Race #6: Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30k

On December 9, I ran a 30k race (about 18.6 miles) as a training run for my marathon.  At the time, it was the farthest distance I had ever run (previously, I had only run 16 miles).  I was on my own for this one, and was nervous about it, but determined to get through.

It was a freezing cold morning – I ended up wearing my fleece for the entire race.  Unfortunately, it was also a pretty boring course.  I didn’t know when I registered, but there was a 4 mile loop that we had to do three times.  The loop was through a pretty neighborhood with huge mansions, but I went by each of them six times.  It was also hard to watch people finishing their 3rd loop when I was just finishing my 2nd loop.

As I mentioned before, I’ve still been struggling with an IT band injury.  I approached my marathon training long-runs by alternating 6 minutes of running with 4 minutes of walking.  I used this approach for the 30k as well, even though it was a race.  It was difficult to hold back in the beginning, but I wanted to make sure my knee would last the whole 30k.  However, I did push myself pretty hard during the 6 minute runs.

During my very first walk break (just 6 minutes into the race), I overheard two guys talking about me.  The first said, “Walking already??  Can you finish this race walking it?”  There was a time limit of 4:15.  The second guy said, “No, I don’t think so…”

There were a few people who I would pass when running, and then they would pass me while I walked.  One older guy said, “We have to stop meeting like this!”  When I would catch up to him, I would say, “Okay, your turn!”  Another guy (who was running the entire time) told me I needed to stop making him feel bad, since I was taking walk breaks.  It was fun to chat with a few people along the way.

I was feeling pretty good until miles 13-14.  Pain started to set in and I was just exhausted.  The last few miles, I abandoned the 6/4 intervals and just ran as much as I could force myself to.  I’d pick people ahead of me and try to run until I passed them, and then take another walk break.

About a half mile from the finish line, the guy I picked to catch up to was walking ahead of me.  As I went by, he started to run again.  I decided I would try to beat him to the finish line.  He didn’t say anything, but as I sped up, so did he.  I think he crossed the finish line just ahead of me, but it was good motivation for me to finish strong.

Pat met me at the finish line 🙂  I was exhausted, but it felt like a great accomplishment.  I wanted to finish between 3:45-4:00, and I beat that goal by quite a bit!  My splits:

  • Mile 1:  11:01
  • Mile 2:  11:28
  • Mile 3:  10:56
  • Mile 4:  10:49
  • Mile 5:  10:59
  • Mile 6:  11:23
  • Mile 7:  11:18
  • Mile 8:  11:33
  • Mile 9:  11:23
  • Mile 10:  11:05
  • Mile 11:  11:12
  • Mile 12:  11:10
  • Mile 13:  11:26
  • Mile 14:  12:24
  • Mile 15:  12:15
  • Mile 16:  11:38
  • Mile 17:  11:26
  • Mile 18:  11:39
  • Mile 18 – 18.89:  9:34
  • Total:  3:34:47  (11:22 pace)

My official race time was 3:34:41.  Although the course wasn’t my favorite, it was definitely nice to do my 18 miler with the support of a race!

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2 responses to “Race #6: Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30k

  1. Great job on the run, congrats!

    Cheers

  2. I’ve ran that race many years ago & loved all the pretty houses, but I hated the loops too.

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