The La Habra 5K/10K is coming up on Saturday, March 23, 2013. So far I’ve stuck to my goal to resist signing up for the race but I can feel my resistance weakening. I got a flyer that offered registration for the 10K for only $15 rather than the regular price of $35. I’ve got 13 miles on the training schedule for that day. Should I run 6.2 of them for the race? Decisions, decisions…. In the meantime, I’m flashing back to my recap of last year’s race. It’s a nice, small-town race to benefit The Children’s Museum at La Habra, the La Habra Concerts in the Park series and the La Habra High School cheerleaders. This year the organizers have hired a new chip timing company to replace the problematic one from last year. One of the really nice things about this race is that it offers childcare for children ages 2-13 while their parents race.
At the time I ran this race last year, I was training for my first half marathon. I’d recently run the 2012 Brea 8K, and was still recovering from a groin strain. Here’s my recap, plucked from my 2012 journal:
“Straight to the numbers:
Distance: 6.2 miles / 10K
Time: 51:23.03 (chip time); official time: 51:29.03 – they gave awards based on the official time]
Pace: 8:16 minutes/mile
F40-44: 1st of 17 [ETA: the results on the web later said I was 3rd of 12 – very disappointing; ETA again: I just checked again and I am back to 2nd of my age group, 2nd of 11 – I’ve written to the race results people and the race coordinators about my concerns]
I am super happy with the race. No injury, and the best time I hoped for. It’s a new PR over my 10K triathlon time, which at first seemed like a slam dunk given I wouldn’t have to swim and bike first, but then I was worried with how hilly the course was and how my leg had been bothering me.
My 10K pace was faster than the 8K pace for the Brea 8K. I plugged the 10K time into the race pace predictor for the half marathon and it went like this:
6.2 miles at 51:23 for a pace of 8:17 predicts
13.1 miles at 1:53:28 for a pace of 8:39. How much would I love that?! [ETA: my half marathon time for the OC Half ended up being 1:55:10, pretty darn close to the prediction!]
I set my alarm this morning for 5:30 a.m. I got about 7 hours of sleep. The night before I had prepared coffee and oatmeal and a banana and I ate those right away so I’d have a couple of hours to digest them before the race. I’d laid out all my clothes and gear too. I got dressed in plenty of time and remembered my GPS running watch and chip timer. The race didn’t start until 7:50. I parked at the nearby Vons and, after using the nice bathrooms there, I walked to the race start at Fashion Square as a warm-up, then ran in the parking lot a bit to get the stiffness out. When I arrived the 5K people were just getting ready to start, and then it was our turn about 15 minutes later. Small crowd, very mellow, but a well-marked and well-staffed race. Tons of police officers to direct traffic on the course. I was grateful for them. I had lined up toward the front, maybe five to six rows of people back, and it was right where I should have been. I didn’t have to dodge many people on the way up the first hill and I never felt slowed down. I took off a little fast at the start but soon settled in. The fast 10Kers quickly caught up with the 5K walkers. That wasn’t ideal but the course was plenty wide and it didn’t cause a bottleneck, thank goodness. The hills were tough. It’s basically uphill for the first 1.8 miles and then downhill the next 1.3 miles. I did the first 5K loop in 25:22.9 minutes (about 48 seconds slower than my November 5K race) and the second 5K loop in a 26:00.4 minutes. I used the handheld water bottle my friend Holly had given me and it was perfect for the 10K distance. I loved having the GPS watch — it told me when I was on pace or not. I am a bit amazed that a nighttime 4-mile training run on the treadmill at 6 miles per hour that feels tough can translate to a 6.2 mile race at 7.25 miles per hour. Adrenaline, caffeine, time of day, rest and training, all paying off. After the race, while I waited for my official time, I jogged super slowly around the parking lot for a couple of miles, and walked some more after that. Combine that with my warmup in the morning and I got in the extra 2.8 miles of training needed for the 9-mile half marathon training I missed that morning.
The results took nearly an hour to post. It was neat to be able to look them up on a computer at the race booth. Those results said I came in 2nd out of 17, but when I went to get my medal the official results said I got first! I was surprised but not too surprised because earlier I had heard them announce the 5K overall male and female winners and they actually goofed up the winners and had to revise it. So uncool!
When I got home at 10, my 3-year-old saw me through the sliding glass door and she said, “You got a golden medal!” My 7-year-old said, “I knew it! I knew it! I knew you’d get first place!” Mike reported that the girls had had a debate about whether I would win the whole race. My 7-year-old knew it was possible I could get a medal in my age group. It was just fantastic to be greeted enthusiastically by my family when I got home. Mike was amazed with how well I’d done. He was worried I would exacerbate my injury and he’d been counseling me to go slow. It’s nearly impossible for me to do that in a race. I do not want to tank my chances to even compete in the half marathon, but I listened to my body and pushed as hard as I felt comfortable, and I got lucky.
I took an ice bath. Not really an ice bath but the water comes out so cold from the tap that it’s hard to force myself to sit down in it! Stayed there 10 minutes while I ate a Dutch Baby pancake with maple syrup and watched “Who Do You Think You Are” on the computer (LOVE that show) [ETA: So bummed that show was canceled]. Then I took a hot shower and my legs were stinging with going from the cold to hot! I am quite sore now but not injured (not any more than before anyway, no worse for the wear). I have been trying to move around every once in a while to clear the lactic acid from my legs. Mike had a fire going in the fireplace for the girls and I rested on the couch in front of the fireplace for a long time. I nearly fell asleep. I am pretty darn tired, that good kind of tired when you are happy with the effort your body has made.”