All the Way to 10K: UAE Healthy Kidney Race Reflection

20180429_102058Yesterday was my third and final race for April, and my first 10K! Despite my initial intentions when I signed up for this last year, I was not able to train for this race at all. My joint health has been sub par, so I’ve been resting from any high-impact training. My time at the gym has been spent doing yoga, planks, bridges, and bringing up my heart rate on the elliptical. So yeah, I was feeling pretty nervous facing a 10K race.

Fortunately, the stars aligned and I had a really enjoyable race. I was able to manage the discomfort in my hip relatively well, and also maintained a consistent (albeit slow) pace. Despite my less than ideal physical health, everything else was top notch–the weather, clothing, my energy levels, etc. To help me best prepare for future races, I’m adding in some notes of what I did/ate leading up to it. If it worked for me today and I had a good race, hopefully the same will apply for future races, too.

Weather

Temperature: 48F

Felt Like: 45F

Elements: Light breeze, clouds that cleared to blue skies

Clothing: NYRR-provided tee, black Old Navy running shorts, compression socks, ankle brace and strap

Comfort during race: Perfect for me; a teensy bit chilly at the start, but I was comfortable the entire time

 

Diet

Day before: Small bowl of cereal (Cocoa Krispies!) and milk, vegetable dumplings for lunch, a small bowl pasta with a tomato sauce and a little parmesan for dinner, one Special K Snack Bar (salted pretzel and chocolate). High carb, low fat. Began hydrating from 4 to 10 PM so.

Morning of: Bowl of regular Rice Krispies and almond milk, two glasses of water (about 16 oz. total).

Post-race: Bagel, apple, and water at the park. Banana smoothie with peanut butter and cocoa powder at home.

 

Sleep

Two nights before: Slept like a log (9-10 hours) and felt really well-rested.

Night before: Probably around six hours. Solid night’s sleep, despite not getting as much as I usually aim to before a race (7+ hours).

 

Self-Care

Day before: I did 20-30 minutes of yoga and core strengthening (squats, planks, etc.). Iced my hip for 10-15 minutes once. Clocked in around 11,000 steps.

Morning of: Took an anti-inflammatory prescription with breakfast. Did hip and leg stretches 15 minutes before start time (squats, lunges, etc.).

 

Race Reflection

My goal for this race was to simply finish it. I’ve been experiencing varying levels of pain in my right hip since November, and my physical therapist advised that I not go too hard with exercising at all until I see an orthopedic specialist. As such, I maintained a steady, comfortable jog. Harlem Hill, as expected, defeated me a little; I walked maybe 50 yards before picking up my pace again. I stopped for water at miles 2, 4, and 5. Ultimately, I had some discomfort in my hip and groin at certain points, but it was never so bad that I had to stop entirely. Once I got past those pesky rolling hills in mile 3, the rest of my run, starting around the 4 mile mark, was pretty easy.

I know the ~science~ behind wearing compression socks during a race and better performance is essential non-existent, but I gotta say, my legs felt stronger (or at least energized) for most of the run. The added compression on my ankle help a lot, too–hardly any discomfort or aching after the race at all.

 

Race Results

Official Time: 1:04:51

Pace: 10:27/mile (5.7 mph)

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