Tag Archives: 10k

Race #12: Toughest 10k Kemah

To spice up our training plan this year, Maggie suggested we register for the Texas Bridge Series.  This is a series of three races that each feature one bridge in Texas.  The first two are 10ks and the final race is a half marathon.  You get a medal for completing each race and a bonus medal if you complete all three.  Motivated by the medals, we decided to register!

This first race was on September 15, 2012 in Kemah.  This 10k goes back and forth over the Kemah Bridge twice.  I was a little nervous about the bridge.  With a 4.3 and 5% grade, this bridge goes 83 feet above the water.  I was nervous about how my knees would do, and considering that we train on flat ground, how well I would be able to run up the hills.  But hopefully these hills will be good training for the Disney races that take you up over highways!

I absolutely loved this race.  It was definitely the most beautiful scenery I’ve had in a race.  You can’t see it in this picture, but there was water on both sides of the bridge.

We started at the Kemah Boardwalk.  We were picking up our packets in the morning and it was a very efficient process.  We took our goody bags back to the car and attached our chips and pinned on our numbers.  The weather was beautiful.  It was cool, but not so much that I was cold.

At the start line, a fellow runner mentioned that we would be going over the bridge a total of four times.  Oops, I must have missed that!  I thought we would go over and back just once, but it was twice.

Our initial plan was to stick with our 6/4 intervals, but we threw that out and just ran how we felt.  Realizing there would be plenty of uphills to walk, we ran the first mile straight in 10:25.

Miles 2-5 included the hills.  The first time up wasn’t too bad.  We ran a good chunk of it!  It was so exciting to reach the top, so we coasted down, running the entire down hill and back down under the bridge.  Each time we crossed the bridge, we ran at least parts of the uphills.  We would pick lamp posts as our goals to run to, and then walk to the next lamp post before running more.

I think this was one of my favorite races because we weren’t running for time, and we weren’t running by the watch.  We ran the entire race based just on how we felt and I was able to enjoy the scenery.  I also felt very tough, running up those hills and not wearing out.

Our final ascent up the bridge was a little more difficult.  As we were approaching the hill, I felt that my legs were sore.  They felt like they had been beat up a bit.  But it hurt in a good way; I felt more energy, realizing that I wasn’t worn out yet and could tell this was a really good work out for my legs.

Our final mile was the best.  We decided to run most of it, with hopefully just one walk break through a water station.  About a quarter mile from the finish line, I felt my knee tensing up.  It hit me very suddenly and I knew instantly it was my IT band.  I could have powered through the pain, but Maggie agreed to take a quick walk break with me.  It was worth it – after a minute or so of walking, when we started to run again, the pain was gone.

We powered through to the finish line, finishing our last mile (with the walk break) in 10:12.  Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:25
  • Mile 2:  11:36
  • Mile 3:  11:02
  • Mile 4:  11:16
  • Mile 5:  11:05
  • Mile 6:  10:12
  • Mile 6.0 – 6.37:  9:24 pace
  • Total:  1:09:03 (10:50 average pace)

Although this was the slowest 10k I’ve run, I felt awesome about it.  We didn’t want to push it too hard on this run because it was supposed to be a long training run.  I felt like we pushed it just enough to feel good about the race, but we clearly had some left to give at the end of the race.  And we listened to our bodies the entire time.

The post-race treats were awesome too.  Ice cream, popsicles, tacos (including egg and potato!), muscle milk, watermelon, orange slices, and bananas.  And don’t forget the glittery medal!  It was definitely a success, and I can’t wait for the next two bridge series races.

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Race #8: Rodeo Run 10k

The Rodeo Run is a favorite of mine.  I love all the people and the energy in downtown Houston.  When I ran it last year, it was my very first 10k.  I had a goal to finish in under an hour, and I missed that goal by 1:33.  My goal for the past year has been to run this year’s race in under an hour.

I created a training plan for after the marathon, with a focus on speedwork and a hope to add some hills to my training.  One of my biggest downfalls at last year’s race was that I was unprepared for the hills of the rodeo run.  My training did not go as planned, though.  I started out well for the first few weeks, but only ran 4 times in the month of February leading up tot his race.

There were a few things that contributed to this.  First, I hurt my ankle, and was out for almost a week.  Second, work has been busier, and it’s been more difficult to make time for running outdoors before it gets dark.  Third, I’ve started doing yoga.  And I love it.  More on the yoga later, but I’m currently going to two studios.  I bought a year-long unlimited membership to one studio, and had a Groupon to another.  I love both, so yoga has been my go-to fitness option lately.  Although I’ve only run 4 times in February, I’ve gone to 13 yoga classes.

I wasn’t as excited for this race, because I felt like there was no way I would finish in under an hour.  I was worried I wouldn’t even beat my time from last year, considering how much I put into training.  I figured it would still be a fun run, though.  My sister is in town, so she and another one of my friends were going to run the 5k, and I ran the 10k with Maggie.

Like last year, we lined up between the 9:00 and 10:00 pace markers.  Maggie’s Garmin wouldn’t turn on – similar to my experience at the Disney Marathon.  Although mine turned on, it seemed to be very off.  When the race began, it said we were running at a 4:00 pace, and beeped the 1 mile mark at 8 minutes.  I knew we were running a little fast, but there was no way we were going that fast.  This was confirmed when we saw the first mile marker closer to 9:45.

I was feeling pretty good through the first two miles.  It was the third mile that we hit the first of the hills.  I only remembered two hills from last year – I must have blocked the rest from my memory.  After we conquered the first hill up the bridge, I was feeling pretty excited that we were done until the turn-around.  Then I saw the next one coming up.  Then the third.  I was feeling the hills, but felt pretty good as we charged up them, passing other people as we went.

We finished the first 5k in 30:05.  I felt pretty good, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to do a second 5k in less time.  I took a vanilla gu at the halfway point, and was glad I did.  Last year I just ran out of energy, and I didn’t want that to happen again.  We charged on and made it to the turn-around.

As we came up on the hills again, I was determined to run up each one of them.  I had no idea how we were doing on time because my Garmin was so far off.  I told Maggie even if we didn’t finish in under an hour, at least we could say we ran up every hill. And we did.

When we hit the 6 mile marker, we had exactly two minutes to make it to the finish line.  I was exhausted and wanted to walk, but was really excited – we just needed to hold a 10:00 pace to finish in under an hour!  We crossed the finish line at 59:51.  I ran a 10k in under an hour!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have my mile splits because my Garmin was so far off.  I think it said we had run almost 7 miles.  We ran the second 5k in 29:46, for an average pace of 9:37.

I also forgot to take pictures after this race.  I’m hoping to get a few good ones from the race photographers.  We walked around to pick up free food and drink samples (the rodeo run has the best!), a free race coffee mug, and then headed to the family meet-up tents to find my sister and our other friend.  To celebrate after the race, we went to Ziggy’s Healthy Grill for brunch.  It was a very successful race day!

Race #3: Rodeo Run 10k

The Rodeo Run was so much fun!  I loved the atmosphere – 15,000 racers and tons of spectators cheering us on.  It was well organized and the party after was fun too.  I didn’t make my time goal of finishing in under an hour, but I came close and still felt pretty good about the results.  Maybe I’ll get it next time!

Although the race wasn’t until 9:35, we got into downtown by 8:00.  We parked literally right next to the finish line and took a shuttle to the start.  I liked that they had water set up at the start line – I drank three cups!  It was packed, but we started between the 9:00 and 10:00 pace markers.  I felt so excited waiting for the start of the race – the adrenaline got me through the first few miles easily.

When the horn went off, it took about 3 minutes to cross the start line.  From there it was hard to weave in and out of people, but we took off.  There were so many spectators lined up through the first mile, it was a lot of fun.  I loved reading the different signs people were holding, including one that said we needed to hurry up because there was a bull chasing us.

The first 3 miles went through downtown and flew by.  But around mile 3, we left downtown and went over a bridge – that included a nice, steep, long (to me!) hill.  I wasn’t prepared for the hill.  We continued to run up the hill and it felt so good to reach the top and head back downhill.  And then we saw the first runner going by in the other direction – and I realized we were going to be crossing that bridge again!

Around mile 4 they had sprinklers for us to run under.  It felt great, but it was around mile 4 that I began to lose steam.  I kept it up a little longer, but when we hit the hills again during miles 5 and 6, I had to take a few walking breaks.  I was disappointed, but I felt so over-heated and a little nauseous, I thought a little walking would help.

During the last mile I was just thinking about how little we had left to go.  According to my Garmin, I hit 6.2 miles at 1:00:09.  I missed the hour mark by just 9 seconds!  But I wasn’t even close to the finish line.  I tried to sprint but I felt the nausea coming on.  I knew I had already missed my goal so I tried not to push myself to the point of dry-heaving again.  I felt a little disappointment as I watched a ton of people pass me during the last 0.10 miles to the finish line, but at that point I was just concentrating on keeping my legs moving.

But I must have been running faster than I thought.  I forgot to change the auto lap on my Garmin after our last speedwork, and I was stuck getting beeps at every quarter mile during the race.  Thanks to that, I saw that I ran the last 0.10 miles at an 8:42 pace.  Not an all-out sprint, but not as bad as I thought!  My splits:

  • Mile 1:  9:19
  • Mile 2:  9:23
  • Mile 3:  9:43
  • Mile 4:  9:38
  • Mile 5:  10:12
  • Mile 6:  10:01
  • Mile 6.0 – 6.35:  3:13 (9:10 pace)
  • Total:  6.35 miles in 1:01:30  (9:41 pace)

My official race time was 1:01:33.  I made it through my first 10k!  After we ran I stopped by a table for a power-ade type drink.  I felt better shortly after that.  We walked around to all the booths to pick up samples of different products.  It was a lot of fun!

I can’t wait to do this race again next year!