Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Freedom Run- a very important lesson

No pictures from the freedom run, I didn't bring the camera and even though I smiled and waved at the official photographers, they only seemed to take pictures of me when I was not looking really good. Seriously, I smiled, I waved!

So here is my story, and what I learned. I signed up for this 10k knowing that I actually needed to run 8 miles that day, so my plan was to run a little before the race, stretch, run the race, snack on a banana and have some water then finish the 8 miles. That was my plan. I have participated in 2 previous freedom runs, a 1 mile fun run in 2004 and a 5k in 2007, both times I was late. I was not going to be late this time because I was going to have my warm up run before the race. So I woke up at 5:20, I left on time at 6, the race started at 7. I was on the freeway about 2 freeway exits from home when I realized I didn't have my running watch, I decided it was VERY important for me to have that watch so I came home and got it. I didn't bring a house key, because anything I brought I had to run with, so I pounded on the door for a little while, sleepy Ken saved me, and by 6:30 I was back on the road, begging Heavenly Father to help me get to the race on time. And he did. I thought I knew where to park, but the road was closed so I just kind of followed traffic in the general direction of the race, eventually finding myself in the visitor's parking lot east of the Wilkinson Student Center. I was pretty sure that I was only a block away from the park so I started to run. I wasn't alone. There were probably 30 or more people all running towards the park, I could hear the national anthem being sung so I knew I hadn't missed the start. I ran about a quarter of a mile and lined up in the 10 minute mile section of the 10k start. Then I tried to stretch a little. Two minutes later I was running up a hill, then around a corner and down a hill, then I found myself on a parade route and I had a thigh cramp. I've never had a thigh cramp before, I didn't know quite how to fix it. I felt really drained, I wasn't keeping my normal pace, I hadn't even gone two miles and I was wondering why in the world I was running 6-8 miles the day after fasting! At the second water station I stopped and used the table to help me stretch a little, my thigh felt better and I kept going, still slower, but still going.

They severely underestimated the amount of cups they would need at the water stations, by the 3rd station at mile 4, they were letting people drink out of a hose. I walked a little up the last two hills but I made it through to the end of the race. I finished in 1 hour 12 min, about 11:40 min miles. My training pace was 10:30 on average so it wasn't my best time, BUT I also didn't train on hills, I think I hate hills. Anyway, I finished  up my 8 miles by running around the BYU campus. When I finished I was very tired.

So what did I learn? If you are going to ask your body to work hard ( really far, early in the morning, on a humid day...) then you should probably eat the day before. Yep. I ran 9 miles a week after the Freedom Run, the day before my 9 mile run we had spaghetti for dinner. My pace through 6 miles was 10:30! I slowed down a bit on the last 3 miles, finishing the 9 miles with an average pace of 10:58. I think I learned a good lesson from the 2011 Freedom Run. I hope I remember it for a long time.

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