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Embarcadero 10k - Run10k

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San Francisco, California
United States
Dolphin South End Runners
Total Time = 53m 11s
Overall Rank = 78/132
Age Group = F
Age Group Rank = 23/58
Pre-race routine:

I had a date the night before, but I still managed to get to bed around, oh, 2 a.m. I woke up at 7:50 a.m. to major storming outside, took 30 seconds to make sure I *really* wanted to do this race, and was out the door by 8:05 a.m. About five blocks from my house I realized I'd forgotten my Garmin. I didn't care about missing the fancy features, but I wanted the basic timer, at least. I briefly considered turning back but said screw it and drove on. I ate maybe half a Clif bar on the way and drank some water. I got to the race start at 8:30 and registered. It was raining *hard* by then and even though the race organizers had tents up, everything was incredibly wet -- including the sign-up sheet and race tags we had to pin to our shirts (instead of bibs). It was kind of a big, wet mess.
Event warmup:

At about 8:45 a.m. I jogged back to my car to strip off my outer clothes, then I jogged back to the tents to huddle up with the other racers. It wasn't terribly cold, but it was raining hard. A few minutes before 9 a.m. the organizers hussled us over to another tent for the start.
  • 53m 11s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 34s  min/mile

I definitely went out way too fast. I have no idea *how* fast, but I'm thinking crazy fast (probably close to my 5k pace, but that's just a guess). It didn't help that my legs felt cold and tired for the first mile so I had trouble gauging whether I was feeling fast or cold, heh. I don't know if I got caught up with the race energy so much as I'm just not used to running fast these days, and I'm not an especially good judge of my pace at shorter/faster distances. It was a fun start, though, as we all took off in the rain, dodging major puddles. I hit a big one early on and soaked one shoe. Oh well! It's only six miles so it wasn't a problem.

It was fun running through Fisherman's Wharf and along the Embarcadero. I almost wished it was just a training run so I could slow down and soak up the experience. I really need to run in the city more often (or, you know, ever). I especially love the section where the water is coming right up to the road/sidewalk and you can look out over the bay to Treasure Island and the East Bay and the bridge. So pretty, even on a rainy, ugly day.

Anyway, the race. I had a rough time in the first half, partly because we were running into a headwind. I was really looking forward to the turnaround, but even with the tailwind I wasn't feeling great. Around mile four I started feeling a little pukey and like I really, really wanted to be done or just stop and walk. It felt like I was barely moving, but I think I must've been keeping a decent pace and that's why I felt bad. Then again, maybe not, since I got passed by a few people in the second half. That was depressing. I did manage to pass one guy about a half mile from the end, though.

I was so happy when I saw the finish tent in the distance, and of course that's when my body decided it was OK with the pace and I hit my stride. As I ran down the last block I saw a big timer and was stunned to see that I was coming in around 53 minutes. I'd figured I was way slower than that.
What would you do differently?:

I think it's kind of hilarious that I've run four 10k races in the past 11 months, and three of the finishes were within five seconds of each other (and the fourth wasn't far off either). Apparently my body really, really likes 53-and-change. It's a little frustrating, to be honest, but I feel confident I can break 53 minutes sooner rather than later, because I didn't come into this race all that well prepared. I've been slowly ramping up my mileage after the marathon and a minor injury, and I'm probably due a "rest" week soon because this past week my legs felt pretty beat up and my heart just wasn't into some of the runs.

On the one hand, I'm disappointed that after six months of intense training (even my post-marathon training was more mileage than what I was doing this time last year) my 10k time hasn't improved at all. But on the other hand, I wasn't racing under the best circumstances, so. I'll take what I can get. If I don't see a lot of improvement at the 10k I'm running at the end of March, then I'll be pissed.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked over to the tents and drank three little Dixie cups of water and ate a couple of cookies and some grapes. I stuck around to hear them announce the top five men and women, then went back to my car. I really wanted out of my wet clothes. I stripped off my running shirt and had a moment of major shyness, standing there in my sports bra, which is so silly when I think about all the times I've taken my top off during a triathlon! I swore at myself when I realized I'd forgotten to bring a backup pair of shoes, since my running shoes were soaked through, but then I found a pair of old Keds in the trunk of my car. Yay!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I've done absolutely no fast running for at least three or four months. I'm in the middle of ramping up mileage after a break for injury; this past week I felt particularly rough. Also, running in the rain?

Event comments:

Great race! I was really impressed with it, actually. It's the first race I've done with the Dolphin South End Runners and I will definitely race with them again -- the people were really nice and friendly, the event was totally low-key but also really well organized (it's clear they have a lot of experience), I like the later-than-usual start time, and hey, it's fun to run in the city. They also had pretty decent turnout considering the rain.

Last updated: 2009-02-22 12:00 AM
00:53:11 | 06.21 miles | 08m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/58
Overall: 78/132
Performance: Average
Course: Flat out and back starting at the Aquatic Park, through Fisherman's Wharf and along the Embarcadero, to the ballpark.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-03-01 7:11 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Embarcadero 10k
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