Race Recap: December 10km Handicap RacePosted: December 3, 2011
I started off my Saturday Morning bright and early with my clubs handicap race. This is held the first Saturday of each month. A handicap race is basically when the slowest runners start first and fastest last. The start times are staggered and are adjusted according to previous timed runs. My Handicap start time was + 10mins, this means I had to start 10mins after the start gun went off. They had estimated that I should be able to complete the 10k in 40mins since I was still running with an injury.
This was my first race in over 2 months! I was so nervous Friday night I went to bed super early. I think it was more of a psychological thing. I hadn’t attempted a 10k run since my injury and the most I had been able to complete running/jogging during training was 8k. Any longer after this and I would be in too much pain to the point that I was half limping half jogging. On top of that these last 2 weeks my training wasn’t that great. Last week I had to have 2 rest days…I still find it hard to take 1 rest day let alone 2. This week my training schedule was derailed completely and I was only able to complete 1 decent run.
So basically this morning my stomach was in knots. I wanted to run but I was almost fearful to know what time I was going to run it in. I kept thinking this is going to make or break my weekend. But then I kind of backtracked a little and thought to myself, who cares what time I run it in. I shouldn’t let this set the tone for the rest of the weekend either!
Fast forward to 7am: Once I got there I chatted to other Club members who I hadn’t seen in a while. This gave me chance to catch up on what everyone’s been up to/find out what times everyone was now running. I can be quite competitive! I was a little jealous of some of their times especially the guys that I normally run with. They generally put up a cracking pace and I can keep up with them for the first 5-6k before backing off. At this point I was even more nervous and it was too late to pull out since 1) I was already there 2) my Dad came and was trying to psych me up. I didn’t want to disappoint him, for the last couple weeks he had been great with motivating me and even training with me at my snail pace!
With 40mins to kill before my start time I did a 2k warm up around the Lake and Stretched for a bit. When I’m nervous I tend to pee a lot…so yeah numerous trips to the bathroom!
7:40am: I’m off! For the first 2k I was actually quite comfortable and managed to maintain a good pace. It was also during this time that I decided that I wasn’t going to look at my watch. I had started the stopwatch but I would only look at my time once I was across the finish line.
At the 3k mark this was when I started seeing runners who had started before me. So I took them on one by one. I wanted to try and overtake as many runners as I could before I reached the 5k mark. These 2k’s are the hardest part of the course because there are not 1 but 2 hills before you reach the 5k turn around. In my attempt to not place too much pressure on my injured heel, I stayed on my toes. I didn’t want to have to pull out of the race after just 5k’s! So I tried to minimize the impact on my heels.
5k down 5 more to go. Now I really had to knuckle down and a) not let anyone overtake me b)overtake more runners.
It was these middle k’s that I really struggled. Not going to lie I wanted to stop. But instead I just kept pushing past the pain. When I saw someone ahead of me this motivated me to increase my pace and past them. I honestly kept doing this the entire time…it made the time past quicker and before I knew it I had 1k to go.
I gave it my all. I literally just sped up and used up whatever I had left (which wasn’t much by this stage). I was disappointed I couldn’t finish as strongly as I usually do.
Results: 4th place Overall & 1st Female across the line
I have mixed feeling about this race. Returning to racing from an injury made me lose a lot of confidence and it showed in my run. It’s given me a good indicator at how much fitness I’ve lost. I suppose I can only build up from here. I have 4 weeks before the next handicap race. Fingers crossed for a faster time.
My priorities now are to remain optimistic, gain confidence and be patient.
During presentations today after I did get a few things from a previous race I had run 2 months back 🙂
Medals from a 5k I ran in September. 1st Local Female + 1st Female 18-29 yrs
I made myself a big bowl of Oats after the race 🙂