Zero Prostate Cancer 10k (40:25)

Tim and I decided to take a minivacation this past weekend.  Since we were getting out of town naturally I decided to google races in San Antonio.  10ks are hard to come by and the moment I saw there was a 10k I decided that was the race I wanted to do.

So with that we got to the race about 45 minutes beforehand.  We seemed to luck out with parking and our parking spot happened to be directly in front of the race start.  We signed up and did about 1 mile warm up.  We both felt like crap and we both sweated through our singlets.

Smile so we don't look like we are miserable.
Smile so we don’t look like we are miserable.

The race was started by a 1 minute countdown on the race clock and once the clock got to zero it started.  It was actually quite frightening to watch as the clock ticked down and that minute felt like one of the longest minutes of my life.

The race course itself was out and back and started on an immediate uphill followed by a very sharp turn and immediate downhill.   I started off in 5th place behind four males.  After half a mile, I secured a spot as second person overall (where I stayed the entire race).  The first mile I clocked at 5:44 and it didn’t feel good but didn’t feel awful either.   (edit: I can’t believe I said a 5:44 mile felt neutral but my breathing and stride did in fact feel good…but only for that mile).

Mile 2 I found myself alone.  I did not see another person (except for one volunteer) the entire mile.  I was starting to zone out and get frustrated with myself and with the lack of people around me.  I tried to push myself but it didn’t seem like it was happening (6:13).

By mile 3 my mood had gone really sour.  I knew if I could just make it halfway through the race, the last half wouldn’t be as bad.  I don’t really have a lot of thoughts about this mile I was just trying to motivate myself to get to the half way point.  Something about getting to the halfway point of any race is so satisfying and the next half of the race goes by mentally quicker (6:39)

The turnaround was a bit confusing.  It was a complete 180 degree turnaround but you had to go over the mat, go around a cone and then go back over the mat.  I was lucky because I was far up and running over the mat twice was not a problem for me but it probably wasn’t the greatest set up.

Mile 3-4 I was on my way back.  Since it was in an open park and there were people running and cycling (not in the race) the path had gotten crowded.  I am all for people exercising except I nearly got hit by a cyclist making a sharp turn.  I wasn’t exactly paying a lot of attention myself since I was in the zone and as he came around a turn, I was rounding the run in the opposite direction.  Oh well, we didn’t collide but it was a close call (mile 4: 6:46).

Mile 5 I was beat.  I was over the race and I could add some more whining but I will save you.  I don’t have a lot to say about this mile but it was spent weaving around other racers.  Since the course was out and back most of the other 10kers were going the other way.  The path was narrow and with about 700 racers it was a bit of a cluster.  I always think to myself, these miles that don’t feel good or are mentally challenging are the miles you will grow as a runner (6:42).

Mile 6 was the best mile because it was the slowest and I got to spend more time running it. I had past the cluster of people so I was alone again.  I couldn’t see anyone in either direction and when we started the final climb to the finish line I was dry heaving.  I had not done a speed workout or race in the last 3 weeks and the time I ran low 6 minute miles was my 8k over a month ago.  Since where I run in Texas is remotely flat and this was not…the elevation was also taking a toll. That being said I was tired and I was dying. (7:01).

Then all of a sudden after thinking I might have seen the light and dry heaving a few times I crossed the finish line and drank 4 waters.


Take aways from this race:

I can’t wait to race in weather that is not 85 degrees and hot humid.  I also can’t wait to do some faster running.  I never expected to PR and I knew this race would hurt.  I’m glad I did it thought and had a lot of fun (after it was over).  I think my training is getting back on track for the marathon.  If I do end up running the 10k this weekend, I hope to able to improve.  I don’t expect a PR but would like to be closer to 40 minutes, if not under it.

Questions for you:

Does the second half of a race, run or workout feel like it goes by quicker for you?

Do you think race courses should be closed?

I’ve raced on the VA Beach boardwalk and I know that wouldn’t be possible.  They close roads for a lot of races.  I’m honestly not sure of my opinion on this subject.  I think it would be safer to close race courses to racers only but at the same time I know that isn’t always possible.

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  1. Yep, those mentally tough miles are when we grow as runners. For a 10-K, mile 4 is usually my magic number because it’s more than halfway over, lol. Also, can we talk about that race pic? So unbelievably poised, strong, and in the zone. Nice work! 🙂

  2. On races 10k to 1/2 marathon, I find miles 2-3 the worst. It’s when I start to feel any breathing mis-steps or any injuries or pain become visible. Once I get to 4.5 miles or so on the shorter end I feel like I’m good. any leg pain diminishes and I start getting a bit competitive with other runners. Then the last mile I get the urge to pass people 1 by 1. Now my pace is much slower than yours 8-9:30 so I have some left in the tank. Congrats on your race even if it was a tough one.

  3. 10ks are tough but probably my favorite distance. You look rocking in that race picture, Hollie… even if you didn’t feel that awesome 😉

    I can’t imagine running in that heat. During the summer last year (2012) I would get up at 4 or 5 when I didn’t work until 10 just so I could run before the humidity kicked in. It may not get incredibly hot in WI but the only thing we know is sticky heat.

  4. You were still flying! (You look so intense in that picture, I love it!) I definitely feel better in the second half of a run. Then I’m like, “Oh, I just have to do that, again.” haha

    Also, I totally want to see you! Maybe dinner on Thursday the 24th? I’ll e-mail you!

  5. God damnit I want that time.

    I do feel like the 2nd half always goes by faster (which is particularly why I like double loop courses), it definitely helps in the second half for me.

    I can’t wait to see your times instadrop when you aren’t dealing with that craptastic weather. I’m also super happy you and Tim got time together out of Del Rio!

  6. I definitely think it’s better to close roads for races. If you can’t close the roads for the day, then I would re-locate the race. I just think it’s NOT SAFE AT ALL to have people running on a full functioning road considering people can pass out at any time.

    1. I think it’s certainly much more safe that way. With other exercisers, cars, bikes, ect it would be a lot safer. I just wish it was possible for all road races.

  7. I never felt good racing in Tx between April and Oct, it’s so hot and humid! Way to go with that speedy first mile. Hope cooler weather comes your way soon!

  8. I feel like we all have those miles within a race we mentally have to prepare for – in the half for me it is miles 9-11 oh man do they burn. But hey, like normal you killed it

  9. Congratulations on your 10K, it is a difficult distance to race and I’m glad you got to enjoy the last mile (I think if I ran that fast it would be hard to really enjoy too).

    For me, the last half of a workout seems to go by faster but not really a race… then again my last race was a marathon so that’s notoriously harder toward the end. The last half of my last half marathon was fine though. With things like a track workout though, the first mile or two are always harder because I have to settle into the workout.

    You know you and Tim are a great match when you both go out of town and run a race :).

  10. Congrats, even though the race wasn’t fun, I’m super jealous of your speediness! I feel like once I hit the halfway point in a workout (run, whatever) it goes by faster. I think it’s a mental thing- I know I can do that because I already have and survived. Does that make sense? haha probably not 🙂

  11. I know sometimes they can’t close the course if it’s on a trail and that’s just part of the permit. Personally I stay away if I know a race is going on on my trail, but not everyone does. I prefer closed courses.

  12. So far, if I’m running, I go out and back and feel better when I turn around. I have no idea if it’ll be like that when I add more miles though. With things like CrossFit, the second half is way worse!

  13. For most races, yes, close the course, 100%. It is so, so, frustrating to deal with weaving around non-racing runners/walkers, or dodge bikers….and I agree that yes it is good that people are out and about. For small races, it may not be feasible to close the course (but I’m not a race director so that might be a lie).

  14. sorry to hear the 10K felt so yuck! great job on pushing through that heat and humidity. btw: your race photo looks fierce! you look so happy and healthy. texas looks great on you 🙂 🙂

  15. Can’t even imagine running a 5:44 mile! That’s incredible. And yes, second half of a run or workout is always easier for me…something about knowing you have less left to go then when you started.

  16. I am jealous you and Tim can just take a trip to San Antonio! The east coast is going to feel really chilly for you when you get back girl!

    1. Due to flight school Tim doesn’t have the time to train as he would like. When he can get back into running he will be light years ahead of me again. HA!

  17. The 2nd half of a race always feels faster to me! I’m glad you had fun even though it was hot and crowded!

  18. The weather on Saturday was miserable!! Congrats on your win! The second half of any run or race is always easier to me, I know it’s all in my head, but I like to be counting down the miles instead of up.

  19. Hi Hollie! I was the 2nd overall female in that race. I saw you before the race started and thought “I bet she’ll win.” You just look fast! Yeah, that race pretty much sucked. I felt the same way about mile 3:if I could have just seen the turn around, I knew I’d be ok. But it was so crowded on the way back that I lost a lot of time dodging other runners. Great job! Loved your recap.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! That was by far the hottest race I’ve ever done. I am sweating just thinking about it. I def lost some time dodging runners but hopefully they will be able to relocate to another park next year!

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