Tuesday, February 26

Spring Thaw Ten Miler--my longest race to date!

February in Pittsburgh is, well, either snowy and cold or gray and cold. There isn't much variation. An occasional blue sky breaks through and delights us, but that's pretty unusual.

Saturday the 23rd was 36ยบ and gray as gray can be. It was even threatening to rain. (Yuck. I think cold rain is just about the worst weather in the world.) But we gathered for the Spring Thaw Ten, Fifteen, or Twenty Miler. Runners got to choose what distance they were up for; you didn't have to decide before the race started.

However, I knew that I would be running ten miles. It was on my half marathon training program. I also had never run ten miles before... Only seven to that point. So this would be a challenge. Was I up for it?

Earlier in the week I had a little issue with my shoes. My Brooks Adrenalines have about 400 miles on them and have only recently started giving me little shin splints. I ordered a pair of Saucony Guides over a month ago, but the store hadn't called me, so I went to the store to find out what the problem was. Turns out no one ordered them. The store owner felt so bad that she let me buy a pair of last year's model, the 5, so that when my 6s come in I can just swap them out. I was glad to have another pair of shoes, but I was also nervous to try them for such a long run... especially since I hadn't ever run that long before.

Thursday I ran five miles on the treadmill in these shoes. Not bad. I didn't hurt from them, so that's nice. I was still nervous about the race, so I put my SuperFeet insoles into the Guide 5s to help them have a more "worn in" feeling. That did the trick.

My first five miles in the race I ran without stopping. I slowed down for hills a little, but that's not unusual. I crossed the five mile line at exactly 1:00! Five miles an hour! I felt wonderful and was excited that I felt good enough to keep going.

I made it to seven and a half miles and I started feeling a little weird (dizzy/nauseous), so I slowed down and actually came to a complete stop at one of the aid stations. I joked with the ladies there that I felt it was very considerate of me to *not* pass out. They laughed in agreement. I had been taking the sports drink at every station and took gels when they were offered, so I'm not sure why I felt like that, but I'm glad I rested to get my wits about me.

Once I felt more like myself, I continued running. The ninth mile I mostly walked because I had a cramp in my left calf that wouldn't go away. It felt like someone stabbing me. I met another gal and started talking with her. She jogged with me to the finish line--how nice was that?! :)

I crossed the finish line at 2:08:29. I felt like my legs were gelatinous, and I definitely needed to eat something, but I was thrilled with my finish. I was so happy! I did it!

I went home and rested completely on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. I started feeling stiff so I iced my legs. I got a little worried that I was hurt, but I decided that I would wait and see before I got worried. It's now three days later and I feel fine, so I'm delighted that I'm not hurt. I still have some minor soreness and aches, but it's nothing I haven't felt before.

I've got a PR to beat now! I also know that adding another three miles means I can meet my goal of a half marathon! It's in May, so I have more time to train and get stronger, but I'm really thrilled with how this race went since it felt like a real test of my strength and ability.

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Karissa! Glad to hear you were able to push through to the finish and congrats on the PR :)


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