My cousin Kaitlin actually organized a "team" of us to run either the 5-K or 10-K in honor of her mom, Kim. Kim died 5 years ago from adrenal cancer--she was WAY too young to die, and she left behind three teenage girls. A portion of our race fee went to charity, and Kaitlin did a lot of fundraising on her own to donate to adrenal cancer research. Anyway, my brother Brian and I were the only ones from our group to run the 10-K.
|Some of our team after the race|
We got to the starting line at about 7:30 (race started at 8:00). There were signs designating where to line up, based on pace. We went between the 8:00/mi and 9:00/mi signs. There were a lot of people running, so it was kind of crowded the first mile, and I didn't get to go as fast as I would have liked. The first mile went by SO SLOWLY. I kept waiting to hear the beep on my Garmin, signaling the end of the first mile.
At about the 1 mile mark, there was a steep hill. My legs were on fire while I ran up, and I know that slowed me down a little. And the worst part was knowing that I was going to have to do that hill AGAIN, because the course loops around. I kind of just made up my mind to not try for a PR at this point. My lungs and legs were killing me from the hill.
After another mile, I looked at my Garmin, and I was actually on pace for a PR, so I decided just to keep trying it. Because the course looped back on itself, it seemed to be sooo long. I wanted to quit so badly. I was exhausted. I felt like I was running in circles and it would never end.
After running up the big hill for the second time, my lungs were on fire. Normally, I don't need water for at least 10 miles, but the hill did me in. I kept expecting to see a water station around each corner (and there were LOTS of corners), but it was probably a mile after the hill. I gulped down a cup and kept running.
After mile 5, the course does about 1/4 mile out and back. I saw my brother as I started heading out (he was almost done with the O&B part, so he was facing me). At this point, I really started thinking that I might puke. I don't think I've ever run this hard before. Then I really felt like I was going to pee my pants, which would be even worse than puking. I took the speed down a notch, and just said, "Fuck it" as far as a PR goes. I just wanted to be done!
I was so tempted to just walk the last mile in, but when I saw I was still on track for a PR (8:49/mi pace at this point), I just kept willing myself to keep going. We entered the stadium with just a couple hundred yards to go. We ran down the tunnel that the U of M football players run down, and then we ran onto the football field. As soon as I hit the grass, I saw that I just had to run to the end of the football field, turn, and run across the 50-yard line.
|The final few yards (not me, I took this afterward)|
|The finish line|
|The big screen showing the runners as they finished|
I felt slow as molasses when I made the turn, but after that, I was flying. My pace was 5:41/mi for the last thirty yards or so ;) When I crossed the finish line, I stopped the Garmin and saw that my average pace was 8:50/mi, which is what I calculated that I'd need to PR. However... my finish time (according to my Garmin) was 55:11 (6 seconds too slow to PR).
The reason for the discrepancy is because of the course length. When they measure the route for a race, they measure the shortest way to run it (the inside part of the course). So if you take wide turns, zig-zag, etc, then you might run farther than the actual race distance. This race ended up having me run 0.05 miles farther than the last one. So while I planned on an 8:50/mi pace, I forgot to account for the longer distance.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, I did NOT set a PR today. I was bummed, but not terribly. I know I ran my hardest, I hit my target pace, and I ran HILLS this time. There were no hills in the last 10-K I did. So even though it sucks not to PR, I am happy with my time.
Here are my splits:
|My average heart rate was more than 90% of my maximum heart rate...yikes!|
|My Garmin (a.k.a. "unofficial" results)|
|Brian and me, post-race (obviously)|
After the race, I grabbed some water and caught my breath on the bleachers. Brian and I walked down by the 50-yard line to take pictures, and while I was walking, who should I run into but Rose from Hacker Half Marathon!! She recognized me first, and I knew she was going to be there, so I was excited to actually bump into her among 14,000 runners! This was my first time ever meeting a fellow blogger in person--I'm sure I was completely awkward ;) She's going to be running her first marathon next weekend, so make sure you wish her luck!
|See how packed it was?!|
So, my final "official" results were:
Chip time: 55:13.7 (8:54/mi pace)
Placement overall: 1,010/2,299
Placement age group: 74/223
Placement females: 364/1,236