Sunday, March 24, 2013

10K Race Recap

10K: Check! 

LITERALLY ONE SECOND OVER MY GOAL TIME OF A 9-MINUTE MILE. Thankfully, the math works out that it's actually a 9.002-minute mile, so Terry thinks I can go with it. Also, the website lists my official pace at 8:59. I'll take it.

The race was scheduled to begin at 8 am, so we had plenty of time to wake up slowly, eat a slice of banana bread for breakfast, and head to the starting line, which was directly in front of the school where I teach. Unfortunately, the race didn't actually begin until 8:30, so I stood shivering for a solid hour and felt pretty numb by the time we started. Even my toes were frozen!

Ready to run!

The first two miles, as expected, felt pretty quick and cold. I knew I would warm up eventually, but it took much longer than I thought. Thankfully, since the run encourages lots of kids to participate, I spent most of my time and energy those first two miles dodging the children and trying not to trample the ones who suddenly shifted from a sprint to a dead stop without warning or fear of what might be behind them. (No one was injured during this run. At least not by me.)

Best sight of the day: A guy chose to run with his dog, and he put the bib on his pup's collar! It was so cute. I don't think dogs were supposed to be on the course, but I was thankful for the distraction as we tackled a particularly tough hill.

Another awesome sight was three dads all in a row pushing strollers as they ran!
Not sure if you can see them all here, but Terry was a champ and took this picture while running. 

The race consisted of two almost-identical loops. The first, however, felt much easier; on our second time around we had one gigantic hill that had been cut in half the first time (I'm not sure if that makes sense, but basically the first time we cut in on some side streets and didn't hit the hill until it was halfway over). I made the mistake two or three times of looking up--and I've heard that when you run hills you're supposed to keep your eyes a few feet in front of you to avoid that mental panic of how far you still have to go. Well, consider that lesson learned. I struggled up that beast and seriously considered walking, but I made it to the top thanks to some willpower that couldn't have popped up at a better time.

On our way up the hill, I noticed two women running together--one was struggling as much as I was and actually did walk a bit, and the other looked like she could have run all day and kept telling her buddy to continue running. Throughout the rest of the race, and even when Terry moved up ahead, those ladies and I stayed fairly close together, and I appreciated knowing they were there. Somehow it was motivating, even though we didn't talk until the end (more on that in a sec).

Terry looked super solid around the Mile 4 marker, so I told him to go ahead without me. I felt completely devoid of energy and was lacking that mental endurance that's so important for me when I run. About half a mile after he left, I told myself I need to relax and just run for fun instead of pushing for some ideal time. That was all it took--I felt a huge rush of energy that carried me through the next mile or so.

One I passed Mile 6, I was dead. Actually, I would say I was dead around Mile 5, despite that energy burst, but I couldn't imagine moving any faster than I already was. But those two ladies from the Big Hill swooped in out of nowhere next to me, and the one who looked like a champ started yelling, "Come on! Give me all you've got! I saw that he left you; you need to show him how strong you are!" All I could think was, "Damn it. I guess I have to speed up now." But then I saw Terry, who had already finished, trotting back to finish the race with me, and I gave it all I had to sprint to the finish. If that Bill Hill Champ (who I later figured out is a running coach) hadn't pushed me, I wouldn't have gotten (as close as I did to) my goal time. And thanks to my awesome husband for coming back to finish with me!

It was really a fun race, and afterward we ran into some friends we didn't know were running. We all congratulated each other (the husband got a 10K time of 42:10 and won 8th overall!), and then Terry and I checked out the booths and chatted with a few of my coworkers before heading home.

Thought this sign was hilarious--can you imagine donating blood after running? (Lots of folks there came out just to support and watch, so hopefully the blood drive was successful.)

The race was more like our City to the Sea 5K than our Disney Half Marathon experience. It felt relaxed, low-stress, and far less crowded than Disney. I think when I do 5K or 10K races I'll stick to ones like this: local, friendly, and low-key. The environment was so positive and uplifting without feeling intimidating or overwhelming.

And that was it! I look forward to another rest day tomorrow before jumping back into our normal workout routine. And I'll be back to share a little more about the weekend, too.

Hope you had a good one!

Have you raced before? What is your favorite distance, or which distance would you most like to try? Do you prefer big races or small, local ones?

Have a great start to the week!


  1. Awww, LOVED this!! How sweet of those women to help you like that! Love the camaraderie! And Terry is the BEST...but you already knew that didn't you! ;)

    I take it the banana bread wasn't a flop with the buttermilk?

    I don't run much anymore...heck, I haven't run at ALL in at least 5-6 months, but when I WAS running, I loved doing 5-6 miles. I had one 8 miler that about killed me and the longest I've ever gone is 10...that was a HUGE day for me! I've never actually run a race, but I always dreamed of running a half someday. Who knows, maybe I'll get that running spark again someday and make it happen!

  2. Great race! Love that stroller picture ;)

  3. hey congrats on a great race!! 5k's most often and every so often a half marathon :) :) though over the fourth of july weekend there is a one mile race and itz a straight shot and really fun!!

  4. How fun & congrats on your time! :) I have done 2 5k's and plan on doing 2 more in the next few months!

  5. Congrats on a great race! I'm running my first 10 miler in 2 weeks! I'm waiting to see how that goes before I decide whether I want to train for my first Half Marathon...