2011 Superbowl 10k

If you’ve poked around the blog this year you may have noticed that I posted my goals for 2011 on my Train page. If not, here they are:

2011 Running Goals:

  • Help a friend run a race PR.
  • Volunteer at a minimum of 5 events.
  • Successfully race direct my own trail races.
  • Finish my first Ultra.
  • Run a successful marathon in Boston.

On Sunday, I checked off the first item on that list: Help a friend run a race PR. When I signed up to run this year’s Superbowl 10k I was optimistic about my race preparedness and thought the race would be a good test of my fitness half-way through my training cycle. About a month out from the race I knew I wasn’t going to be race ready so I got in touch with a friend of mine and asked if I could run it with her. As it turns out, this was a completely satisfying and smart approach to this race.

As luck would have it, or perhaps misfortune, I tweaked my achilles two weeks ago and ended up taking some time off from running. Last week I logged short, easy runs on the treadmill ranging between 15-30 minutes in length at around 10:50 pace. Success! By Saturday my achilles no longer ached and all phantom pains had disappeared. I was a tad nervous about Sunday’s race but once we started running I stopped worrying. I had no problem, and especially because our overall pace averaged at 10:20 minute miles.

I have never run at the back of the pack. What a new experience for me. Everyone back there is working just as hard as I do up front. They struggled and sweated up the hills, just like I do, and plugged on to the finish. A few even finished with a great kick. I spent the majority of the race distracting my friend with stories and conversation and keeping her on pace. I have to tell you, I really enjoyed myself. It was extremely satisfying to help my friend run her very first 10k and it’s probably exactly what I needed right now.

I have struggled to even CARE about my training. I feel guilty for not being very excited about heading to Boston. I mean, some people want to go to Boston so badly, they try and try to qualify but keep missing the cut. I think that Boston means so much more to them than it does to me. I never cared about trying to qualify. And when I did, I said a bit half-heartedly “well, I guess I’ll go to Boston,” but only because it seemed like that was what I am suppose to do. I figure I’ll go up and see what all this fuss is about.

So, my head hasn’t really been into this particular race, it’s been a horrid winter, my training was just beginning to pick up and I was starting to get back into the distances when my achilles starts to act funny … pacing a friend was a perfect distraction! And I’ve realized one thing lately – I cannot wait to get Boston behind me so that I can focus more on trails and running for the sake of running. I have lost any and all pre-race excitement. No more race nerves. No more planning and obsessing. All I can think about is going out to run for the pure joy of it. And that is what I plan to do for the rest of the year after Boston. I will vanquish any and all plans for races, in fact, I highly doubt I’ll be running the Ragnar Relay but mostly due to logistics, and only hop into an event if I feel like it at the last minute.

Time to start thinking about the rest of the Goal list …

 

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4 comments

  1. Elizabeth · February 7, 2011

    Nice work at the 10k. I am a firm believer in running breaks…And I don’t mean not running at all, but just stepping back, not signing up for any races and just running when you want, how far you want, as fast or as slow as you want, taking some days off here and there. I alternate…a marathon one year, a half marathon the next year. It’s just enough to keep me challenged but not so much that I get burnt out. Everyone is different, but this is what works for me. Focusing on trail running for the next year (and not on marathon racing) sounds like an awesome plan and I bet you will really enjoy it.

  2. Oscar Yeager · February 7, 2011

    Boston is a prestigious event, so I can fully understand why you are going. It is also a zoo there. But just finishing a marathon is really a success, which is why they give you a finisher’s award.

    None of your 2011 running goals involve PR’S, except of course the ultra which is automatic, being the first.

    Sounds like you are just trying to enjoy running more, instead of obsessing over PR’S and times. I can’t say that is necessarily a bad thing.

  3. Nitmos · February 7, 2011

    Boston is neat. It’s worthwhile to check off the list. But, yeah, don’t expect an orgasmic experience or anything. Just a cool one.

  4. Theia · February 7, 2011

    I think you’re going into Boston with the right attitude, actually. No pressure, no time goal, no anxiety. It’s supposed to be one of the most amazing experiences a runner can have… and without the added pressure of performance, you can really soak it in and enjoy it!

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