I walked away from the Heart & Sole 10K last Sunday morning thinking one thing…holy crap, my legs are loving life! Oh, and “drink more water, you idiot”.
This was definitely not my favorite course but the sunrise was gorgeous and the field of runner’s was seriously competitive so the energy of the morning was refreshing. I started out faster than I should have, settled in with another woman for the last 5K and pulled off a PR…and broke 51 minutes with a 50:57 finish! All of this awesome happened the day after I ran up a mountain. I think its safe to say my legs like trails!
This was a last minute race that I did not plan for in any way. I had completely forgotten about its existence until another BRC racer mentioned it at Wednesday night’s speed workout. There are many perks that come with being a Boulder Running Company racer…one of which is comp’ed entries into BRC races. When you dangle a free race in front of me I have a really hard time saying no, even if it means my alarm has to go off at 3:47am so for pre-race volunteering!
Even with my new early Sunday morning wake up call I wasn’t willing to give up my plans to run up Lookout Mountain on Saturday. I had already PR’ed my 10K once this year so I was willing to potentially sabotage a shot at another PR just to see how well my legs could race after some respectable climbing on single track.
Turns out my legs kind of like proving themselves! And I seriously am giving all of the credit to my legs because I’m kind of failing on other fronts when it comes to racing. I was everything but rested up for the race, I let myself get riled up with all the competitive energy and started out too fast and then I fought off a side stitch from hell for 90% of the race.
That’s where the “drink more water, you idiot” comes into play – my side stitch had nothing to do with my breathing, trust me. I’m blaming it all on hydration. I need to start hydrating BEFORE the race…as in days, not hours, before. I’ve been failing miserably at this and not just for races, as my empty Camelbak proved only 12 miles into my Centennial Cone trail run!
Things were going pretty good until just after Mile 2. I got a side stitch from hell – the kind that make you want to just stop in your track and double over. I slowed way down and a few tears were shed but I refused to walk. Of course this all happened at the start of a hill with a photographer close by. So far photos haven’t been posted but I’m sure that one was a doozy.
I did what I could to keep the side stitch at bay but it was a 4 mile battle. And it hurt. Of course it hit hard again in the last few hundred feet so I’m sure the finisher photos are fantastic. A fellow teammate cheered me across the finish line and she said I looked miserable. I was. Until I finished and chugged some water!
The stitch was only on my right side and in the days following the race it felt like I had done a bunch of ab work with only half my body. The entire right side of my abs hurt when I moved in anyway. I guess that makes the tears on the course legit, right?
The course for this race was just a big loop around the Boulder Reservoir, primarily on gravel road with some small rolling hills. To say the least the course was boring. The fact I had never run in that area before helped but I’d be cool with avoiding races here in the future just because it is so “meh”.
Overall…it was a great day and I cannot complain. It has been a long time since I’ve come close to tears while running and it is kind of refreshing to know they came from true pain this time, not a mental battle. Besides, how do you not love a day when you pull off a surprise PR?!