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First race of 2012: Coyote Hills 10K

Yesterday I found my way back to the trails. And running. And fitness in general for all that’s worth.

I purposely waited until the end of the month to sign up for a race. I wanted to. Badly. But I couldn’t. I was still tired. I’d gained some holiday weight. I wasn’t feeling as if I was in “racing shape.” The marathon had took its toll. And every time I stepped on the treadmill I thought about the fact that in six months, I’d have to do it all over again.

That actually motivated me.  I want to have a better performance in my next marathon. I need to. I feel as if I need to work toward that. So I am.

The work toward it started on Saturday with the Brazen Coyote Hills 10K.

This was a new race in 2010. I’ve now done it two years in a row.

I woke up Saturday with a bit of a stomachache. I was tired. My legs weren’t really feeling it. But I started making my way through the process of getting up and getting dressed. When I put on my new Mizuno pants and Nike wool long-sleeved shirt, I felt like a runner again. My first thought: “Well, that only took two months.”

We ventured to Fremont where we were among the first to arrive. I know this because it was only at four cars in front of us they started diverting people back to the overflow parking. Thomas dropped me off at the mouth of Coyote Hills Regional Park and I walked/ran in.

I felt like running. It was a good warm up. So I ran.

I immediately headed over and picked up my race number/tech shirt (I always pay for the upgrade)/goodie bag from the booth.

The race shirt was more awesome this year than last. I really liked the design. Brazen has been selling sweatshirts lately and getting the shirt kind of made me wished I had bought one. I realized only after I picked my shirt and other items up that Thomas may not make it to the start line. I figured I’d have to use bag check. I actually trust and appreciate Brazen bag check. The volunteers are ALWAYS top notch. And I often don’t worry about my stuff while I run with them.

I figured I’d bag check and not worry.

I had a great view while I put on my number.

I’m not kidding, Coyote Hills is beautiful. It’s also slightly desolate. I like that we run along the shore with the Dumbarton Bridge in the background.

My run started out incredibly well. But I became so inconsistent at the end.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that the minor stomachache caused me to not eat. Or that maybe my legs were tired. But I just didn’t seem to want to move forward. I had a lot of starts and stops. I kept pushing forward and kept slowing down.

My hope was to finish somewhere around 1:07. I would have too if the last mile or so hadn’t taken so much out of me. I even walked near the end, which I never do. I was just tired.

My official time: 1:09:17.

My splits were not as consistent as I wanted them to be either, but all but one stayed under the 12-minute mark. Good, but I’d like to stay under 11-minute miles when I race this year. I can hope, right?

Mile 1: 10:17

Mile 2: 10:38

Mile 3: 10:44

Mile 4: 11:20

Mile 5: 12:03

Mile 6: 11:24

Mile .29: 3:08

I want to run faster this year. I really do. I’m adding speedwork into my treadmill runs. I’m trying to trim down, despite the fact it seems I am gaining weight because swimming is finally paying off.

I know I should be extremely happy. I did better than last year when my time was 1:09:57. It was an incremental improvement, but still an improvement.

But I felt off. I was handed my beautiful medal and immediately went and drank four cups of water.

I immediately felt faint after the race. I figured it was the heat. But I went to bag check, grabbed my stuff, went to the bathroom and told Thomas I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to stay. I didn’t feel good.

We waited about 20-minutes for the shuttle to the parking lot. Then walked to the car.

By the time we started moving, I felt like I was going to throw up. I was also hungry. And tired.

I felt horrible. By the time we made it halfway home, I felt so horrible I couldn’t sit still. Thomas bought me a Gatorade. I felt better after that. We stopped to eat when we got back to Tracy and, after a salad and pulled-pork sandwich at a local diner, I started to feel better.

The point? I was running on an extremely empty stomach. By the time I got to mile four of my 10K, I was out of energy. It killed my run.

I have to say that I’m still figuring out this fueling/running thing. Every time I think I get it down, something like this happens. Lessons learned not to be repeated next time, I suppose.


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