Monday, August 17, 2009

10K PR

I can only dream of running as fast as Usain Bolt in the 100-meters or Paula Radcliffe in the half-marathon, but I set my own record in a race this weekend--and I'm super-proud of myself! I raced a 10K on Saturday, doing it in 47:37 (7:39-minute miles). I finished 14th overall, and I was the 5th place woman. I was elated--and stunned. Me, an athletic late-bloomer, near the front of the pack?

Granted, it was a small field...but as a friend on Facebook wrote, "There are no small races, only small runners." Obviously she was making a joke, but to this 5' 11", 162-pound runner, there was a grain of truth in it. I'm not built for running at fast speeds yet I've set four PRs this year. (5K, 10K, half, and marathon) My commitment to speedwork over the past two years plays an important role in these great-for-me times. On the track and during tempo runs, I taught my legs and arms to move more efficiently and trained my system to use oxygen more effectively. And along the way, somewhere between 4 x 1200s and five miles at 8:00-tempo, I also developed mental toughness.

Now, in races, instead of shying away from the lactic acid and the burning lungs, I push toward them, knowing I can handle both capably. When a slice of my brain tells me to let up on the pace, a bigger part tells me to keep pressing on the accelerator. While I enjoyed the beauty of the riverside course at Saturday’s 10K, I didn’t allow myself to be distracted from the task I set out for myself. As soon as I felt my mind drift, my pace dropped. I’d re-focused by looking at the few runners in front of me and trying to rein them in.

One of the biggest thrills in the race was when I passed a buff, shaved-head guy about a mile from the finish. (Is it just me, or does bald head say, "serious jock" to you, too?) I’d had my sights set on him since the halfway turnaround point. He looked like the consummate runner, with lithe, sinewy muscles and a relaxed-yet-strong stride. I was amazed when I realized I was gaining on him. It became obvious he was running out of gas, but my Garmin Forerunner also told me my pace was accelerating in mile 5 and 6 rather than slowing down.

Needless to say, I now can’t wait to race, not run, the Hood to Coast Relay next week!

-SBS

11 comments:

Darin Swanson said...

Congratulations!

Carolina John said...

Great PR! Nicely done. I set a few pr's myself over the weekend.

Jocelyn said...

Wow, that is admirable. I've always wanted to start on that same goal: run a marathon some day. I guess I have to be more motivated to start somewhere.

I'm also here to tell you that I wrote something about your wonderful book on breastfeeding here:
www.hipmamasplace.com

Hope you can visit my blog and see for yourself. :)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Way to go!!! OMG I have you by over 20 lbs...wow you are one fit lady!!

Congrats, have my first 10k this weekend, I am not sure what to expect. Have to get a first race time and set goals from there.

Leah said...

Awesome, SBS! Great job! Very inspiring to those of us coming to endurance sports late in the game.

Jessica said...

i am 6'2" 165 pounds and am totally not built for running either! thanks for your inspiring post to keep working on my speed training. i set my 5K pr at 23:30 a few weeks back and am runnig a 10K next month. way to go!!!

marybob143@aol.com said...

Way to go, Sarah!!! How awesome!

BrennanAnnie said...

I love that you talked about being primed for a PR and then actually did it. That is so great. Congratulations.

gina lee said...

Hi - I'm new to your blog, but am excited to start following it. I too am a late bloomer into running, and am doing the Portland Marathon for the first time this year. I also am in the works to be a personal trainer, after owning & instructing a stroller-based fitness business for mamas and dads called Baby Boot Camp. I'm interested in your book (for obvious reasons) and your running adventures. Have a lovely day!

MJ said...

8/27 - Congrats on your piece in the NYT today!

See Jane Run, Bike and Swim

Anonymous said...

I love checking in on you and Dimity--I started reading you guys before the San Fran marathon and you have inspired me to run the Portland marathon this year but I just had to comment here and say my husband is a buff bald guy who used to be more comfortable playing football than running but he is now training with me for the marathon and he will definitely appreciate your take on his "real jock" look! He use to focus on building muscle not endurance and now he says, "do my legs look like runner's legs yet?" and I have to laugh because his quads are the size of Ryan Hall's waist--I can guarantee he will never have "runner's legs" which is why I love this sport--anyone can fit in here! :)
Thanks for the great updates!
Kelly