Last Saturday dawned gray and a little chilly–perfect race weather. I woke up and made my way to Clarendon and the starting line, where I met up with some co-workers. One of my co-workers wants to run a 5k next year when she turns 40, and this was her first attempt at walking one.
I had meant to sign up for the 5k, but in a registration frenzy, I somehow signed up for the 10k. Even though I had barely been running (my mileage that week was 12–including the 6.2 miles on Saturday), I figured I’d try it. Long story short, I made it. The course is really similar to that of the Pacers Running Festival (the 5k is the same course). We run down the Wilson Boulevard hill and out onto 110 for a while (practically to Route 1) before turning back and finishing in Rosslyn.
Just past halfway, I started regretting the run. I didn’t want to be out there running 10-minute miles–I didn’t even want to be running 9-minute miles. On the big downhill, I tried to hold it together. I missed the first mile, but for the first two I ran 17:45, which averages out to 8:52. I then did 8:41 as we leveled off into the rolling hills of 110. My 4th mile was 8:49, and my 5th was 8:44, but then I went balls out and ran an 8:17 6th mile. I finished in 54:04, which is about an 8:40 average (Garmin says I ran 6.25 miles in an 8:39 average).
The next day I was more sore than I’ve been after any marathons. Every single thing hurt, especially both hips. As my chiropractor said, “That’s what you get when you run a race you haven’t trained for.” It’s just that the idea of having to train for a 10k is so completely foreign to me anymore.
Another co-worker came into my office to ask me how it went, and I said something like, “Well, my last 10k was under 47 minutes,” and she said, “Oh! You’ve run one before.” I gestured at my wall, where my three marathon finisher’s certificates and medals hand and said, “I’ve run three marathons. This was just my first 10k since my accident.”
“Oh,” she said. “So this is no big deal for you.” And no, it’s not, but it’s nice to be running again 🙂 I’m returning to the track this week more to visit than to run, and then I’m headed to Chicago to cheer on some friends as they run my marathon without me.
Future race plans? I’ve got ’em: Tucson half in December and Carlsbad half in January. And, if (and only if) my hips get back to feeling 100%, going back to where it all began, National Marathon in March!