It’s been 2 years since I’ve raced a 10k. Lawyers Have Heart reminded me why: 10k’s aren’t easy. I also wanted a new PR, but with the lack of track workouts since Boston (and by lack, I mean one workout), this race hurt. Minutes after crossing the finish line Coach George reminded me that PR’s hurt, so I guess I got what I raced for.
I’m vaguely familiar with the LHH course – it’s an out-and-back, fairly flat course on concrete and asphalt. I ran this race last year, but due to the heat index/advisory on race morning, the course was switched to a 5k. Last year, I couldn’t have been more thankful for the switch – but this year I was ready for that 10k PR.
This year, we lucked out with the weather. It was a really nice morning with low humidity and temperatures in the 70’s (dare I say it was slightly chilly in the shade, with the breeze?!). For a race in June, I couldn’t have asked for better weather (although 9 minutes in, I wished for some, any, shade). BJ, Julianne, and I took a cab to the start and met up with some friends. It was easy (I like easy), there were plenty of porta-potties, and we had enough time to check our bags and hangout without feeling like we had too much time. Perfectly executed race day logistics – check.
Pre-race thoughts: My goal was to run a new PR, and preferably one in the 40 minute range (I was shooting for 40:30). I checked my current 10k PR (41:37 at 6:42 pace) and thought about my recent 10 Mile PR pace (1:06:20 at 6:38); I knew that if I could run 10 miles at 6:38 pace, I could run a 10k at the same pace or faster. Again, it wasn’t going to be easy – this course is much different than the Broad Street 10 Miler and the weather was easily 25 degrees warmer – but I was ready to dig deep.
Mile 1 – I felt good, and strong. It wasn’t too hot (yet) and I was on the back end of the Top 10 Female runners (umm, that never happens).
Mile 2 – I started to feel the speed, and felt unprepared for the pace. I looked down at my wrist, “Believe” looked back at me. I needed to dig deep. I needed this PR.
Mile 3 – Turn around (woo hoo). Other runners tell me that I’m #9 Female and this totally pumps me up! I also see all of my friends – BJ, Julianne, Elyse, Laura, Sarah, James.
Mile 4 – 2 more miles to go. I see my CAR teammates and they cheer me on – thank you ladies (I needed those cheers!).
Mile 5 – Easily my slowest and most metal mile. My legs hurt, the pace hurt, I was hot, I was thirsty.
Mile 6 – This is when I knew I could finish with a PR. 4 laps around a track – 7 more minutes of pain. There were 2 ladies in front of me, they were suffering and I knew I could pass them. I had to grind it out.
Finish: #7 Female to cross the finish line (but after results are compiled I’m #9 overall) and land a new PR of 40:20.
Time: 40:20 (6:30 pace)
Sex Place: 9/1483
Age Place: 1/457
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. More than anything, I got what I set out to do: a 10K PR. The Age Group win and Top 10 Female finish are the (buttercream) icing on the cake (placing very rarely happens for me when I race in the DC area). I ran a smart race, and even though Miles 4 & 5 were my slowest, Mile 6 was fast (and I felt strong).
I’m thankful for all of the volunteers – they were wonderful and plenty of them. This race is also known for the ice, cold sponges – they did not disappoint. The ice cold sponge totally saved me. Overall, Lawyers Have Heart (put on by Pacers) is a well run race, and race support/logistics are exactly what I look for. If you’re in the market for an easy and fast 10k, don’t overlook LHH.