The day finally came, a new race to run. I had waited for it for so long. I woke up at 4:15 and…
NEVER MIND THAT!!!
10K PR!! 44:43!!
Had to get that out of my system.
So, seriously, 04:15. I mean, not that this time is new to me in any way, but I was hoping to sleep until 5:15 at least, enough time to get out of the house by 6:15 and make it to race by 6:45.
I had been good about getting at least 7 hours of sleep for the last few nights.
Start time of the 10K was 08:00, but there was a Half Marathon race at 7:40 and I wanted to be there to see them go, besides get my bib, besides go pee a few times, besides warm up, besides eat a gel… too much stress for my little mind. Getting there early would at least mean one less thing to worry about: being late (!!)
It probably took me just 20 minutes to get to Park Hayarkon, in Tel Aviv, no traffic at 6:30 in the morning.
It was cold so I stayed with my long jogging pants and a sweatshirt. Walked to the race site, got my bib in about 2 minutes, went to the restroom (no porta-potty but actually like a caravan divided in 2 with restrooms for men and women, nice. And went back to my car to warm up (as in sit with the heat full on), get my bib pinned to my shirt, put my running shoes on (I was wearing flip flops, despite the cold) and eventually take of my warm clothes and stay with my running outfit.
I met a friend from work who was also running the race and we went back to the race site to get his bib and then back to his car.. between all this I kind of forgot about doing a warm up run… I know, crazy… I guess my mind was occupied and that’s a good thing.
About 10 minutes before the race started I did a 5 minute run, not nearly enough, but at least I had gotten some walking beforehand, and I was at the start by 7:58, with 2 minutes spare to eat a GU.
The race started punctually at 8:00 AM.
Because the race was in the park, the running path was relatively narrow, at least comparing to road races ran on the street, so the first KM was though, too crowded.
I was trying to pass people, and it wasn’t easy. I was running out of the path and on the grass. Maybe I should have placed myself a bit more forward at the start line, but I didn’t want to go off with people faster than me because I knew it would push me to run faster than I wanted, and then burn out.
Probably by the 3rd KM I had gotten to a place where I could run comfortably in terms of personal space. Although there were people around me at all times during the race, at least it wasn’t as crowded as in the beginning. This is when I was finally able to dictate to myself how to run, and not have to go by the pace of the people in front of/around me.
I wanted to run negative splits and had a plan (of course) in my head that I tried to follow.
The half point, which was a turnaround, came fast enough. I was trying to control my breathing, make all the effort come from my legs, and it worked. It’s easier to run that way.
The second half of the race took us parallel to the first half, but on a separate path which was gravel for about 2 KM… I don’t like running on gravel. I guess I’m not fit for trail running. That part was hard for me and I know I slowed down a bit, although effort wise I stayed on the same level, I think. Eventually we went back to asphalt, thank you!
The last 3 KM were once again, tough for me. I was fighting hard not to slow down, not to make the same mistake I had made on my previous 10K, where I went out fast and couldn’t keep up. I ran a controlled race this time, there was just no excuse for slowing down.
With about 2 KM left to go we went by the finish line, with one more loop to go.. tough sight! To see the finish but know you are not there… and you still have 2 KM to go… even though 2 KM is not a lot on a regular run, it becomes a lot during a race. Gotta push. So I did.
Ran the last loop and I was again, this time for real, with the finish line in sight. And I crossed it, finally.
I looked at my Garmin and saw 44:53, and hoped official time would be around that, a little more, a little less, it didn’t matter.. hopefully my final time would start with 44 and not with 45:xx, I knew it shouldn’t, I had turned the watch on only a few seconds before going through the start so Garmin time and official time should be just a few seconds off each other.
I finished the race with tired legs but overall feeling strong. I’m happy mostly because I was able to run smart, keeping very close to the pace I wanted at all times.
Official Time: 44:43
Overall Place: 98 out of 655
Women’s Place: 2 out of 166
Category (35-44) place: 1 out of 72
A few comments about the event:
The race was organized by a big sports events company in Israel called Shvoong, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how well the event was organized, from way before the actual race day. Besides the regular registration confirmation email, a few days before the race I got an email with relevant updates, a link for Waze (GPS) to get to the site, and my bib number for easier bib pick up. These little things win big points for me.
As for the actual race, from the parking lot there were signs pointing to the race site, the running route was clearly marked, water stations every 2-3 KM, generous post race water and snacks (crackers, bananas, oranges, dates, maybe a few more things). Oh, how could I forget, beer. And I had some too, at 9:00 in the morning… that’s all runner’s high, I hardly drink, even at night! Cheers!
Beer at 9:00 AM.[/caption]
A negative about the organization, they wrote on their website, as well as told me when I asked after the race, that the awards ceremony would be at 11:00. Kind of late for me since I was done running by 8:45, but they wanted to wait for all the half marathoners to finish. Fine. I wouldn’t have stayed for it, but since I was to be on the podium I didn’t want to leave and be a no-show there. Kinda ungrateful I guess? So I went to my car to get my sweatshirt, water bottle, NUUN, and came back around 10:00.. and the ceremony had already started… What?! Good thing I didn’t take longer going to my car and back or I would have completely missed it.
There are a couple of parking lots by where the race started, although with 1500 participants they filled up really fast.
I was able to park in the lot closest to the site (about 5 blocks) since I got there early, most people had to park in the 2nd lot, probably 2 or 3 more blocks. I know that’s not bad, but I’m spoiled by previous races where my car was right by the start line and I could go back any time to get my things. Fine, no big deal.
13C/55F, just perfect. I wasn’t hot at any point during the race.
Brooks Pure Flow 2, Feetures Foot Sleeve, Pro Compression Marathon socks, Athleta Stability Run short, Moving Confort Fiona bra, Athleta Energy tank, IPod Shuffle, Garmin 220, Ironman sunglasses.