as you may recall, i signed up for a second 10k that was just a week after my first. which means, if you're following along, that i have another 10k this coming sunday! the whole reason i signed up for two was to make sure i had an official time to submit to disney, and now that i have an unplanned official from the first 10k, it means i get to choose my best time to submit; win!
i'm not going to lie, though; i'm about 95% sure i'm going to pr this coming sunday. yes, that may sound super cocky, but hear me out.
the 10k this coming weekend, the chicago spring 10k, is downtown. this means that i'll have a flat course. given that my pacing issues this past sunday were mostly from hill related issues, i'm thinking that the flat course is going to help my time immensely. furthermore, i have now run a 10k, meaning i'm going in to the next one a little bit wiser.
without further ado, i present my list of things i learned from my first 10k:
use the garmin auto-pacer. i totally forgot to turn it on, and realized it within the first few strides of the race, but figured i would just listen to my body on when to slow down. umm, brittney? yeah, hi. you're not an experienced athlete yet and so your body doesn't know how to regulate pace. duh that first mile felt good, because it was fast; you can't keep that up, though! use the pacer that knows better than you.
don't miss training runs. sure, the runs the week before the race are short, but that doesn't mean they don't matter. those short runs help keep the cobwebs from setting in and keep you loose, so those side stiches don't happen.
stay hydrated, including the days leading up to the race. i actually did this because of the gallon challenge, and it helped a lot. but i forgot to factor in running in the sun (i'm usually a night runner) so maybe get a few more ounces in the morning of. which reminds me...
don't assume there will be water stations when you need them. best to prepare for a lack rather than an abundance.
start doing training runs in the morning. my whole thing for avoiding morning runs isn't that i don't have time, i just like to sleep in. but i think it's really important for me to get used to waking up early and running in the sun, so it's not so shocking on race day.
the 10k also helped me confirm that i was doing some things right, such as drinking a lot of water the night before but not so much the morning of, waking up with enough time to get a few calories in but not too much to weigh me down, and giving myself enough of a window between waking up and race start for my body to realize that it was awake and needed to use the restroom so i didn't have to worry about that on the course.
i was also reminded of two mantras on that 10k course. the first was "run the mile you are in." when i was tired after the first mile because of going out too fast, i was quick to think ugh, i have over five more to go! talk about a morale killer! i need to remember to stay present in each mile and just focus on doing my best, one mile at a time. the second was "running slow isn't a character flaw; quitting is." i was really beating myself up over being so far over my training pace those last few miles, and felt even worse when i had to walk. i knew it was the best choice, especially if i'm wanting to be in tip-top condition for the coming 10k, but i kept feeling so bad about myself, like i had given up. i need to remember that as long as i keep going and finish, that's all that matters.
so that's everything i'm taking in to sunday's race! that 5% pr doubt? it's going to be pretty crowded on the course, so i don't know how much that will affect me. and i also have to factor in life, meaning something could go horribly wrong and i wake up that morning unable to run. stuff like that. guess i won't know until the day of!