Saturday, June 9, 2007

Market Sqaure 10k

I finished my first 10k! Granted I was slower than dirt, but I felt good, ran most of it, had fun, and FINISHED!

The start of the race was cool and foggy. The Market Square 10k is part of a bigger Market Sqaure festival, and all the vendors, food carts, and music stages were set up at the start of the race. This being my 2nd race, I now know that I must start at the back of the race pack, and I have to say, the view from the back was amazing. As the gun fired, I saw 1,560 runners spint down Congress St., and seeing wall to wall runners bordered by Portsmouth shops and covered by balloon arches I felt part of something huge. The start of the race was flat and fun. We double backed on downtown Portsmouth and got a whiff of the food vendors at mile 1. My running partner, L, and I planned to run each mile and walk for a minute (or until we felt good.) So that's how we started. By mile 2, I was starting to warm up and the pack was starting to spead out (away from us!) We ran past neighbors with cheers, music was blasting, informal water stops were scatered down the street. I was carrying a hand held fuel belt water bottle and skipped the water stops. Going into mile three was down hill and fast. L and I ran a 35 minute 5k.....faster than both of our first 5k race! We walked about 5 minutes of mile 4 before I took off and started picking up my pace. Mile 4 and 5 flew by. I really have not idea what happened! I remember hearing the Rocky theme somewhere in mile 4. I had hummed that to L in mile 2, so I shouted out to the spectators there. The next think I knew, I was passing the mile 5 at 1:02. I walked a minute and started my last mile - uphill. I felt great. I actually passed a couple of people - one lady was walking at the crest of a hill. I said hello and she said great job! I was psyched. I passed an older gentleman up the last hill and asked, "how's it going?" and he said "it's going." That's how I felt. I could nbow see race finishers walking down the street towards me, clapping and cheering. I still can't believe how nice runners are! One gut said, "your almost there, only 200 yards." I couldn't see the finish, but I took the guys word to heart and started picking up the pace.
Then I could see it....the finish. The clock read 1:16....I was going to finish in under 1:20! My finishing time was 1:16:37. I averaged 12:20 a mile. Not great, but not horrible.

I have to say, Portsmouth puts on a nice race and despite the cool air and fog, people were out there cheering for us back of the pack runners!

I have worked out a training schedule for the next 5 weeks in preparation for the Habour Trail 5k. My goal is to drop my time by 10% - or 3 minutes. That's a 11 min mile. I can do it, but it will take some effort.

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