The few days leading up to the race:
I had only managed to get a run in twice during the week leading up to the race. I've had a sore knee for a bit and didn't want to aggravate it any further, so I took the concept of tapering very seriously.
I slept terribly the last few nights before the race. I'm guessing I just had some anxiety over the race and all the unknowns around whether I could handle the distance. I had five weeks between running my 5 km race at the Bridge City Boogie and this one. I found a training plan online that I decided to follow that fit into that schedule, but when I got closer to the end of it, I found I wasn't really gaining any more endurance and just started doing my own thing. So then I got worried that I wouldn't be able to make 10 km, as I hadn't been able to fully run my 9 km long run. I had a lot of thoughts about how I should have got in more than three runs a week or did some different kind of runs (this training program didn't include any speedwork, tempo runs, hills, etc). That last week before the race was a killer on my mental game!
The day before:
I made my way down to the race pickup location and was out in about 4 minutes, if that. Very speedy. The bags consisted of directions, our race map, my bib #, a technical t-shirt with the River Run Classic logo, and a light for your shoelaces that flashes every time you take a step. I thought that was pretty cool, especially since it starts getting dark really early here starting in September!
For the rest of the day, I relaxed and didn't overly exert myself (not very difficult!). I drank a lot of water and ate throughout the day and then eventually got my bag ready for the next morning.
The alarm sure goes off early when a race starts at 8:00 AM. Yuck. But I pulled myself out of bed and had breakfast (cereal and a banana) and then got ready. The weather was perfect. Sunny, no clouds, not much wind, but not a really hot day yet. Even though the race gave us a technical shirt to wear, I went with my Adidas Climacool tank top, which I love (and have several of) and some Brooks Moving Comfort running shorts. I attached my race bib with my new Racedots instead of safety pins. The process of getting the Racedots on was amusing because they are very strong magnets and have a mind of their own. I eventually needed Melanie's help, but we got it figured out after a few laughs.
My family was coming down to the race site with me, so we got Elizabeth out of bed and ready to go and we were off.
This race was much smaller than the Bridge City Boogie, so parking wasn't difficult. We had about 40 minutes to kill before my start time, which meant time for the porta potties and some warm up running (let's be honest - my warm up running is about 30 seconds and I really only do it because it seems like the thing to do). The 10 km race was being used as the Timex Provincial Championships again this year, so there were all kinds of racers doing some crazy stretching and running and moves I've never seen!
The wheelchair athletes were the first to go out, followed by the half-marathoners, and then at 8:05 AM, the 10 km and 5 km racers were sent off. I said bye to my family, wormed my way into the pack, waited for the gun, and was off.
I felt good right from the start and think I ran the race well. I had a goal of finishing around 1:20:00 but wasn't sure if I could manage it. I was also really hoping my knee would hold up. Because I was running for longer than an hour and I knew it would be warm, I stashed a handful of Honey Stingers in my pocket to chew on around the halfway point. I have no idea if they actually helped me or not, but they were a nice sweet treat!
Honestly, there really wasn't anything overly eventful during the race. There were a couple of water stations manned by some great volunteers. One lady kept talking about how she had the best water we would ever taste. There weren't a lot of spectators along the course besides the volunteers and a few others who were waiting for friends or family to pass, but it was still a great day for a run.
Since the 10 km course was an out-and-back, I got to see just how fast the lead runners were. Holy cow! I don't even think I had hit 3 km before they hit me on their way back already. Oh well. Something to strive for. I knew I was closer to the back of the pack, but when I hit the 5 km turnaround, my legs still felt really good and I decided to pick up my pace a little bit and start picking a few people off.
When I only had a bit to go and I could see the finish line, I could hear the announcer crack a few jokes (which he did with everyone who came in) and tell me to fake that I wasn't tired and pretend I looked good because I was about to have my picture taken.
And then I was done. Official time: 1:11:35. I was happy with that! Here are my stats from my watch:
I tried very hard to run the course on the shortest line possible, which I must have done because I started my watch right when I crossed the start mat and for the first few kilometers, it buzzed pretty much right at the distance markers on the road, but then I ended up being a little ahead. Ok by me!
I walked around a bit and made my way over to the food tent. They had all sorts of goodies: juice boxes, water, cheese strings, brownies, caramel popcorn, twizzlers, peppermint patties, watermelon...it went on and on! I cannot resist a peppermint patty.
And just like that, my first 10 km race was done. We didn't get medals, which was a little disappointing because it was my first one, but that's alright. I have my bib. It was a great day!
|I ran so fast that my hair flipped up!|
The Racedots were awesome. When I first managed to get them on, I thought for sure the inside part of the magnet might rub against my skin, but either they never did or I didn't notice. I would highly recommend these bib holders to anyone who doesn't normally wear a race belt and wants to finally do away with all the safety pins! Very good product.