I woke up early, with the plan of getting to the race location (the metropark that I always run) and to start running by 7:00 (the 10K race was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m.). I had oatmeal with milk, dates, and brown sugar, and a cup of tea before heading out. I brought along a chocolate Gu and Gatorade.
It was raining the whole way there, and I was bummed. The temp was fantastic--59 degrees! But I really didn't want to get soaked before the race even started. When I got to the park, it wasn't pouring rain, but it was a steady drizzle. Better than a downpour, at least!
I decided to do two out-and-back routes from the car (a 3-miler and a 5-miler, in different directions). As soon as I started running, I realized that it was going to be MUCH better than last week's long run! I felt fantastic. Last week, I was so sluggish and tired--due entirely from a week at my sister's of eating restaurant food, lots of junk food and beer. Today, however, I could feel was different.
After my first mile, I looked at my Garmin and saw I was running a 9:54/mi pace--too fast. I knew I couldn't maintain that pace for the whole 14 miles, so I deliberately tried to slow down (but not TOO much). However, after a mile, I stopped feeling so fantastic. I can't really pinpoint what was wrong, but I just wasn't feeling nearly as good as the first mile.
But, I kept going, running in the rain. At about mile 3.5, I saw a doe and her fawn! It was adorable. They just froze and looked at me, and I was terrified to be close to them (my dad and brother were attacked by a buck one time, so deer scare me). I stopped to at least take a picture:
|(I didn't say a GOOD picture)|
I planned the last part of 8th mile to end right at the packet pick-up. There were a ton of people there when I showed up. So I went in and picked up my race shirt and bib. I saw Jessica in there (she decided just yesterday to run the race as well). She thought the race shirts were hideously ugly, but I kind of like them. Unfortunately, they are cotton shirts and not tech shirts, so I don't know that I'll ever wear it. Actually, never mind--I'm wearing it right now ;)
I saw my friend Stephanie, and said hello to her. Her two boys were running the "Ducking Dash" (and Jessica's boys were all running it as well). I stood around (freezing cold, because I was soaked from head to toe and I had stopped running 20 minutes prior). After the kids' run, we lined up at the starting line. I went to the back, knowing I was going to run a slower pace today. I started the race with Stephanie, and figured I would try and keep about the same pace as her, since she said she was aiming for "under 11:00/mi pace".
When the race started, she was going much faster than 11:00/mi! It was actually more like 10:00/mi, so I didn't try and keep up with her. After a half-mile or so, she ran ahead. I couldn't believe that I was literally one of the last people in the race. My pace wasn't SNAIL-like or anything--I was running just over a 10:00/mi, and there were only about 10 people behind me.
There was a short out-and-back first, and I saw Jessica on the way back while I was going out. She seemed to be running really well. I was keeping pace with a girl for a while, and we were the only two people around. The rest of the crowd was a quarter mile ahead, and the very last people were behind us quite a ways. So I finally decided to pass her, but I was careful not to push my pace too hard.
At around mile 2, I saw Stephanie ahead of me by a quarter mile or so. I really just wanted the race to be over already, and I had a long ways to go. So I decided to see if I could "catch" Stephanie. She was doing REALLY well--she had hopes of beating her last (and only) 10K time, which was 1:10:xx. I had a very hard time catching up to her, because my legs were feeling pretty dead!
We turned into a path lined with wood chips in the woods. Stephanie was less than a tenth of a mile ahead, so I was trying HARD to close the gap. Eventually, I called out to her, and we started running together. I wasn't sure if I should have done that or not, because I didn't want to step in if I wasn't wanted--she had a goal for the race, and I was only doing it as part of a training run. I told her to go at her own pace, regardless of what mine was, but we ended up sticking together.
The last two miles were tough. Running on the wood chips was difficult--my legs felt heavy. We also had to run on wooden bridges, which were slippery from the rain; and a gravel path. The last mile, I really felt like I wanted to just lie down and
When my Garmin beeped at 14 miles, I realized I could just walk the rest of the way if I wanted, but since I was so close to the finish, I decided to run it in. I told Steph to go ahead of me for the finish, so I didn't ruin her finish line picture ;)
My race results:
Chip time: 1:05:02 (10:29/mi pace)
Overall place: 84 out of 106
Female 30-34 place: 8 out of 11
My splits for the entire 14 miler: