You know the scare-quotes can’t be good news, right?
I signed up for the 10K event of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition Run a while back, when I was using the RW training plan. In the Higdon plan, which I started with and then switched back to, today was supposed to be a 5K race.
Hey, I split the difference! But we’ll get to that.
I was a little nervous about doing a 10K, but after last week’s 6-miler, I was feeling more confident.
I arrived early, since I needed to pick up my shirt and race bib. I walked in the front gate of CBS Studios, but there was no indication of where to go from there. (Had I parked in the parking garage rather than on the street, this probably wouldn’t have been a problem.) I asked the guard at the gate where I was supposed to go. He asked if I was there for the event or to volunteer.
If I were a volunteer, I would have been wearing longer pants. Just saying.
Once I found my way to the registration desk, I got my number and timing chip, and wandered around the Health Fair, which was just getting set up. The Goodie Bag table had a small, nearly hidden sign, and the t-shirt table had no sign at all, leaving a few people asking if they were supposed to pay for the shirts.
The race information had said that the 5K run started at 8:00, the 10K at 8:15, and the 5K walk at 8:45. I saw a sign when I walked in that said the 10K would be at 8:30 and the 5K walk at 9:00.
I was not expecting the local pastor (who lost a family member to ovarian cancer) who led everyone in a prayer. After that, and some announcements, and the National Anthem, the Laker Girls led a brief warm-up. The 5K runners got started around 8:10. Then, it was announced that the 10K run would start in about half an hour, “after the 5K runners finish”. I can only assume that announcement meant to refer to the leaders of the 5K run, and not the back of the pack folks. So, we 10K runners meandered around, keeping warm, sampling bits of Yummy Cupcakes, sipping water, waiting, waiting, and waiting some more. Another announcement: there had been some sort of problem with the course, and 5K runners being sent the wrong way, causing a delay. Finally, the Laker Girls came back out to do another 5-minute warm-up, and then we were off at about 8:40.
The first mile was a zig-zag through the studio lot and out the gate. Inexplicably, there was a water table just .1 mile in. I skipped it, settled into a comfortable pace, and finished mile 1 in 11:52.
About a quarter mile later, I rolled my right ankle. I was running along, listening to my music, scooting over to the right to move between the person just ahead of me on the left and the curb on my right, when my foot just flipped. I ran a few more steps, then slowed to a walk. It was exactly that sort of roll that ended my marathon training in 2002, and that broke my left foot in 2001. But after a little walking, I sped back up, and finished out mile 2 in 12:08. I took planned walk/GU Chomp breaks at miles 3 and 4, as well, finishing those miles in 12:09 and 12:03, respectively.
It was somewhere around mile 3 that I realized that there was something very wrong with the course. I had set my Garmin for a “quick workout” of 10K at a 12:03 pace, so it was counting down from 6.21 miles. It said that I had 3.5 miles to go when I passed the “4” marker.
“That’s odd,” I thought.
The 2-mile marker was also, according to the signage, the 5-mile marker. Yeah, not so much.
When I crossed the finish line, I knew the time was impossibly fast for me to have actually done 6.2 miles. The Garmin says it was 4.85 in 58:16, for a 12:00 pace overall. At the Results Table, they had posted the times for the first two 10K finishers (both of whom were in my age group), who had finished in about 30 minutes.
Overall, it was a little disappointing. I was looking forward to setting a 10K PR (since it was my first 10K, you see). And running a 10K had been one of my goals for 2010. I’m going to look for another one, but it’ll have to be in November or December, after the Half-Marathon. The Higdon plan actually calls for a 10K race in a few weeks, but there aren’t any local races that weekend, so I’m planning on a 6-mile run that day.
At the moment, I’m icing and elevating the ankle, since it started hurting again once I stopped running. I’m really hoping it’ll be enough to head off a real injury.
Addendum: I’ve checked up on the official results, and my chip time of 58:12.3 placed me at 17th in my age group, 83rd among women, and 136th overall. The top man finished in 29:58, and the top woman finished in 36:19.