Let me preface this by saying I was really having second thoughts about even going to this race. None of my friends were doing it, and it's been so cold lately, and the thought of standing around in the cold to run a race didn't sound very appealing. I had signed up for this race early this year, as part of a "Triple Crown" series--runners who did the ShamRock 'N' Roll 10K, the Kona 10K/10-Miler, and today's Wicked Halloween 10K would receive a bonus medal after today's race. I had planned on doing the first two anyway, so I thought I might as well go for all three!
I'd already paid for the race, and this particular race company does a really great job, so I decided to go. I got up at 5:00 this morning to get ready. I dressed in my ColdGear clothes, because it was in the low 30's this morning, and then I wore my old Little Red Riding Hood costume over them. I drove up to Plymouth (about 45 minutes away) and picked up my packet, then I parked in a parking structure and headed across the street to the park where the race's start was.
There weren't very many people there at 7:00! As I was crossing the street, I noticed a Channel 4 news van with a news anchor and camera crew next to it. As soon as I saw them, I just knew they were going to ask to interview me (I was in costume, and there weren't many people there yet). I averted my eyes, and hoped they wouldn't notice me. Even when I heard them say "Excuse me" to get my attention, I pretended not to hear. But then they said, "Red Riding Hood!" so I turned, and sure enough, they asked to interview me.
Surprisingly, I am not shy or nervous in front of a camera, but I do get a little embarrassed. I almost said no, but I figured that being 7:00 on a Sunday morning, not many people would even see it, so I agreed. ;) We chatted for a couple of minutes before they started filming. It was live TV, so I will never see it, which I'm kind of grateful for. Anyway, he just asked me a couple of questions, and then it was done!
I walked around a little bit, and then stood in the "warming tent" until it was time for the race. I was so excited when a few people recognized me from my blog, and came up to say hello! That alone made me happy that I decided to go to the race.
When it was time to head out for the first wave (pace of 10:00/mi and under), I wasn't really sure where to line up. I didn't have a goal for this race. I wanted to push my pace a little, but I knew there was no way I was going to PR (a 49:22 or faster time), so I just chose to line up next to the 55:00 pacer (that's an 8:51 pace). My second best 10K time was 55:05, so I thought I could aim to beat that if I was feeling good.
There were a ton of people in costume, which was fun to look at. I chatted with the woman next to me until the race started. As soon as I started running, I could feel something was wrong. I have arthritis in my back, and it's been bothering me quite a bit lately; when I started running, I felt a pain that felt just like the arthritis, only it was down on each side of my sacrum (bottom part of my spine). It was bilateral, and didn't feel like an injury; just a weird achy feeling. I briefly considered quitting right then, but I hoped that as I ran, it would loosen up and feel better.
The 55:00 pacer quickly passed me, so I just figured I'd aim for a finish time of under an hour. My first mile was 9:08. That pain in my sacrum was still bothering me, but it was getting a little better as I ran. I started focusing on passing people. My second mile was 8:44, and then I made it a mission to catch up to the 55:00 pacer.
The whole time I was running, I had deja vu from my last 10K, the ShamRock 'N' Roll run. It was the exact same course, and I remembered each turn. I remembered catching a glimpse of the 50:00 pacer, and making it a mission to catch up to him. Today was basically the same thing, only five minutes slower.
At around mile 4.75, I passed the 55:00 pacer. I still had about a mile and a half to go, so I decided to try and hit a sub-54:00 time. I pushed myself to finish strong. Just before the finish line, I heard someone yell to me and wave (Lorenda??) and then I crossed the finish line. My Garmin read 53:37, so I was happy with that. I immediately doubled back to try and find the woman who yelled to me, but I couldn't find her (there were thousands of people there!). So I got in line for my Triple Crown medal. There were only a few people ahead of me, but after I got mine, the line was about a hundred people long! I asked a stranger to take my picture.
At the food tent, I was thrilled to see bagels from Panera. I took a Pumpkin Pie bagel and a banana. I ate the banana right away, but saved the bagel for lunch later. By that time, I was freezing, so I just headed back to my car. I watched the start of the 5K on my way back, to check out all the creative costumes.
My fingers weren't working very well when I got back to my car, so I just sat there for a few minutes thawing out. I looked at my splits, and was very happy with how well I did, considering I just ran a marathon two weeks ago, and I was having an issue with my back today.
I love the shirts that we got! They are long-sleeved, quarter-zip pullovers. The medals were pretty nice, too!
I looked up my "official" time when I got home, and it was 53:31 (8:38/mi pace).
Doing this race reminded me of how much I love the 10K distance. The 10K race is, by far, my favorite. It's short enough that it's over with quickly, you don't have to carry fuel, and I can run it without training for it; but it's long enough that it doesn't feel like a hardcore sprint, like a 5K. I wasn't planning to do much racing next year, but maybe I'll focus on 10K's, and MAYBE I'll even try for a PR (which feels impossible at this point, but hey, it could happen!).