I was nervous about this run. Would I be able to maintain a decent pace at the start and not burn out early? Would THE HILL eat me alive? Would I meet my goal pace of at least 12:52 minutes per mile? Would I stay injury free?
I could barely sleep last night. I drank a ton of water, then went to bed at 9pm, yet couldn't get to sleep until after 10pm. I woke up at midnight, and again two hours later. At 2:00am, I ate some turkey, swiss and Dave's Killer bread before going back to sleep for another few hours. When I woke, I drank my Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster (link here) and quickly got dressed.
I was going to wear a tutu today, and brought it with me, but since I didn't see any others there with a tutu, I just left it in the car. As a note, after the race, I saw three women in tutu's. I will wear it at next month's race as that one is a costume race.
We got to the grounds and it was wonderful. First, you hear steel drums being played over loud speakers. When you walk up, you are greeted by a giant pirate figurine and you see tiki's and torches all over.
The line to get our packets and shirts was very short and fast. It took less than 5 minutes to get our stuff and put on our bibs. There were a lot of neat vendor booths as well for browsing about before the race.
There was 548 runners in the 10K race. My goal was to stay as far away from faster runners as possible because I still have no self-control in Starting Line pacing. Or so I thought! I stood way in the back and set my iPhone music to start on the song "EASY" by Lionel Ritchie. My friend Christine, who is really fast, was up with all the gazelles.
At the start of the countdown, I started the music on my iPhone, and pulled back immediately to MY pace and IT WORKED!!! I was being passed by a lot of people at the gate, but that was not affecting me. I kept pace. I thank Lionel Ritchie for that.
A speed walker passed me at the half mile mark. I never saw him again. At around one mile I started noticing that I was now passing some of those who had passed me. My monitor said I was still on pace, so I kept going.
At the first water table I pinched the cup (which I heard makes it easier) and still I ended up with water going up my nose. What a dork! I must practice that.
The path went through some very nice natural meadows and woods. The first problem I had was at just around 1.5 miles we started up a slightly steep hill leaving the natural area and going into neighborhoods. I only saw one person actually running this part. I then noticed my 12 ounce bottle of Nuun was down to just 4 ounces and I hadn't even drank any of it yet. I downed it all, then stopped running long enough to take my ampiphod belt off, loop my now empty bottle through it and put it back on with the bottle behind my back. Then I began running again. The incline went on for some time and here is where I started passing more people. My goal here was only to keep my heart rate level.
Going down hill was a nice change. We wound through some nice residential areas, then into some wooded areas. I was surprised to find the trail turned to dirt. Luckily, there was wood chips in most of the muddy spots. It was beautiful!!! I loved this section.
Somewhere in there, at 3.4 miles I ate my 5 SPORTS BEANS (link here).
There were bathrooms along the way (being as we went through park areas) but I was fortunate being able to keep going. Some had lines.
At the 4 mile mark my iPhone MapMyWalk announced my pace. At that point, it was 11:02. I yelled out "YES!" and fist pumped the air. I felt GREAT! (I suspect that was about when the Sports Beans kicked in).
Coming out of another area of the park, there was a young man directing traffic. This was where the 5K route and 10K route merged. I was about to smile and say "Thank you!" (as I always thank the volunteers), when I heard him speak on the radio: "I am seeing the last of the 10K stragglers coming in". EXCUUUSSE ME?!?!?!
I am having the race of my lifetime, and I am a STRAGGLER? That HURT! By the way, according to my placing, there was almost 100 others behind me out of a race with 548 runners so at least I wasn't alone.
Around the corner from him, was THE HILL.
THE HILL was not my friend. I made it most of the way, then when my heart monitor started yelling at me, I walked the rest of the way. Even walking, my heart rate didn't want to go down until I reached the peak.
THE HILL made casualties out of every one I was near. Not one single person in my group was running it by the time they got closer to the top. Even those that looked ultra-fit were walking it. My friend Christine (who was way ahead of my pack of stragglers) nailed it. She eats hills. She rocks.
I ran the rest of the way down. In fact, I ran paces of 8.5 to 9.5 for that mile. I caught up with two girls that I had been running behind the first few miles. I even passed them. My heart rate was a sweet 165. If my knee was stronger, I could have ran that decline at 7.5-8.5 instead. (Sports Beans again?)
Then I came back to the village area. My Garmin said I had already ran 6.2 miles though as I was entering it. Then, the trail in the village felt like it didn't end. I wanted to see the finish line and couldn't so I put it into kick gear and ran an 8 minute pace. That was dumb. My heart rate hit 183. I then had to throttle way back down. I didn't hit kick-gear again until I was approaching the finish line. Then I let it go all out and crossed it. I suspect that my finish photo (if they caught it) will be goofier than heck. I can't tell if I was dancing over the line, jumping over it, or what. But I felt ECSTATIC. Then, I felt wobbly. Luckily, my friend was there to guide me away as she handed me a water bottle. Gotta love her for that. I really felt wobbly. Isn't that supposed to happen only in Half marathons and marathons?
After we walked my run out a bit, and I downed a banana and water, we went and stood in line for our chicken. The young guys behind us were talking. I heard one say he can't believe how wobbly he felt at the finish. YES!!!! It wasn't just me!!! Here I am with the pirate again, after my 6.2 miles.
The race organizers printed the results and put them out for us to see. It said I ran it in 1:11:54 with an average pace of 11:12. This could only have occured if the race distance was 6.42 miles. A 10K is 6.2 miles, right? My Garmin said it was 6.38. I have never seen my Garmin be that far off. In fact, it was right on the money on the markers through out the race. hmmmmmm Then, I got a text tonight and a link. It shows the same finish time, but a slower pace. it appears they shortened the distance to 6.2.
My Official Race Time:
01:11:54 for a average pace of 11:35 minutes per mile.
I am STILL EXCITED!!!! I totally beat out my pace on every single 5K race I ever participated in and I did it running TWICE the distance. Also, NO INJURIES and no strains.
Thank you Get Fit Live Fit for the great training plan.
Thank you Energy Events for a great race.
Here are a few more shots from the day - including that AMAZING hot chicken and rice dish they served and the guy who gave me the post-race Jamba juice that caused the most intense brain freeze.