It’s time for the obligatory Post Cotton Row 10K post that I seem to be making a habit out of here on this blog. The first time I ran the 10K was in 2011 and I trained quite hard for it and was TERRIFIED. My time was 1:01:49 and I was so proud of that time I almost cried. Then, I ran it again last year and hoped to maybe come in under an hour. I finished in 57:24. And again, I was so proud I almost cried.
This year? I had no idea what to expect. My recent attempts at speed made me think that maybe I should just hope to come in under an hour. It’s normal that I not be as fast as I used to be since I don’t do speedwork anymore, so I really didn’t think I could beat last year’s time. However, I also knew not to stop myself from at least trying. So, I set out hoping to hold a 9:30 pace for the first 3 miles (which are all uphill), run up Mountainwood (super-steep hill in the middle of the race) and then try to speed up the back half as I ran the easier, downhill part of the course.
Well, I felt great the first 3 miles going a little bit faster average than 9:30. I spent a bit following someone I thought was a friend who was not and by the time I got to the mega-hill I was a tiny bit under my goal. I realized that if I could keep all of the back half of the course under a 9-minute pace, I could maybe beat last year’s time. Well? I did better than that. I did mile 4 in 9:13, and that mile included the hill so I looked at the data and after the hill I actually went a big chunk of that mile in under an 8-minute pace! I did mile 5 in 8:07 and miles 6 in 8:29. I knew I was coming really close to finishing in under 56 minutes and that became my home-stretch goal. I came close – 56:03. A course PR for me by over a minute. I felt FANTASTIC.
Now that I’ve got all of that out of the way? I have to tell you the kicker. Now – this is for all of you girls out there. This is probably TMI for your boys, so feel free to stop reading now. But you girls? I want to tell you the most impressive part. Today? Was the worst day of my cycle. And with my endometriosis that means my cramps were severe and my bleeding was hemorrhagic. I had to do the race with double protection to keep accidents from happening. IT WAS AWFUL. I mean…AWFUL. I don’t want to give you the gory details in case any boys stuck around this far, but just know that I have never experience chaffing like I experienced today due to the need for extra protection during the race.
So, the fact that I PR’d on top of that mess? Earned me several beers and a lot of junk food tonight. And I’m totally not even going to feel guilty about it.