I ran my first ever Long Island Marathon weekend 10K race yesterday, my sixth 10K race of my running life.
As I’ve said, choosing to run the 10k instead of the half marathon felt so nice mentally in the days leading up to the race. While a 10K is no joke, the fact that I have run four Long Island Half Marathons in a row to only run the 10K, does provide a different feeling. Side note: I heard other runners say they were “only” running the 10K too — only a runner would refer to the 10K distance prefaced with the word “only”!
The pressure level in preparation for the 10K felt much lower than going into a half marathon. I didn’t have to worry as much about hydration/nutrition in the days leading up to the race. Of course I thought about it, but overall 6.2 miles is very different from running 13.1 miles.
I didn’t train for this race and haven’t been running my former higher mileage routine. 6.2 miles right now is a high mileage day for me! That wasn’t so much on my mind though— I’ve certainly put my time in over the years so consistently that running 6.2 miles still feels like a very manageable distance on any given day. Maybe not at a pace that calculations would predict my true 10k race pace to be without training, but I certainly had it in me to give a good effort.
My usual routine of coffee, water, oatmeal.
I parked in my usual area of Eisenhower Park by 7:00 AM. It’s a perfect location for running a warm up, using actual bathrooms, and provides easy exit after the race.
I took this blurry photo while running my warm up around the park.
After about a mile warm up, I then walked to meet up with Gianna! She messaged me Saturday evening to say she was running the half so we planned to meet before the start! It’s a bit of a walk to the start area (like a mile from where I park I think?) so I walked to meet her and then we walked over to the start lines.
We had about 20 minutes until the start so we were standing around and chatting. Next thing we knew, a reporter from News12 approached us for an interview. HA.
The 10K race start is adjacent to the half marathon/marathon start line, running in the opposite direction. Gianna and I said good luck before lining up for our races. I was totally calm, fine, and excited.
The majorly cloudy skies were perfect. This race course is brutal with sunshine so I was really happy about the weather. (I had removed my sweatshirt after running the warm up. Short sleeves felt comfortable).
My plan was to try to start out closer to an 8:00 min/mile, find a groove, and speed up from there.
I didn’t want to go out too fast and didn’t think I went out too fast but the pace clock at the mile mark pretty much said I went out too fast. Oops. I tried to ease up but I’m always afraid to ease up too much and then lose my ability to pick up my pace again.
I’ll share my splits at this point so you can see how I started too fast and how really, the last 3 miles should have been my first 3 miles and my first 3 should have been my last 3 miles. Ah well!
After the first mile, things are a blur. The 10K course mostly runs a different course than the half marathon and didn’t have many spectators in comparison. I tried to stay focused, grabbing water at the water stops which were located at every other mile or so.
It’s a quiet course compared to the marathon/half marathon and pretty boring.
The thing about a 10K race is that you know it’s not that long which can be great but then you find yourself starting to count down the miles too quickly in your head which makes them feel longer than they need to be.
With mile clocks at every mile, I thought I was holding on well to meet my best 10K time of 47:59. At 3 miles I was at 23:XX, at 4 miles I was at 31:XX, at 5 miles I was at 39:XX.
Then came the turn into the park. It’s the exact same turn into the park that the half marathon route runs and mentally, that started to work against me! Usually, that point in the half marathon is when I’m dying and tired and can’t pick up my pace at all. I had to remind myself over and over at that point that THIS IS NOT MILE 12. You are only at mile 5, you are not that tired and certainly can move faster to be finished!
One thing about me, I cannot find that sprint at the end. Nah. It’s almost like a feeling of oh, you want me to speed up? No thanks, I don’t feel like it. It’s SO MENTAL. I just can’t find that last burst of energy!
My official time came in at 49:39. Out of 564 runners, they say I came in 85 overall.
A very small part of me wondered if I would feel anything towards the other side of the start line, wishing I was running the half again. Nope, not even a little bit. In fact, I’m sort of in awe of my past ability to run nine half marathons. That takes a lot of work and energy and desire!
Even with those lovely positive splits, I would say I ran a strong race. I think I ran exactly at the point of where my current training level stands at the moment. Sure, I would have loved to clock in with my fastest ever 10k time but whatever. This is my first spring time 10K in warmer temperatures so now if I run another one next year, I will have this race as my bench mark.
Speaking of the weather, I can’t decide if I was hot. It definitely felt warm, but not too bad for me thanks to the cloud cover. I felt hydrated enough although had I run any longer, I think I would have felt more affected by the spring running weather.
While I knew I was running faster than my average run, I knew I wasn’t really pushing my limits. I can’t fully answer you as to why. It’s like I have a defense mechanism which stops me from going too hard in fear of not feeling well/burning out before the end of the race and needing to crawl home. Or something like that.
It was beyond amazing to drive home and get out of the car like I didn’t just run a race. After a half, YOU FEEL IT. This 10K left me feeling like any other day. No soreness or anything for the rest of the day. Not an ounce.
And there we have it. My last race in the age bracket of 35-39. While I do have a few weeks until my birthday, I do not plan to run additional races between now and June 5. It is just too warm starting at this point for a race. Last year I ran the 10 mile race in Long Beach Memorial Day weekend but I am so not doing that again this year! TOO HOT.
I think at some point I would like to train for a 10K race. It’s a nice race distance and certainly worth training for as I do feel that I have it in me to run this distance in a race a few minutes faster than I did yesterday. With proper training, I just know I can clock in faster with some ease. Ease is a relative term! We know these races hurt but with training, I can do it more comfortably if that makes sense.
If you are interesting in the rest of my race recaps, I have them all organized in my race recap page. 🙂Recapping yesterday's 10k on the blog today! #runli #race #run #10K #fitfluential #longislandmarathonweekend #longisland @news12 Click To Tweet
Who else ran a race over the weekend? How was it?
Do you have a favorite race distance? What is your opinion of the 10K race distance?