Friday, March 23, 2018

St. Patrick's Day 10k

Ugh, sorry I've been missing from blogland for a couple weeks.  Things have been busy with work and I just haven't been working out at all.  I went to the podiatrist last week and he confirmed that I have tendinitis, and it's my peroneal tendon.  He gave me an ankle brace to wear and he said he didn't want me working out on my feet at all.  No body pump, no elliptical, just upper body weights.  I asked if I could use the bicycle and he kind of wavered on that and said I could try it but I had to stop if it hurt at all.  So I've been playing it safe this week and just doing my PT exercises plus abs and upper body weights.


But I did want to get back and at least talk about my St. Patrick's Day 10k from a couple weeks ago.  It was a super windy weekend.  Mike's work was actually closed on Friday from the wind and we had heard that there was at least one local race that was cancelled on Saturday.  The winds were more manageable on Sunday, which was the day of my race, but it was still in the 15 to 20 mph range.

I also have to admit that I went into the race with a negative attitude.  I'm sure that contributed to my bad race day.  I wasn't looking forward to the cold winds, I was upset that my foot was hurt and worried I was going to make it worse, disappointed that I had to cut down from 15k to 10k, and it just wasn't my usual positive outlook on things.  I don't even have any photos from race day because I just wanted to get things over with.  All of that to say if you want a better review of this race, please look at my 2016 review since it is probably a more accurate representation.

One of the differences this year is that there was no shirt.  You could pay extra for a shirt if you wanted, or get a bandana or store credit for Pacer's Running Store.  I do like that they had these options and that the shirt price wasn't included if you don't want it.

The medal was still included in the base price

Another difference is that there was no race morning packet pick up this year.  I was a little bothered by that but it was ok.  They did have packet pick up at the store for at least 2 weeks before race day so there were plenty of days to pick up the packet.  And it was easy for someone else to pick up the packet for you, because Mike picked the packet up for me on his way home from work one day.

We managed to find a cheap hotel room the night before the race so we stayed downtown, a little more than a mile from the race.  That was pretty convenient and I enjoyed having a nice dinner and catch up time with my friend the evening before the race.  The restaurant also had free breakfast in the morning that was convenient for pre-race fuel.  We did a warm up jog down to the Washington Monument for the race start.

It was perfect timing and we got there about 5 minutes before race start so we didn't have to stand around in the cold wind much at all.  The course is a beautiful course.  It's mostly flat with some very small hills.  It's also in a scenic area past the Washington monument, the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson memorial. 

It was a sunny day but that played a bit of havoc with my temperature. I dressed for the cold but I was probably over dressed.  So I would get pretty warm at times but just when I began to think about taking off a layer, there would be a windy spot and I would be really cold again.  So I pretty much alternated being too hot and too cold the whole time.  Oh, and there were no water stops during the race.  That was fine for me since I always carry my hand held water bottle but I saw a few other people out there asking where the water was.  I hope that this was just because it was too windy and not a permanent change.

The race felt really hard and I don't know why.  I guess there was the wind.  But in 2016 this race was my 10k PR of 1:14:21.  But this year it took me much longer.  I think this was actually the slowest 10k I ever had, 1:28:27, which is frustrating when I felt like I was working so hard the whole time.  I even took less time at the Avengers Half in Disneyland which I was taking super easy and stopping for lots of photos.  I did look at my fitbit a week later and saw that my resting heart rate had been much higher than usual that whole week, so I don't know if there was something going on with my body that may have contributed to this. 

It was also frustrating because it seemed like there were a lot of little things going wrong.  My running tights, which I had worn for my 20 miler and were fine, wouldn't stay up and I had some thigh chafing starting at mile 2.  And my bra was twisted somehow so I had chafing on my back starting around mile 4.  That is way too much chafing for a 10k!

And then, we compounded everything with making a bad decision.  We decided to walk back to the hotel.  Which would have been fine on a nice day but it was still on the cold side and I was freezing by the time we got back to the hotel.  I was really sore later in the day and I think part of the reason I was so sore after a 10k was due to this cold walk.  I also realized that counting the travel back and forth to the hotel, this ended up being more like 9 miles total. 

We did meet up with other friends for a delicious post-race brunch!

Pros:  Beautiful course, flat, fun theme with lots of people dressing up in St. Patrick's day attire, option to pay less and not get a shirt

Cons:  No race day packet pick up, no water stop, meh medal