Sunday, April 3, 2011

10k Today! Recap and Reflections

10k today?  Why not!  

Race for the Roses.  April 3, 2011.  Portland, Oregon

My husband managed to get all the kids out of bed and somewhat dressed in time for the award ceremony.  They may not have matched or had their hair brushed but I sure was happy to see them!  

For a more enjoyable and fun way to fit in my tempo run! Imagine that, I'm finally at a season in my life where racing can be fun!  No pressure.  No fear.  No anxiety (okay, well, a little nerves but the good kind).   I looked on my schedule for this week and noticed that my 5.5 tempo run @10k pace would work nicely if I just substituted it for an actual 10k race.  So I switched my long run on Sunday for Friday and did my "tempo" today as a 10k race!  

Sleep, Food, Weather
*  Very little sleep.  I tossed and turned and had the race on my mind way. too.  much!  
*  Woke up at 5:30, left at 6.  Got a Starbucks latte and a breakfast sandwich.  Drove downtown, parked, jogged 1.5 miles to the convention center...blah blah blah.
*  Weather was Great!  No rain.  Perfect cool running weather where I was comfortable in arm warmers, short tights and a tank.  

To run my own race and enjoy it!  To run the 10k pace that I know that I can run and to not freak myself out.  Keep going strong and to use this as a good workout.

Mental Talk
Miles 2 and 3 were a pretty looong hill.  I found myself looking down at my Garmin and seeing 7ish pace and kind of losing confidence.  Then I noticed that my Garmin was about to die and I started to freak out a bit at the thought of running "naked" with no knowledge of where I was at with pace.  It ended up lasting long enough for me to get my final splits but I couldn't see the splits during my race because of the big words across the screen letting me know that I had low battery.  I know now that I could have cleared that but I didn't have time to figure that out then.  When I found myself settling in or slowing down I remembered the things that I've learned from my training and I told myself:
*  Lean forward
*  Use your cues for form that you've worked on (pull the road, walk on water, etc.)
*  Increase my cadence (this one helped A LOT!)
*  Arms back

I've only raced one other 10k but I got a 3 minute PR today!  I placed 1st in my age group with an official time of 42.19.  I feel really happy about this!  

6:14--when I looked down at my Garmin at first I saw 7 something and thought that if I felt like I was working that hard at a 7 pace then I was in t-r-o-u-b-l-e!  But then I realized that it was a 6:14 mile and it was a pleasant treat to myself to be able to just pull back a little.  
7:11 (miles 2 and 3 were up hill)
7:00 (pretty big hill towards the end)

Average pace:  6:49

What I Learned and Goals For Next Time
* I need to work on really pushing myself and leaving it all on the course.  I felt like I had quite a bit left in me.  I never really dug deep and pushed myself fully in this race...I did what I always do and that is to stay right on the edge of my comfort zone.  There were so many moments in the race where I should have just told myself to "GO GO GO" and really pushed it up a notch but instead I just stayed right there where I felt in control....SAFE!  
*  The fact that I had so much left and that I felt pretty comfortable helps me grow in confidence that I can run this same or similar pace for longer distances....A half marathon and hopefully a full marathon someday.  

I'm so thankful for this time in my life.  It feels so good to not be held back by fear!  

Thankful for:
*  My injury and what I learned from it.  I'm convinced that my hamstring tear in August was a turning point in my life as a runner.  It caused me to really stop and question what is important to me.  
*  The wealth of knowledge I've learned from so many of you!  
*  The new books I've learned about from your blogs.
*  My husband and how supportive he is of my goals.  Also, how much he truly values my job as a stay at home mom.  
* Having the means to eat well and buy healthy food and nutrition products for our family.  
* The people I've met through this blog that have become real friends even if it is through a virtual world.  :)  
*  The tired but happy feeling I have throughout my body right now.  Life is Good!
*  A strong training run/race that tells me that I am on track for big goals.  
*  Wine, cheese, and Mediterranean Pasta for dinner (cooked for me by my hubby)  

2. Thank you to Nora at Mama Runs Barefoot for nominating me to get a special menu at the Athlete's Plate.  I love my menu!  Thank you Nora for always being so positive and encouraging to me.  



  1. Congrats on your PR and on first place! That's AWESOME!

  2. Wow! You are sooo fast to me! Any suggestions on books...i see you mentioned you found a few good ones.

  3. Sweet!!!! Nice PR! That is a great time, Amanda!!!..OK I cheated. Now to read the rest and comment again ;)

  4. Ok....back!
    That was a very well executed race. The 4th and 5th miles are outstanding. And HOW COOL is it to know you still had more in the tank?!

    The Garmin thing gets me thinking....I might have to have a back up in my next race. I think Jenn wears a Garmin and a watch! lol.

    I love this quote:
    * My injury and what I learned from it. I'm convinced that my hamstring tear in August was a turning point in my life as a runner. It caused me to really stop and question what is important to me.

    Soooooooo true....

    I am getting really excited to see how you do in your upcoming marathon! It's gonna be FUN!!

    Any insider tips on this race, besides the hills?? ;)

  5. Comment #3...I am thankful to get in a good run again..and not quite ready to taper yet, but I wish I were.. :)

  6. I have been waiting for this post all night! Whew…now I can go to bed ;-)
    Simply Amazing, Amanda! You did so well…and you still had more for next time. Speed Racer-ette!
    Enjoy your relaxation :) Looking forward to hearing about your next butt-kickin' race!

  7. Now you get to update your running stats! How cool!

  8. FANTASTIC! Way to go, Amanda! I'm so happy for you.

    Funny you asked that question. I just blogged about it. I'm so grateful for the wonderful, welcoming people I've met in the endurance sports community who have been so willing to include a beginner and help me develop. :)

  9. Wow! First for your age group is IMPRESSIVE! Amanda you're incredible!

    As for leaving it all out there - that is hard and I think it's hard to succeed all the time. COming first in your AG is pretty great - enjoy!

  10. Awesome job! a 3 minute PR is massive! Congrats on the age group win!

    Based on your post it seemed like you were a little disappointed with how the race went, but in the first paragraph you said you wanted to "run your own race and enjoy it" - this doesn't seem like a comment that suggests that you wanted to be at your limit the whole race. To me to go all out in a race is not always a pleasant experience because you are pushing your body really hard. It sounds like you pushed yourself just fine considering that plan.

    If you really want to push yourself and go all out in races, the way I know how to do that is using my garmin. I've dialed in my maximum sustained heartrate for races that I can handle and be completed exhausted at the end of the race (it is 180), and basically if I'm not at that heartrate I'm not going all out. This also stops me from going too hard, because if I'm above this number then I'm going too fast and I'll burn out. My last 5 races that I've ran have all been at that average heartrate. So you could try to find this number (everyone is different), and keep your heartrate right at this number. In my mind this guarantees that you went all out, since your heartrate is proof of it.

    Enjoy the post race afterglow!

    And I like your blog because you post a lot about emotions. I'm a lot of the same way, I get really emotional about running, because it brings out feelings that you sometimes don't know you have.

  11. Thanks Nelly. I'll have to try this HR training someday. I think that you can still run your own race and "enjoy" it even when you are pushing yourself to your max and leaving it all on the course. This is part of what can be enjoyable...knowing that you are running to your potential. Enjoying something doesn't have to mean that it is all "flowers, sunshine, and blowing bubbles" feeling....I think I can still enjoy something even when it hurts. A lot of the enjoyment comes after the goal has been accomplished...reaching new levels in racing and being able to PUSH yourself to your potential can be FUN and enjoyable. :)
    Overall, I'm happy with the race but the "disappointed" vibe you're picking up comes from just knowing how much more I had left to give and knowing I didn't push myself enough. But this is fine because it just helps me next time! And it helps me feel confident that I can carry this pace for longer races. ;)

    Thanks Nelly!

  12. You DO realise that a 3 min PR in a 10k race is amazing, don't you? Congratulations, that was an awesome run.

  13. What a race, you're so speedy! I might do a 10k this weekend. You're inspiring :)

  14. Congrats! You are an amazing runner and I'm happy you did so well.

    Cheese, wine, and pasta are always a nice gift to yourself after running a race!

  15. Hurray! Awesome PR, Amanda, and such a confidence boost! You ran a great race, and did not freak out when the Garmin died, but regrouped and pushed along! You know, the leaving it all out is so hard, I think. You've read Matt's book, he talks a lot about the brain keeping things in check and making sure that there is always something left in the tank. I think the more you race or train hard, the more your brain will learn to be less cautious and "let you" go all out. Nice work again, and I am so HAPPY for you!

  16. PR, first in age group and you could have given it even more? Awesome! Congrats!

  17. I am thankful I finished the olympic race this weekend and even showed improvement!
    I am also thankful for a body that can do it and a family who is supportive.

    (Great job on your race!!)

  18. Congrats on an awesome race!!

  19. Congrats!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that is a fast time. Does seemed like you've learned so much and come back even stronger.

  20. Morning speedy! Congrats again! Great race. 42:19 is SO VERY impressive in the middle of marathon training UNTAPERED. The fact that you were comfortable and not puking on your shoes-even MORE impressive:) So fun to "feel" your confidence and know what a great stepping stone this race is for you with your training. You ARE on track for big goals! I'm really excited to watch you knock them off!!

    I felt totally inspired yesterday. Really genuinely SO HAPPY for you and almost on a little running high of my own:) Reading this, I'm inspired by your attitude and outlook on the race, your ability to drop the anxiety and just RUN, your belief in yourself and your abilities, and of course by your time:) I've been struggling with this anxiety crap (don't know where it's coming from) and yesterday I felt EXCITED to race. EXCITED to challenge myself. Thankyou!

    BTW-just one MORE thing I love about you. You're confident, but yet modest. The fact that you don't plaster your time in your status update speaks to that. Admirable:) Have a great day girl:)

  21. Geez, I didn't even get to the questions-ha!

  22. Amanda = Fast

    Darn it. Looks like I have some real competition.


    Nervous in San Diego

  23. Great job!! We had such awesome weather for the race this year! HOORAY!

    You are so fast - you totally killed it!

  24. Though I know how you did :), I was stoked to read your RR! You're such an incredibly gifted athlete. Enjoy your victory!!!

  25. Awesome race! That is one of my goals as I'm coming into "race" season. I want to learn how to pace myself so that I can give it my all and know that I'm crossing the finish line with zero left to give. I'm working on it....

    I'm thankful that I survived my weekend... no joke. Road trip with 10 in-laws... without my husband. Crazy.

  26. Fantastic time, Amanda!! And you still had more in your legs? Awesome.

    I love that you were constantly working on your form out there. That's so tough to do when you are racing. I hope to get to a point where I can do that too. Right now it's all slow going to work on the form.

  27. Geez!! You are a stud! Seriously!! Such a studious runner always seeking improvement-but ultimately, you enjoyed yourself!! AWESOME!!!!

    Lola would be proud! he he!!

  28. Congrats on your race! And to think that you had more to give! Awesome! And I love how you live your life in gratitude!

  29. WOW you are a super speedster!
    Awesome race!!!

  30. I couldn't help but chuckle that 7:11 was with having major hills- great job!!
    I completely understand that feeling when garmin isn't working- one more tool to hold us accountable to our goals!

  31. Congratulations on the PR and first in your age group! What a fun way to do a tempo run! I liked reading your "mental talk" section. I recently read an article on the Runner's World website about mantras and so I've been thinking a lot about how I talk to myself during my runs/races. Thinking about increasing the cadence seems like it would work for me, too. I'll have to try it out on my intervals this week.

    The dinner that your husband made sounds delicious!

  32. Thanks for the comment on my race recap! It was a great first half! Congrats on your 10k PR! I would challenge you to run at least one race w/out your garmin! I started using a coach in February and he instilled it into my brain to use the garmin but only in hind sight. Since starting to train according to effort I have A- had little to no injurys and B- gotten A LOT faster.. Hmmm? How does that happen? I have no clue, but its working and now Im a believer! Im have a 10k on May 14th and I am going to race the full thing blind. I wanna see what happens!

  33. Congrats on the awesome 10k! Amazing!

  34. Congratulations, Amanda, on a killer race!

  35. Great race!! Good job lady!! I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my spouse this weekend. It was great! We also had several really good conversations which reminded me of why I was attracted in the first place!

  36. Great things to be thankful for! Having a supportive husband(who cooks too) is a gem to have! So thankful I have one of those too!
    Adorable family pic!

  37. I am still not good at "just running" a race or using it as a training run. I still want to go too hard and end up wearing my body down and catching a cold of sorts.

    Hooray for hubby getting the kids assembled! And a 6:49 is INSANE for "not racing, for the record" :)

  38. Great job! PR's are the best when they crush our old stats. Amazing work!

  39. Nice work! Can I ask what you think of arm warmers? I've been tempted to buy some, but have been talked out of it because someone pointed out I could just wear a long-sleeved shirt. However as a rule, I'm a tank top girl all the way. I warm up quickly.

  40. Hey there fast gal!
    congrats on a great 10k!
    that is really fast!!!
    1st place is fantastic.

    this last weekend, I was thankful that I got to race, I did not meet my goal but it is ok. I had some problems and I just accepted that this was not meant to be the day I break 1:00 and it will be next time in Quebec! I am thankful I got to go to San Diego and see my best friend (for the last 30 yrs!) and her family. this was great!

  41. Wow, Amanda, great job on your 10k! A three-minute PR on a "training run" is amazing. I wouldn't worry about feeling like you still had some left to give; this was a tune-up. You shouldn't need to feel so dead that you need to recover, you know?
    This weekend I was thankful for not being on a training plan. I just finished my race, so I got to pick when to run and how far. That felt pretty luxurious after months of following (well, trying to follow) a plan.

  42. Girl.

    Awesome job!!!!!!!!

    On the optygen....yes!!
    It is the stuff Chris k promoted!! You are a good blogger! ;)
    I'm new to it....never used it but I know it takes 30 days in your system to work!!

  43. Congrats on your PR and 1st place you totally ROCK!!

    Love the family picture! I'm always happy when my love and my little man make it to my races, it's so rewarding to see them.

  44. Nice race! Isn't that tired happy feeling magical?

  45. Wow, way to go! Congrats on your PR and 1st place!

  46. AHHHHH CONGRATULATIONS!! Girl, you are my IDOL!! You are a speeding bullet. I bet your kids were SO excited to see you at the awards ceremony!! I LOVE that you wrote what you were thankful for and what you learned (I may have to copy you)!! Those hills sound killer! LEAN FORWARD...I will be thinking of you on heartbreak hill:)

  47. aww your family looks so sweet supporting you! love it.

  48. Oh I am SO happy for you!!!! Great job Amanda!!! :) You are super speedy and you will crush that 10K PR again soon! Cute pic of you and the fam!

  49. Woohoo! Congrats on your PR and win! That is just awesome!! Yay!!

  50. Amazing run, Amanda! Be so proud of yourself! You are a rock star.

    I am thankful for my best friend... my husband. We've grown so much closer since moving across the country together. And I, too, am grateful that I have the means to buy and eat healthy foods! I know there are people out there that can only afford to buy cheap, processed foods and I'm thankful I am able to eat the way that I do!

    Seriously... congrats again on your race!

  51. What a great post - congratulations on the PR! I hear you on "leaving it all out there" - as a new runner that's something I struggle with (listen to me say that, as though I've had more than 2 races!). I feel like everyone keeps saying to pace yourself, to make sure you don't go out too quick, etc. etc., and I think I let that get to me in the Half I ran last month. I was two minutes away from sub 2-hours, and I know that if I had just listened to the "go faster!" voice in my head then I definitely could have done it. Oh well, there's always next time :)

  52. WOW you are FLIPPIN FAST!!!!! May I borrow you legs.. please!! :) Very welcome, I'm so happy to have found you out here!!

  53. wowzers, that is awesome!! you are so inspiring as a runner and as a momma!!

  54. You ROCKED that race!!! Awesome job, Congratulations!! and I love that family photo!!

  55. I love how you place 1st and say pleasantly that you're really happy with that. THAT IS AWESOME. Way to rock the race. You are just such an inspiration.

  56. Simply awesome! You are going to be amazing in Newport! Way to go!

  57. Congrats on a great race! I wish I could just do my normal and pump out some awesome stats like yours. That's amazing!!

    Last weekend I was thankful for the BF. I had a mental breakdown during my long run - which ended up being half the desired distance because of said breakdown. But he was right there doing his best to reassure me that I don't totally suck and that I CAN do it. I needed to hear it that day!

  58. Ummm Wow!! If you dig any deeper you will be flying! Impressive wheels! You are awesome inside and out!! Go MAMA!

  59. amanda, I've been out of town for a week and just reading...WAY. TO. GO!!! Congrats on an incredible race, PR, and age group award. You really should mention that this isn't a little race! ;) You rock. Hope to see you Saturday for the RLAMiversary run.