Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tufts 10K Recap...I survived!

Hey guys!! Thanks so much for all of the good luck and well wishes, they sure helped to propel me through my first running race, and longest distance, since my injury back in Aug. (seriously...almost 2 months already?!).

I have honestly been doing anything and everything to get me back to feeling semi-normal again...the pain of tendinitis and ITB syndrome, are nagging, aching, throbbing, chronic annoyances...I am still not 100%, but compared to even two weeks ago, I am feeling way better, which is HUGE!! I have been going to PT twice a week for the past 6 weeks, I have seen 2 different surgeons, went through an x ray and an MRI, and last week I took it a step further with a cortisone shot to the IT band, and daily acupuncture treatments...sounds like a lot? It is....and it is paying off!
Love this headliner for the race...source
So onto the much awaited recap....Tufts 10K 2011...I love this race for a few reasons:

  • It is around the Boston Commons and Charles River - close to home and pretty good views
  • It is well organized, especially for the amount of runners (7500+)
  • There is some decent samples (I might be biased towards the Luna bar samples, because I got to be inside the tent this year)
  • It is predominantly women - only a handful of men run the race, and I believe they are running for their wives, daughters, sisters....
  • It embodies a strong, healthy, accomplished female attitude - from the announcer making everyone feel special, to the men at mile 5 giving you water in tuxes, to the immense crowd and cheers at the finish line chute!
This year was my second year in a row running this, and as I have mentioned before, it was my first time running for Luna Bar (thank you, thank you, thank you Luna Chix and Luna Bar for letting me run in your name and eat your protein bar goodness for re-fueling). 
Thank you Jessie for this fab pre-race pic! me, Emma, Jane, Page, Jessie, Michelle, and Mountain Bike Member (Anne?)

This year the weather was what I would love all holidays to be (it was Columbus Day...which most of the workers in this country have off...I however had to take a vaca day - totally worth it!), just not when I am running my furthest distance in 8 weeks, at noon on the dot...it was 82 degrees and sunny (w/o 1 cloud in the sky).  

I was nervous going into this, as I was using my performance and physical feeling during and after this race to determine if I would be toeing the starting line (ok, lining up in one of the starting corrals) for the Newport, RI marathon on Sunday...just a smidgen of pressure I put on myself pre-race...I started out with my friend Jessie (also from Luna Chix), a Luna Chix Boston Mountain Bike team member, and Jane Kibii...the Luna pro/elite runner...I felt pretty excited, nervous, cool :)

We lined up in the space between a 9-minute and 10-minute mile, as we all had different strategies for the race and I sure as heck didn't know what pace I could handle...the gun went off, and about 2 minutes later, we officially started...I will admit, this first mile I felt like I was in the running of the bulls, but slower, and no horns attacking me...I was weaving, well the best I could, and making very little progress...we lost Jessie in the crowds, and Jane and I were off....Mile 1 = slowest mile I think I have run in a long time...something like 10:15? I thought I saw Jane cry a little (this woman can run 5 minutes miles for the whole race, and instead hung back with us!)

Mile 2, we broke free a little, and Jane and I lost the mountain biker, and I lost my shirt....I started the race with my Luna Chix white T on...but the weather had other plans for me...we buckled down and completed mile 2 in about a 7:12, mile 3...a little more of the same....

Mile 4? Hello heat! I thought I was going to literally pass out, so I slowed...Jane gave me a little "come on, really? You're going to make me go slower?" so I stopped thinking about walking just then and re-evaluated how I was going to make it through the next 2.2 miles...first thing first, how did my knee feel? GREAT! how was my breathing? Under control...ok, so why do I feel like my world is crashing down? Oh yeah, 84 degrees burning down on my head....new mantra? Just keeping moving, keep feeling the turnover in my legs, my ankles, my feet...my legs weren't tired...I was...

I got in a slight "tiff" with a runner about mile 4.5 (lets just say, the crowds in this race are the only pitfall), and thought I was going to get tripped from behind, so I sped up a little...then I saw mile 5, and I slowed a little...the next mile or so mimics the speed up, slow down approach...but I didn't walk...and I didn't have pain.

At the last water station, Jane (who was now my main reason not to walk...if she stayed with me, over running in the elite crowd, then I would keep going for her) got me a big cup of water, which i gulped and threw over my head....that was the last bit I needed to get down Beacon St. and get through the finisher's chute....

50:36 was the time I crossed the finish line (chip-time, 8:09 avg. pace), it was my personal worst time in a 10k by 6 minutes, but honestly I was stoked! I FINISHED, and WITH NO PAIN!!!!!!!!!! Jane (who had also raced a half marathon in Boston the DAY BEFORE in something like 1:16!!) did a cool down walk with me and we were back to the Luna tent, to give out some more samples, foam roll, recover, and re-hydrate....

I didn't have my best performance Monday, but it was such an amazing feeling to make it through a 6.2 mile race, 8 weeks after thinking my running world was shattered, and realizing that my goal of completeing Newport on Sunday (yes....4 days from now - #freakout!) is a heck of a lot closer than it was 6 weeks ago, last week, even that morning....

Thanks Luna for setting me up with a bib for the Tufts, thank you Jane for motivating me to keep moving throughout (and potentially missing out on winning the event - her roommate, Janet, won the whole thing!) and watch-out Newport :)

**sorry for lack of pictures, dropped the ball on my photo-taking and race photos aren't out yet!
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Have you ever had a race, you physically were still going, but mentally you were toasted?

Let me tell you, I fought with my mind this WHOLE race!

What did you do this Columbus Day? Did you have the day off? 



9 comments:

  1. YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!?! i mean seriously!?! that time still sounds SOOO speedy to me! and to think you busted that out and felt great after an injury, time off, etc! so awesome! ahhhhh! counting down the days for you to run Newport and I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!!!!! congrats friend!

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  2. Congrats for totally dominating this race after such a nagging, painful injury. Let's cheers to the personal worst by 6 minutes, we all need one of those at some point! WOOHOO!!

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  3. great job!!! you all look great! your PW is still amazing!!

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  4. Great job!!!! Good luck in Newport! We are going to be down so maybe we'll have to go watch!!!

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  5. Amazing! You're right - who CARES about the fact that it was a "slower" race. You still smoked it and should be SO proud of yourself. Last year a month before my marathon my PT told me there was no way I was running it (PFS in my left knee). I saw him 3 times a week for the month leading up to my race and even though it took me over 4 hours to finish, I was so proud of myself for fighting through it! Congrats on amazing race. And WOW - to run for LUNA?! Amazing!

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  6. i really want to run this race. I just keep hearing such wonderful things about it! Yeah for NO PAIN!!!!

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  7. Great job on pushing through on a tough race! I think you're still pretty speedy, even if you used to be faster :)

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  8. Hahaha, your personal worst time by minutes would be my personal best time by 5. Even if you're not a rockstar to you, you're a rockstar to somebody else. Remember that when you're feeling slow ;-)

    Excited for you and your pain-free run! And I love that you got to run as part of team Luna bar... I imagine representing something or someone is a great motivator to train hard and run a good race?!

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  9. Still faster than me! You did great! Look for me this weekend! And if I don't see you, good luck!

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