When I signed up for the Jungle Run back in March, I thought I was insane. Surely, I could not get myself up to 10k status by July. That seemed like so much work in a relatively short period of time, right? Then, I did something even crazier for myself and signed up for a half marathon. Suddenly, this 10k went from being a major victory (still is, in my mind) to a stepping stone to something even more challenging. Seems pretty crazy.
This race was an early one. Not quite as bad as the 5:30 race that I am prepping for in January, but getting up at 5:45 for a race at 7:15 was still hard to do on a Sunday. Didn’t help that I didn’t get much sleep the night before. On the upside, I knew that I would be groggy in the morning, so I prepped the bag and running materials before I went to bed. Sometimes, I’m an organized person.
In any case, I got myself over to Los Gatos with some time to spare. During that time, I used the facilities and stretched. The race started at Los Gatos High School and it’s been a long time since I’ve been there. There used to be a music venue nestled in this school that used to be known as the Outhouse. It had changed names and ownership a few times since then and I think it’s closed now, but seeing it brought me back to my pseudo high school scenester days.
The 10k started 15 minutes after the half marathon started and while I was warming up, I heard some half marathon participants talk about how they were going to take it easy for the first mile because of the big hill.
Race started and that first hill was actually not that bad. It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t bad. In fact, despite the fact that I never realized that Los Gatos was a hilly little town, the first three miles went by incredibly fast. I think I was on complete autopilot for those first three miles. On top of that, I’d been freaking out the 15 min/mile time limit since my last few runs had been around 15 min/miles, but I spent the first few miles consistently around 13:30.
While some of the race took place on the road, the majority of it consisted of trails around Vasona Lake Park. I think I’d been there once before, but there is a lake, a train, and a lot of geese. Geese terrify me. Have I mentioned that before?
Besides the geese, though, it was a pretty area to run around.
Things started to get a little more challenging after the 3 miles. I had generally tried to run on flat surfaces for most my training and was not prepared for the hills. Running up hill is exhausting, but generally okay. It’s the downhill running that kill me and my hip paid for it the rest of yesterday. Beyond that, it was just a matter of mental exercises to get me through the second half. Mile 6 actually went by pretty fast, but those last .3 miles seemed to last forever.
In the end, I finished and finished under 1 hour and 30 minutes. I think I was just under a 14 min mile. I was pretty proud of this time, though, as my Santa Barbara run last week was half a mile shorter and took over an hour and a half.
It felt good to finish that race, though. While it’s not my first 10k (SF AIDS Walk is 10k), it’s the first one that I ran most of. I’d been nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do it and it went well (aching aside). Post-race, I did some stretching and went out to watch the World Cup Final. Really not a bad way to reward oneself with a race well done.