If I had not signed up for a 10K race this morning, there is no way I would have gotten out of bed by 7am and stepped outside. But, a little while ago a couple coworkers and friends were talking about doing the inaugural Rocky Balboa 10K run and after seeing the medal I was all for it. The high was about 30 at the time of the race start, but I was decked in my new Nike gear and in the sun it wasn’t too unbearable. Waiting was the worst part of the cold.
The race had both a 5K and 10K with the 5K started a little earlier in the morning to help stagger the runners. Just after 8:15am the 10K started and it was off on an out and back from the Oval in front of the Art Museum. The crowd was a little heavy at the start of the race, but after about 1.5 miles it began to open up more and more. I’ve only run in 30 degree weather maybe once for a training run this spring, so I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it. Luckily, after warming up I couldn’t feel the cold at all! At one point I even stashed my gloves because they were too hot. I had been worried if I had layered enough, but my gear kept me warm and dry.
Running felt pretty good for the first half of the race. According to my Garmin 305, I was average under 8:00/mile for each mile split. When we got to the turnaround point I was pumped to be pacing so well. I had lined up with the 8:00 group and was hoping to finish close to (or a little better) my Dogfish Dash 10K time. Getting close to mile 4 I noticed my legs started to feel a little tired and heavy. I probably should have skipped doing lower body work on Thursday at the gym even though I kept it lighter. Oops! Once I got to mile 5 my legs were definitely not happy with me, but I pushed to keep my pace as close to 8:00 as I could. This was when I noticed my watch was quite a bit off from the mile markers. Normally, being off by 0.05-0.1 miles is normal, I see that a lot during the half marathons, but my watch was reading 6.2 miles already at the 6 mile marker. I know you get a little extra distance from weaving at the start, but I didn’t think I covered nearly an extra quarter mile on West River Drive!
Getting to the finish involved running up that lovely little incline right before the Art Museum. Runners of the Philadelphia Half/Full and Rock’n’Roll Half know this incline well. Thankfully, it’s REALLY short. I busted into a full sprint to the finish when I saw the clock was around 50:35! I met up with my coworker and we decided to celebrate our finish by running up the Art Museums steps, because duh, Rocky Run!
I waited a little for some other friends to finish, then my fingers went numb and it was time to book it home. I was eager to check out my splits compared to the finish time from the race results. Needless to say, they didn’t match up. My Garmin had me averaging a 7:51 pace while the race results gave me a 50:28 finish with 8:08 as my pace. At least five other runners I know said their watches/apps all had between 6.4 and 6.5 miles. So, conclusion is it was a little longer than 10K, BUT still a kickbutt race for us!
I’m so happy with those splits! Only one mile was over 8:00 and it was only by a second! I’m feeling really pumped now for my half marathon next weekend. And the bling definitely makes up for the wonky race distance…
I’m ready to kick more ass on the 23rd. And I learned a valuable lesson: no weighted squats or kettle bell swings during race week. ;) For being the first year of this race, it was put together very well and I’ll be returning again next year if it’s back! I just hope it’s a wee bit warmer!