!
This race really surprised me. I have run probably over 10 10k's and routinely have run 54-55 minute races. That pace always felt really fast and about as well as I could do (I am not a sprinter). I didn't do much speed work over my marathon training either, so the fact that I ran this so fast is crazy. I think resting from Monday-Thursday this week really helped my muscles heal, and the training and distance running has obviously built up muscles that have made me faster. I am excited, but now I don't want to do another 10k because I don't think I will ever be able to beat this time! There is another one at the end of April I normally do, but I will wait and see:) It is the week after my half marathon, so I should still be in good distance shape.
So the week after the marathon went well...only 9.2 miles were run, but a 10k PR has left me sore and feeling accomplished:) I will take it! I am excited to get back to more running next week- it was hard to take so much time off this week. I miss it!
Has anyone else had an unexpected awesome race so close to a half or full marathon?!
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