For part two of my two race weekend I headed back to West Potomac Park for the Run for the Parks 10K. I signed up for the Run for the Parks 10K for three main reasons: 1) I had never raced a 10K 2) sweet race swag and 3) proximity to my apartment. And then the additional benefit of helping the parks. With my ankle swelled and sore from the prior day's misstep and this being my first 10K I wasn't sure how the race was going to go.
I got up at 6 and had oatmeal, coffee, and water while analyzing the weather forecast. Sunday was the first day this fall that didn't make it out of the 50's. Add some rain to the forecast and I wasn't sure what to wear. I ended up deciding on a long sleeve shirt with shorts, which was the right choice during the race. At 7 I added pants and a rain jacket and biked down to the starting line. The only pre race packet pick up was in Tyson's, so the line was pretty long. My friend Jayna was already in line so I joined her and about 15 minutes later we had our numbers and jackets and we moved over to the extremely long bag check line. By the time we finished both lines it was almost race time. A very talented 15 yr old girl from Virginia sang the National Anthem while playing the guitar. And then a minute or two after 8 am we were off!
The course was similar to the 8K I ran a few weeks ago, but with a mile extra. The course is fairly flat and at or below sea level at some places.
As soon as we started running I realized my feet were cold. Luckily we were running and they soon warmed up. I put a brace on my ankle so it was a little extra stiff and I could feel a little uncomfortableness for the first mile. My ankle didn't hold me back and my first mile ended up being my fastest (no surprise here) at 7:56. After the ankle loosened up I started noticing my legs felt a little tired, but kept up the pace for the second mile at 7:57. Around mile 2.5 the lead runners were heading back. I made it to mile 3 maintaining the steady 7:57 pace and after the turnaround entertained myself watching the runners going in for the turn and looking for my friend. I saw her and shouted and waved. Out and backs are fun, because you get to see other runners, but they are also not fun because you know how far you have to go back.
I don't remember anything significant about mile 4, but I slightly slowed down to 8:02. Around the 5th mile I started having a few people pass me and I made a note to focus more on negative splits. Mile 5- 8:05 and an even slower mile 6- 8:09. I was able to kick it for the final .2 miles for a total official time of 49:54. I was very happy with my time for my first 10K, bum ankle and all. Other stats- 78/643 female runners and 22/180 female runners 25-29.
|at the finish|
|Jayna, Washington Monument, and me|
After the race I got my water, banana, and granola bar before heading over to get a free consultation on my ankle. Fast Track Physical Therapy was there giving free massages and injury consultations. I figured since there was no way I was going to go to a doctor and since my I sprained my ankle twice in three months that I might as well take advantage of a free consultation. She asked me some questions, felt my ankle asking where it hurt, had me stand and squat on one foot, and had me press against her hand in different ways. Basically once you sprain your ankle once you are screwed because the ligaments once stretched, never go back. I sprained my ankle several times playing high school basketball, including one severe time, so I've been doomed for awhile. However you can build up the muscles to support the ankle, but to learn these secret exercises I have to make an appointment. I liked her though and she didn't yell at me for running the race so I might go visit her.