Let me preface this race report by saying that I have wanted to do this race since 2009 but have been unable to because of a horrendous work schedule. Since the Summer, ter having my baby and deciding not to hurry back to work, I knew that I would finally be able to do this race. Needless to say, I was very excited this morning!
When I awoke, the temperature was a very mild 57 degrees. I checked the forecast and found that by the time I would finish the race, it was going to be 42 degrees. I dressed in thin running tights, a singlet and a thin jacket but threw arm warmers, gloves, extra shirts and another jacket in my bag and decided I’d figure out my wardrobe once I arrived. After my one mile warmup, however, I decided that what I had on would work best. The wind was incredible this morning and had everyone chilled, even with the mild temperature. I ran down to the river, just for fun and I have never seen it so rough. I knew that the wind was going to be trouble!
Let me back track—I forgot to pick up my packet during the week so I had to grab it this morning. Only thing is, I had no idea where to go once I arrived at the American Turner building. There were signs everywhere that read “New Years Party, 3rd Floor!” What I—and tons of other runners—failed to realize was that those signs were for us! I picked up my packet, said hello to a few familiar faces and grabbed a cup of the blackest, strongest (and best!) coffee I have ever had outside of my house.
For my warm-up, I ran to Cox Park and back. It was during this time that I realized that I wasn’t really in the mood to run. I feel this relatively often during warm-ups but don’t let it bother me because I find that I typically get into a good zone after I start the race. I figured this time would be no different. I also confirmed my suspicions that the wind was going to be very annoying and I hoped that we would have it at our backs the majority of the time. Hope all you want, sometimes you don’t get what you want.
My goal for the race was to finish in 2 hours—slow to you, yes, but not for me right now. My plan was to run relatively slowly for the first 5 miles and then try to speed it up just a tad for the last 5. Miles 1 and 2 seemed to drag on and on. I got a brief adrenaline rush at the start of mile 2, which was at the Water Tower, when a truck driver hopped out of his cab and proceeded to yell at the officers blocking traffic. They responded with their own yelling, “GET BACK IN YOUR TRUCK, GET BACK IN YOUR TRUCK, NOW!” Was I going to see my first arrest during a race? Running the Water Tower loop was nice but I still felt unmotivated to do this race!
Through mile 6, I felt pretty low, mentally. The only bright spot was the volunteers who were incredible and the police officers who were super friendly. I noted that I finished the 5 miles in 1:01 and figured I could, in fact, reach my goal if I could keep going just a tad faster for the next 5 miles. During races, I rarely question why I'm actually there. But today, I did many times. I found the course to be very boring and not scenic enough--which is probably why I prefer trail running. I talked with another runner about why we didn't want to be doing what we were doing and how we wanted to go home and drink mimosas. Fortunately, just before mile 6, my wonderful Mom made her first appearance. It means so much to see someone out there cheering for you. And on this course, especially for someone slow like me, that was even more important because I felt very lonely at times. It was good to get a hug!
By mile 7, I was running on fumes and decided it was time to have a chat with myself--physically, not just mentally, I was breaking down. I reminded myself over and over that I COULD do this because I had just done it the previous week with our running group. I was so thankful for them while I ran today, because without them, I know that I wouldn’t have finished at my goal time. I wanted to walk so badly but I knew that I was cutting it close and had to keep pushing through the pain and I was in pain. I reminded myself that if I was able to give birth naturally, I could keep running for a couple of miles. Around 9.5, I was ready to give it up but I saw Craig Dooley, the photographer so I pretended I had some strength left! SMILE!
At the finish, my Garmin read 10.11 miles in almost 2:01. I did it, at least! It didn’t feel good, but I did it! The wind was brutal and battered us almost the entire race. It was unpleasant and it made me never want to do this race again!
Here are my splits, which averaged 11:53 for the race:
Mile 1 - 11:42
Mile 2 - 12:17
Mile 3 - 11:51
Mile 4 - 12:24 (I walked the first .25 of this to refuel and hydrate)
Mile 5 - 12:11
Mile 6 - 11:35
Mile 7 - 12:01
Mile 8 - 11:32
Mile 9 - 11:48
Mile 10 - 11:34
Final .11 - 10:57/mi
Again, I realize most of you think this is incredibly slow but it sure feels good to see my average pace for a 10 MILE RACE at the sub-12:00 mark. I can see that I'm making improvements and of course, it's exciting.
Big thank you to Todd and Cynthia Heady for what they do, the volunteers who were the best I've ever seen, and the police who did a remarkable job and were friendly!
And here I am shooting hoops after I cooled down. Someone commented that I had a lot of energy to have just run 10 miles. I did, I don't know where it came from!