On Sunday I ran the Silicon Labs Sunshine Run 10K in an official time of 47:36 (7:41 pace).
Really all I can say about this race is that it was very unexciting. Probably the only real item of note is that I didn’t check my Garmin the entire race. I’m trying to get better at knowing what 5K vs. 10K vs. half marathon pace feel like without checking my watch every 2 seconds. I don’t think I could run a goal race completely blind to my pace or overall time but I figured a low key 10K that I hadn’t trained for was a good opportunity for experimentation. My splits were not as wildly divergent as I’d feared, so I guess that’s good!
I did not have very high expectations for my performance. The course is fairly flat but it can be very warm here in May and there’s very little shade on the race route. The weather gods blessed us with overcast skies and temperatures in the high 60s this year, which is about as good as it gets in May. One of the few things I remember about the 5K last year was how I could barely see during the second half of the race because the sun was directly in my face.
I warmed up with 1.5 miles of easy running + 5 short sprints. Same old, same old.
The Sunshine Run has 5K and 10K options (plus a Kids 1K). The 5K and 10K runners start at the same time and run together for about 1.5 miles until the 5Kers split off and turn around:
I was trying not to start off too hard but my first mile ended up being my quickest (7:19). There were a lot of runners passing me and I tried to remember that many of them were running a shorter distance than I was. I felt like I settled into a better rhythm once the 5Kers split off and apparently hit mile 2 in 7:26. Then in mile 3 I came to the one big hill on the course, which really slowed me down– mile 3 was 7:54!
After the hill and the turnaround I felt comfortable picking up my effort a bit since I was halfway through and knew exactly what lay ahead (i.e. the same route I’d just run but in reverse). I was feeling good and hit mile 4 in 7:35 and mile 5 in 7:25. I saw some people from my running group and– very randomly– my boyfriend’s uncle drove by and waved at me.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish strong in this race, and for once the culprit was not a lack of speedwork or a good finishing kick. As seen in the above map, the 5Kers turn around and head back along the same route as everyone doing the 10K. Around mile 5 I started to encounter big groups of 5K walkers, which meant I had to do a lot of weaving. It was frustrating. I was surprised later when I checked my Garmin and saw that mile 6 was 7:39– I’d expected it to be even slower. Also, usually I assume my Garmin is a little off on the total distance but it recorded almost 6.4 miles for this run and I am inclined to believe that’s fairly accurate given all of the zig-zagging I was doing towards the end!
Since I wasn’t able to run all-out at the end I didn’t feel as tired as I usually do after a race, which was weird. I mean, the last time I ran a 5K I had to sit down immediately because I thought I was going to vomit! This just felt like a tempo run.
I managed to get 3rd place in my age group, as I did in the 5K last year, so now I have two “bronze” medals:
More importantly, the bibs came with a coupon for a free short stack of pancakes from Kerbey Lane which OH MY GOD YES.
So, the race itself was very anti-climactic but I got some pancakes and a decent workout out of it. I also like that this race is extremely convenient for me– I did my warm-up between my apartment and the start. Not having to drive is always a plus. However, I will probably stick with the 5K at future Sunshine Runs unless there are some course changes. Having to maneuver past 5K walkers towards the end was annoying.
I don’t have any other spring/summer races on my calendar for the time being. I will probably add one or two 5Ks just to keep me motivated but I also won’t have high expectations for those times given that it will be hot and I’m horrible at 5Ks. As of last week I am officially registered for the Houston Marathon in January, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. 248 days to go!