This morning I ran my first 10K, a race billed as “the toughest 10K in the Midwest.” Having no other 10K races to compare it to, I’ll have to take their word for it. It was pretty hilly, by south suburban Chicago standards.

Going into the race, I thought a bit about my goals. I knew I would PR even if it took me two hours, but that’s no fun, is it? I didn’t look this up beforehand, but based on my Shamrock Shuffle 8K time from three weeks ago, the McMillan pace calculator predicted that I could finish a 10K in 49:53, an 8:01 pace. (I knew it was around 8 minutes, just didn’t remember exactly.) Before the race, I told BFF Genevieve that my goal was to keep my heart rate around 173-176, and I would be happy to finish in under 50 minutes … maybe 52. It was “tough,” right? Plus I didn’t know how to approach this race mentally. For 5K’s, just push to almost-puke-speed and hold it. For races of 10 miles and above, keep it slow enough to not fall apart miles from the end. Where does a 10K fall?

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Before the race with Genevieve

I won’t go into a play-by-play breakdown of each mile. But it was a hilly race. (Again, for this area.) There were some uphills that were challenging (particularly one around mile 4 1/2), but the downhills were tricky too, especially the steep ones. Around the 3 mile mark I was definitely thinking “ugh I’m only halfway?”

The last turn put you on a straightaway to the end, you can see the finish line, but there was still over a half mile to go. I sped up, especially as I passed the 6 mile marker, and passed some people, and pushed myself to whatever sprint I could muster when a woman who could possibly be in my age group tried to sprint faster as I passed her right before the finish. (I crossed first.) It was a chip timed race, so who cares, but if I could push harder, why not? It is a race after all.

My official finish time was 49:52 … one second faster than McMillan predicted. And under 50 minutes! So I was pretty happy. Once I caught my breath.

Post-race we met up with the other F’N Runners for some pictures.

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Front: “This sh!t sucks! What time tomorrow?”
Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Back: “F’NRC, Frankfort-New Lenox Running Club, Home of the Rucking Funners.”

By then they were starting the awards, so we stuck around. Of course I was hoping to place but I wouldn’t have been surprised if I didn’t. Turns out …

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K

Third place in my age group! Nicole got first in our age group, and was the second female overall!!

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10 K
10K chip timed race, hoodie, finishers dog tag, beer post-race, coasters for AG winners
… not bad for $35 ($30 if you’re a CARA member)
Officially
44:52, 8:02 pace
Overall: 139 / 562
Women: 19 / 288
F 25-29: 3 / 41