So Satisfying - Camellia Festival 10k 2017

by Jodi

I am in the thick of training for the Eugene Marathon.  I have been at this program now for fifteen weeks.  I am sore and hungry and tired, but so satisfied.  The training program works.  The high mileage/high intensity workouts have made me leaner and faster and given me confidence and awareness of my current fitness level and ability.  I'm so grateful that I have gutted it out through Oregon's wettest and grayest winter on record.  Man was it wet and cold and gray.  BLECH!

Got another Champion shirt. The first one was too small.  This one is too big.  Maybe I can win another race to get just the right size...  LOL.
Saturday, April 8th, 2017, was the Camellia Festival 5k and 10k fun run and walk in my hometown of Newberg.  It felt silly to pay to run the streets I run every day, but I love my town and my community.  The park district brings so much beauty and value to our lives.  I was happy to pay $30 to do my tempo run for the week in a race setting.

My marathon training plan is set up for a 3:15 marathon.  It sounds ridiculous to say that fast finish time out loud.  But I have been consistently hitting the training paces in spite of my skepticism.  The 10k pace for this plan says "6:40-6:55."  I wanted to test this track time out on the road.  Could I actually run a 10k in this pace range? I needed to run 43:00 minutes or under to achieve a 6:55 average pace, so 43 minutes became my goal.

Race morning was colder than I anticipated.  I ran a slow two-mile warm up with my long sleeve shirt on, and then did some strides. I ditched the long sleeve at the start and it was the right decision.  I was never too hot or too cold - perfect racing conditions.

I was the first woman out of the start and I never saw another 10k woman on the course.  There were two men in front of me, and we separated into equidistance from each other.  They were both far enough ahead that I never wanted to chase them, but close enough that I could see them on the flats and gauge whether they were pulling away or not.

The race course is a combo of (wait for it...) rolling hills and a few flats.  Shocking.  The first big hill came around mile two.  I was dreading it, but I made it up and then back down easier than I anticipated.  Mile three and four both had longer, more gradual climbs that I was able to tackle with an even effort.  I was really happy to be staying on pace through the hills and that the two guys in front of me weren't extending their lead.

Dawn surprised me and showed up at Mile 5 to cheer me on.  It was such a boost to my spirits to see her  on the corner in her rain gear, yelling about how I was the first girl and how strong I looked.  She is so good at encouraging.

The last mile had a couple of short, steep up's and downs through the canyon on the George Fox University campus.  Those hills felt hard.  I was definitely ready to be done.  I rounded the final corner and just had a straight stretch to the finish.  My watch beeped my mile 6 pace and it was slow.

I knew I had first place locked down for this race, but that wasn't my goal.  My goal was to run 43 minutes or under and that goal was slipping away.

In that moment I knew I had a choice.  "Settle" for first place or chase down my goal. I picked up my pace significantly and gutted out that last .2 miles with a strong mind, knowing I was giving it all I had.

I crossed the finish, hit stop on my watch, nd guess what?  42:57 - 6:55 pace - for a finish time.  Mission accomplished.  I still can hardly believe it.  I won another Champion shirt and a giant potted camellia plant.  I also won a set of coasters and a gorgeous medal, all made from trees that were harvested to make room for the new pool that is being constructed.  My son plays water polo and swims in the old pool every day, so this was really special for me.

Everything about this race was so satisfying.

  • First 10k victory. To win in my hometown with my friends and acquaintances cheering me in to the finish was really special.  
  • Sub-seven average pace.  This always feels like an accomplishment for me.
  • A new 10k PR.
  • Set a goal and achieved it.
You guys... this is why I love running.  You don't have to run fast to capture the same endorphin rush. Just set a goal.  Go after it.  Train your body.  Train your mind.  Then bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.  Run on friends!

By the Splits: (42:57 - 6:55 pace)

Mile 1: 6:56
Mile 4: 7:01
Mile 2: 6:49
Mile 5: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:45
Mile 6: 7:04

Mile .2: 6:33

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