Monument 10k Recap
My history with the Monument 10k is a long one…at least for me. It’s the one race I’ve done consistently since I decided to “take up” running (and by take up I mean run at least 1 race a year for the last 4 years). It’s one of the largest 10ks in the country and is just a fun race. It’s an interesting course that is completely jammed with spectators and bands the entire way. It’s flat, although parts of it are kind of cobblestoney.
The one major downside to this race is the CROWDS. This year the race maxed out at 41,000 people. FORTY. ONE. THOUSAND. That’s a whole lotta runners.
The first wave started at about 8:00am and the last wave left after 10:30am. It’s close to 3 hours of people just STARTING the race. Granted, there are a lot of walkers in the latter waves, it’s still just a constant mass of people.
The course is super simple. It’s a 3.1 mile out and back up and down Monument Ave. There are literally people EVERYWHERE which is a nice distraction. Anyways…
My wave did not officially depart until 8:53am on Saturday but I decided to start with my friend and maid of honor, Emily, since this was her first race ever. She’s training for a half marathon and used this race as a practice run. So I started out with people who run about a 10:30 pace. No big deal but I did end up having to weave a TON. There is really no avoiding it in this race. The crowds LITERALLY never thinned out and I sort of kicked myself for not starting at my original wave. But it was super nice to get to hang out with Emily until we took off.
During the first mile I got really distracted with all the weaving (people TEXTING in the middle of the road in a super crowded race…I mean come on!!) and ended up going way too fast. I thought the first mile would take me over 10 minutes since it’s hard to find space to run, but I somehow managed to pull an 8:46 out of my butt. Major OOPS.
I tried to play it smart and slow down the second mile, but kinda failed at that too. I was still running a sub 9 minute mile, which is TOO FAST FOR ME. I really need to learn to pace! By the halfway point I was feeling a little crappy and ended up stopping for some water. I managed to keep it together for the 2nd half of the race, but only by stopping 2 more times. According to my Garmin my average moving pace was a 9:08, which is awesome, but when you factor in my stops, my total pace was 9:14 (for a long course). My official pace was 9:17.
But hey, I’m not complaining…I got a 10k PR!!! I really really really wanted to finish in under 1 hour and wanted to keep my pace between a 9:10 and 9:20 mile. In the end it all evened out despite my terrible pacing in the beginning. I promise I’ll learn one day…
I’m a little bummed I started out too fast because it made my legs feel a bit lead like towards the end. The horrible race photos are proof of that. Usually I like to smile and wave and go all crazy, but I wasn’t feeling so hot and it was almost impossible to see the photographers in the crowds. Annoying!
Lame. I’m crossing my fingers for better photos at the half in May. Is that vain?! What good is a PR if you don’t have the awesome photos to enjoy after the fact, right? 😉