Saigey’s First 10k
The Davis Stampede
My fiance (Anthony) and I stayed in Sacramento on Saturday night because well... Pushkins and better restaurants. We are all about the food - especially when I have a race. I don't like to take chances before a race. Even though this wasn't an "A" race, I still treated it as one. So, an early dinner (6:45pm), recovery boot session and an early bed time for me (9pm).
Race Morning Ritual
Rise and shine at 5:30am. Hop in the shower to take a warm rinse. This helps wake me up vs. rolling out of bed and throwing on my get up. If you're going to race, you gotta feel fresh. Am I right? After the quick rinse, I threw on my rabbit "legs" shorts and my radrabbit yellow crop top, gave myself a check out in the mirror -- looking real rad and ready to hop.
Next up... F - O - O - D, food food, G - O - O - D, good good (name that song). On the race menu this fine and dandy morning was first (at 5:30am) 1/2 a bobo's oat bar + 1 banana with almond butter. At about 6:00, Anthony and I went down to the hotel lobby and I ate some more: a bowl of oatmeal with drizzled honey and some coffee. The coffee is the most important part... no coffee, no runny and ABSOLUTELY no racey!
Anthony and I drove from Sacramento to Davis to arrive at 7:00am. I had a 4 mile easy warm up (about 8:35 pace). I warmed up in the Nike Zoom Fly's. I felt okay during the warm up. Not great, just okay. I was having a hard time reading how the race was going to go based on my warm up.
I am at about day 30-31 of my menstrual cycle (I have 32 day cycles for some reason), which is when I am the most fatigued. Considering that, I went into today knowing I was going to have to give myself some grace and just push with what my body was willing to give me. I finished my warm up about 7:40 and did about 6 strides. I thought this would allow enough time to hit the porta's, but NOPE! The line was basically all the way back to Sacramento, so I found myself a very luscious bush to empty my bladder. Ya girl is now ready to rumble!!!!
10 minutes before my first prance at the 10k, I downed a honey stinger chocolate gel and changed my shoes to the Nike Vapor Fly 4%. I said some prayers, smooched my fiance, and patiently waited for the
3, 2, 1...
T'was quite the stampede at the start and then it leveled out a bit. I went out of the gates a little to hot and heavy. I looked down at my watch and saw a 5:40 pace and slammed on the breaks. I slowed down to about a 6:10 pace from what I could see on my watch. I'll be honest... I am absolutely terrible at telling how fast I am running. In that moment, 6:10 felt comfortable so I went with it... rookie mistake. My first mile split came up at 6:18 and my initial thought was "oh boy, these next 5 miles are going to hurt." My second thought was, "Jill said negative split Saige, NOT positive split." My third thought was, "relax." Relax is exactly what I did. I actually felt phenomenal the first mile and probably could have held onto that pace a little longer, but I didn't want to take any chances so I slowed my roll.
My second mile came in at 6:31, which was exactly where I wanted to be... 6:30-6:35 average pace was the goal going into this race, BUT, I was feeling good, so I decided to try and aim for a 6:20-6:25ish average pace. That's what was feeling comfortable and manageable for me and I felt confident that I'd be able to hang onto that pace until the finish. I had one girl in front of me from mile 2 - 6. Between miles 2 and 3, there was a very sharp turn and I slipped on some gravel on that turn. I took a tumble and scrapped up my knee, but hopped right back up. It DOES not feel good slipping at that pace. Talk about getting an extra pump of adrenaline!! To make up for lost time, I surged (about 6:00-6:10 pace) for the next half mile to catch the girl that was in front of me. I settled back in behind her and some other dudes and saw mile 3 come in at 6:23.
That fall took some gas out of my tank for sure. The unplanned surge to catch up was unexpected and definitely had my lungs burning. That fourth mile was smooth sailing and came in at 6:22. I was still cruising right behind this girl and was trying to plan how I was going to pass her in the next 2 miles. I still had plenty of time, so I decided to just chill and let her do the pace work. At this point, I figured out that if I kept this pace I could easily break 40 minutes in the 10k, so I decided to go for it!
I stayed tucked behind her and two others until the 5 mile mark and slowly started to try and pass this girl. Every time I crept up behind her to pass on the left or the right, she would see my shadow (or maybe she just heard my heavy breathing hahaha), stick out her elbows and move to side of the path I was trying to pass her on. This girl meant BUSINESS!!! I kid you not... she wouldn't let me pass for about 3 quarters of a mile. I have never seen this kind of competitiveness in my running days haha. It was a new experience to me. Who knew running was a contact sport?! I sure as heck didn't!!
The path opened up at 5.7 miles and I was able to pass her. Then, JUST shortly after I had passed her, at mile 6 - the turn to head the .2 miles to the finish, I fell AGAIN!!! There was a three-way fork in the road with 3 signs: a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon sign all pointing in different directions. There were two race volunteers standing at the fork. I yelled, "WHICH WAY IS THE 10K FINISH?" Let's keep in mind that this is the last 400m of the race and I am hauling buns. One girl pointed and shouted "left" and the other girl pointed and shouted "right." Meet dumb and dumber my friends (just kidding, that was mean.. but really). The change of direction combined with the speed on slippery grass caused my feet to come out from under me and I fell again. It's funny thinking about it now, but I wasn't happy and probably said some things that I shouldn't have said. Oops. There went my sub 40 minute 10k!
I got back up on my feet and sprinted to cross the finish line at 40:15 - 6:28 average pace and 1st overall female. A PR for me because I've never run a 10k, which is great. I am very pleased with the outcome of this race. The falls weren't ideal, but it happens!! I surprised myself with what I could do and am feeling more excited than ever for Boston in just 8 short weeks!!!
One month ago, I couldn't run more than 2 miles at a 6:30 pace. Today, I just ran 6 in under that pace!!! Trusting in the process is something I have never believed in more than I do right now, in this very moment. Trust in that, and trust in my beautifully gifted coach, Jill <3.