As any veteran blogger/exercise expert extraordinaire would do, I did all my race prep the night before so I could roll out of bed and walk out the door without trusting my brain to remember small details. The 5 a.m. alarm was especially obnoxious - this is probably why I don't do more races, I hate early wake up calls. I whispered to my bed, "don't worry I'll see you later!" All went well with getting ready and I was out the door and on the road right at 5:30.
It was already 71 outside but the day was pretty cloudy. I prayed and prayed and prayed that the clouds would stick around through the whole race.
As I zoomed down the near empty roads this came on the radio and I felt it was an excellent sign for the day's activities.
Knowing that I needed cash for parking was helpful this year - even though the cost of parking has gone from $5 to $10. Thankfully I had enough on me. I parked and grabbed just a couple of things so I could go do packet pick up. Once again, super smooth and no issues. I met up with a few people I know which made me happy. I hate to be by myself at a race but I've done it plenty of times before.
I went back to the car and really got my stuff ready. As I started walking back to find port-a-johns I realized that I left my watch in the car - very much needed if you're doing interval runs. So quick back to the car and then on to the ports. They, of course, were disgusting.
Beyond disgusting. People have some serious GI issues out there.
I walked out of the johns and checked my "hidden pocket" in my shorts for my key and it was gone. I checked my other pockets where I otherwise stash my key and no luck. I figured it fell out on the port-a-john floor and went back to check (while assuring the people that I was not cutting in front of them). But no luck there either. A bit of panic set in as this is the ONLY key for that car. I traced my steps back to my car and the only thing I could think of was that I left it in the damn car door when I went back to get my watch.
Thank goodness I was actually that dumb because there it was just sitting there, waiting for me.
|Yes, but where did I leave my key?|
So panic over, 12'ish minutes to race time, and all is well again. I found a couple more people I knew before the race started and just waited for the first several hundred people to go through the start line once the gun went off. Lining up for this race is a bit chaotic since the group either gathers on one street or another - but in the end I knew I was in the back so it was just a matter of letting most everyone else go first. And off we went. I knew there were hills right at the start of this race and more hills in the front half than the back.
I also knew that I was going to feel weird about stopping after only 4 minutes into the race to walk my one minute interval. I thought about skipping that first interval, you know proving I don't need to walk. But thankfully common sense prevailed over my sense of pride because I did need to walk. Those beginning hills are crazy. I remembered rolling hills but not as many as we actually went through. The ones around 3 and 9 miles I had completely forgotten. I won't bore you with a mile by mile commentary but I stuck to my interval plan and maintained splits between 11:20 and 11:40 for most miles. Each mile marker I came in under the 12:00 pace (overall) so I was staying on track even on the portions where I had to walk more than my allowed 1 minute (due to those hills).
There was extra walking - and a lot of dodging people throughout the whole race. There was a group of about 10 of us who stayed within close range of each other. I don't think they/we were trying to - it was just we all had the same pace. We also had to dodge more cars this year than I remember from before. It was fine - the cars were courteous but it meant switching from one side of the road to another throughout the course of the race.
I walked, briskly, up THE BIG HILL. That thing is seriously straight up and down. Even walking it got painful. You rejoice so much at the top. And it was miraculous that the clouds stuck around for the whole race. It was warm but I never felt overheated at all. Far better than my 8 mile run last Sunday.
|Area around the finish line.|
The last 3 miles felt harder because I started to get really hungry. Like the hunger that makes you feel sick to your stomach. I was also getting tired of the hills, as mentioned above, that one at 9 miles is a real bastard. But I was still looking good to get under 2 hours overall and beat my previous time so I stuck it out and trudged through the last mile.
Boom baby! Almost 3 minutes faster than the other time I ran this race. I got my food: biscuit, moon pie, banana, grapes, and RC Cola and chatted with the people I knew. One of the gals had a chance to place within her age group so I decided to stick around for the awards ceremony (which I don't often do since I'll never, ever, win anything).
First, it was back to the car to drop off my crap and switch into my flip-flops. My heals blistered up again and bled through my socks. I really do need to see if a different brand of shoes rubs my heals better. I wear higher ankle expensive tech socks and prep with band-aids but they still get rubbed raw.
I got stuck waiting for this train to go by but it gave me a few minutes to sit and check my phone. Cell reception in Bell Buckle is awful but I could occasionally get enough of a data signal to update my Facebook app. Then it was sitting around and waiting for the awards ceremony to start - it started at 10 which is like 2 hours after most of the winners had finished the race. That's asking a lot of people to stick around that long but most did. While we waited there was entertainment:
Yes, all the runners muttered "it wasn't a 10K it was 10 miles!"
|Lots of fried food options.|
I saw my friend get her award and then went ahead and took off. While it was cloudy for the race it was no longer cloudy and even though I felt pretty good overall - no extreme soreness or fatigue - I was ready to head home, shower, and say hi to my bed again.
I got one last picture and headed out.
Gun Time:1:59:13, Chip Time:1:58:27, Overall Pace11:51
This put me about 2/3'rds back in the pack. I don't care about winning but I always do like to have a good number behind me. :)