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Sunday, February 19, 2012

heartbreaker 10K race recap

Going into this race, I was not sure how I felt. My previous PR is from last year right before I started marathon training...actually almost a year ago exactly. first week of february. I ran a 42:30 which was a 5min PR off my 10K time at that time. I still  can't believe that 18mos ago I could NOT break 47:30...mind you If I knew that running 20-25 miles a week sporatically and inconsistently was NOT going to lead me to improvement then i wouldn't have been so hard on myself. I was More than thrilled with my 42:30 last year b/c I went into that race just hoping to break 45. I obviously was not very clear on my what my abilities were at the time. I am still figuring that out I guess..........I am realizing that we usually grossly underestimate our abilities.

I haven't had a PR in almost a year, due to the fact that I was injured and then have just been running base so I was really eager to get one today.
however, It was hard for me to put it out there. There is always this fear with telling people what you really want and just believing inyourself and then not achieving it and feeling like a failure. I am not the only one who does this right? I think we often try to hide the true desires of our hearts b/c of fear of judgement if we come up short.

I was torn today between telling myself that I believe in myself...that I am stronger than I think I am and that I CAN run a 6:45 pace for 6.2 miles (that is what I needed to break 42min..which was my ultimate goal). .....and then there was the voice trying to give myself an out....telling me, it's okay to not meet my goals b/c I am not training for a 10K....I am not tapered.....I ran a 20 miler, and a hard mile repeats workout this week, its a high mileage week for me (70miles)...I stood on myfeet ALL day yesterday working etc.....

And then I thought of a bunch of you ladies, who inspire me. Who do NOT make excuses and ultimately when I stood at that starting line today, I told myself "Nicole, You are stronger than you think. You don't make excuses, you just go after it and get it". it helped that Angie was beside me in her sweet encouraging voice telling me all the while I complained about being tired and not having my head in the game that I was going to do GREAT!. She is so sweet.

I got to the start line and gave my head a shake! I actually said out loud "nicole, you are stronger than you think. Come on!". I knew I had to get my game face on b/c chances were this was not going to feel easy if I wanted to break 42min. And I REALLY wanted to break 42min. Like bad.
When that gun went off, the race day magic turned on and I knew it was all or nothing...and I'm an "all" kind of girl:)

We went out first mile together and our garmins were hopping all over the place so I had to run by feel.I was pretty confident I was running on target of about 6:50 pace and when the garmin finally settled down it was between 6:45 and 6:50. My goal pace for the first mile was 6:50 so I could try to run it progressively. when my watch beeped at the first mile and it said 6:37, I said "shoot!". I knew that was faster than I wanted but I let it roll of my back.
I am always amazed by "race day magic" ....it is a real thing! lol....some weird force coming from the running universe b/c paces ALWAYS feel so much easier in a race than they do when running alone. Luckily today, a bit of Race Day Magic was on my side.

A few girls went out fast (they were the 37,38 pace women), but 2 other girls were within 200m of me. My goal was to chase them both down.
By the end of mile 2, I was closing in on the first one.
Mile 2 beeped at 6:42. I knew there was no time to slow down and I had to pick it up. I was already starting to feel tired but not enough to slow down.

The girl in front of me was not slowing down and it seemed like I was not speeding up....right around mile 3, there is a sharp U-turn...this was my chance..I surged and passed her.
Mile 3: 6:32

Now I could see i was about 60m behind the other girl I was trying to catch. and at about mile 3.5 I passed her. I can't tell you how goood that felt.
I hit mile 4 with another 6:32 pace....this was when the Race day magic started to fade and I could FEEL that I had just run 4 miles at a 6:35 pace.

I looked behind me a few times to see and the girls were not making any progress...I still had about 30-50m on both of them. THEN......

to my absolute dismay, I hear a flapping sound and look down to see my shoe lace untied! I could NOT believe it!! this has NEVER happened to me before in a race. My launches were double knotted but somehow had still come undone. I actually yelled out loud ( I won't say what I said, but I was mad!). I dropped to my knees and whipped off my gloves...my fingers were so numb it was hard to move them properly and quickly.I was actually talking to them saying "come on fingers, work!". I jumped back up and now these girls were 30m in front of me......one a bit furthere ahead.
I picked up the pace, which honestly hurt SO bad, but I was DETERMINED to catch them again!
Mile 5 was 6:59:(:( I am sure I lost atleast 15seconds.....maybe more if you think about stopping and re-excelerating etc.....
I caught one and we yo-yo'd the final mile and a half! by mile 5.5 My legs were dead. I could feel that everything in my body was telling me to stop.
with half a mile to go the girl pulled away and had about 20m on me....HOWEVER, with the last .1 to go, up a small hill, I gave it everything I had and we crossed the finish line at the exact same time:):)
we both congratulated eachother and talked about how we HELPED eachother push one another. nice girl for sure.
Mile 6 was 6:48
and the last .24 was 6:23 pace (I was pushing as hard as i could for the last quarter mile and that was all I had:)

Finishing time was: 41:40
I was really proud of myself.

I felt really good about my paces and consistency the first 4 miles. a 6:35 pace will get me to break 41min so I just have to pace myself differently next time and not stop to tie my shoe;) and I think I can get close to that.
I took 2nd in my Age Group...but I feel really bad, bc when I looked at the posted results, I thought I was first and they gave me my medal b/c I had to leave early. I think they are all the same but still. turned out I thought one of the names was  a boy name but it was a girl and she was first in  our age group.oops!

I am really excited to race another 10K in 2weeks and then a 5K 2wks after that!

Week 7 of boston training was a good week: recap:

**20miler at 8:02 pace. Easy pace. felt amazing!

**Workout: 4 x 1 mile repeats: 6:41, 6:29, 6:19, and 6:04. A NEW MILE PR for me:) (previous Mile PR also done in repeats was 6:09).
I finally believe I can run a sub 6min mile. I have never raced a mile or done a timed mile on it s own to see how fast I could do it, but I will soon. I am excited:)

** and a New 10K PR:)

Life is good:)


  1. I've been thinking of you all day girl! So proud of you! You ran an amazing race here and I can only see so much more in your future. Just seeing where you were when I first met you and seeing you now is so cool.. You've come a long way! And I can't wait to see you where you end up. Congrats! I hope you are smiling BIG! Boston is going to be so awesome for you. You have some big time potential that hasn't even begun to be tapped Nicole. Awesome week! Time to change your side bar time for the 10k! Wow, almost a minute PR! Smokin!

  2. Nice PR there! Way to stay strong after a shoe untying. It's weird how my shoes won't untie ever, then I'll be on the track or racing and they will come undone!
    Your old PR of 47:30 is better than my current 10k PR: 48 min. Yep. It's from, well, I guess 18 months ago, too! I haven't done a 10k since, but I was so thrilled to be under 48 (47:59!). It might be time to register for another one, lol!
    Congrats on the AG place!

  3. Shoelace be damned. Congrats on the new PR Nicole! Love the pep-talk you gave yourself. I'll have ot borrow that. All your numbers for the week are ones to be very proud of.

  4. Congrats Nicole! Darn shoe lace - I had that happen to me and since then I have been using elastic laces (speed laces) in all my races. It sucks to have to stop and it kills the momentum. Sub 41 next time no doubt. Sub 40 even if you are tapered.

  5. I have been waiting all weekend to read this report! So happy for you and excited for you. You did amazing! even with the shoe lace problem! That is such a bad feeling in the middle of a race. I ran half of a 5k last year with my shoe lace flapping.

    Love this

    "When that gun went off, the race day magic turned on and I knew it was all or nothing...and I'm an "all" kind of girl:)"

    I love that race day magic!

  6. yay!!! what a wonderful recap and day! so proud of you

  7. You definitely had the race day magic. Great job!!! :)

  8. Also, ugh. The shoe lace! Bah!
    Is there some way to keep those laces tied? I have had my launches come undone on me too.

  9. Hey there! Great race, Nicole! Wonderful to see what you can do when you decide there will be NO excuses. :) Great self-talk!!
    I have had some lace issues in training lately too- even with double knots. Maybe I need to check out the speed laces. I had no idea they were elastic.

    You have really come a long way in a short time. Increased mileage in HUGE amounts, taken on new speed work, new racing approaches, just learning how to race each distance the bast you can! Can't wait to see what you do in Boston. :)

  10. I completely agree with you about how we underestimate what we are capable of. For some reason it's hard to just put it all out there and believe that the sky's the limit. I had told myself I was at least 1 or 2 years away from breaking 40 minutes for a 10k. What was I basing this on?? I guess my own fear of failure. YOU are strong and capable of so much. To use a line from Biggest Loser- "Believe in Yourself and Trust the Process." I have to tell that to myself many times. Your hard work is paying off and I have a feeling you that all these PR's are just getting started!

  11. You should be proud of yourself. You rocked it. I am in awe of your ability! You ran, what 70 miles last week and had a mile PR in your workout AND a 10K PR? Impressive!

    I love race day magic! There is just something about it...even when you wake up and might not feel good or you are tired...as soon as you get to the race something magical does happen.

    Your hardwork will pay off in April. I know it! I wished that I was going to Boston this year so that I could run with you! Maybe you will have to go back in 2013 too.

  12. FANTASTIC 10K, I am so proud of you! I cannot believe that you had to stop to tie your shoelace and you STILL had such an amazing PR. Nice work!!


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