Sunday, July 21, 2013

Queens 10K Recap or How I Learned to Love Run/Walk

As you may know, I had been wavering back and forth about whether or not I was going to do this 10K.  After my craptastic run in Central Park last week, I was ready to throw in the towel.  I texted my friend Abby (who I knew was also going to be running the race) and I told her that the heat was too much, I couldn't get over my mental block and that I couldn't do the race.  As I mentioned before, she talked me off the ledge and convinced me that I COULD in fact do it.  I was still not completely sure, especially considering my last experience with a 10K, so I asked Abby if I could run with her.

Last week I mentioned that Abby uses the run/walk method of Jeff Galloway where you basically plan a run to walk ratio ahead of time.  I had always heard of this method but for me, I always had it in my head that if I was going to be a runner, I wanted to RUN.  I saw it as cheating if I walked during a run.  I had it in my head that I was failing if I walked.  But, honestly my goal was just to FINISH this Queens 10K, so if I could run and walk through it?  I thought I might have a fighting chance.

Abby was fine with me tagging along beside her during the race, so I felt good knowing that I would have a supportive friend right by my side to push me through if need be.  I'm happy to say, that I didn't!

This week in NYC, there was a huge heat wave.  Everyday, the temps soared to at least 100 degrees and I knew that I wasn't going to even attempt to run outside in that (I hit the gym instead).  The forecast was calling for the heat to break the night before, but I told myself and others that if it didn't, I wasn't going to be doing it.  I really didn't want to put myself through that kind of hell.  I knew that my running confidence couldn't take that kind of hit considering it was on shaky enough ground.  Luckily the heat did break and this morning was actually quite pleasant!  I popped out of bed at 6 AM (and by popped I mean, of course, crawling out of bed and shuffling) and made a breakfast of some eggs whites, a bagel thin with peanut butter and a banana.  I was a little worried it might be too much, but I was giving myself plenty of time to digest and I knew that I was going to have to eat something to have energy to get through this thing.  Might have been the perfect amount because I didn't feel full or gross, but I also didn't feel sluggish and fatigued from lack of fuel.  I probably should have had more water as I did feel slightly dehydrated towards the end, but live and learn!

I got there, met up with Abby, and then we were off and running!  We decided to do a 1:1 ratio and see how we felt.  I have to say, I think I might be a full on run/walk convert.  I LOVED it.  I felt like it broke up the monotony and gave your legs a break!  I think I might play around with the ratio a bit and see which one suits me best, but I definitely am a HUGE fan of the run/walk.  For anyone out there who thinks that they can't run?  Guess what, yes you can!

The other thing I gotta say, was it was amazing having Abby by my side for this race because we just chatted the whole time!  I never had a chance to hit a mental blockage because I never had a chance to get inside my head!  By the end, yes... my legs were starting to get tired, but we just kept going!  I was very happy that I never had to resort to the "I can't do this!  Talk me through this!  Hold me hand and drag me along!" whining that I thought I might have to do in order to finish.  Abby checked in on me, made sure I was feeling good and strong and we trudged along!  At around the 3 mile mark Abby passed me a Gu energy gel, which I had never had before.  I had read all about them from other running bloggers and knew that they supposedly helped and I don't know if it was the Gu or the run/walk, but I never felt depleted in this race like I have in almost all my other ones.  So, note to self... buy Gu gels.

There were no medals this time (boo...) but that's okay.  I crossed that finish line and that was my goal.  The plus was that I finished it feeling strong and like I could rule the world.  I just checked my results and we finished in 1:28 and change.  My goal was to finish before the 1:30 mark, so I accomplished that!  Our pace was around 14:13.  My pace EXACTLY from my last New York Road Runners race, which I think was actually that awful 10K!  So there you go!  I finished this one feeling great at that pace, and that one feeling like someone hit me with a mack truck!  Do I wish it were faster?  Maybe, but I got time for that.

I really did have a great runners high at the end of this race.  I felt like I could rule the world.  I also felt like I could actually run a half marathon!  I think I can do it now!  I mean, REALLY do it!  I know I've signed up for them in the past and two I've backed out on, and the third was cancelled on me but I always felt like I just wasn't ready.  I just wasn't a good enough runner.  Well, guess what?  I don't feel that way anymore!  I CAN do this!  I CAN complete a half marathon!  Now I just have to find one that fits into my schedule... That might actually be the trickier part!

So, there you have it folks.  I did it!  Phew... Now I need food because, damn... I'm hungry!

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