First, the 10 miles on Saturday was on a blissfully flat course and I got to spend some quality time running with some great people. I'd considered cutting the run short to save my legs for Sunday but also knew that mentally I needed to have a good long run before heading into the taper before my June 8 half marathon. So, I logged the miles and then spent the rest of the day driving to Arcadia/floating on my long run high. Upon arriving in Arcadia I spent a few hours chatting with Mom and Dad before laying out my race clothes and getting some of the best pre-race sleep I've ever gotten.
|The only race bib I've pinned to the INSIDE|
of my Team Challenge singlet. I was afraid
I'd lose it on the course!
The registration and race start/end were held at the high school and while there was no pre-registration for the race there was plenty of time to fill out a short form, grab my bib, t-shirt and use an actual bathroom (no port-a-potties!) before heading out to line up for the start. The course was an out and back route marked with cones and arrows on the road. After asking the question on Facebook I knew generally where we'd be running and didn't think it'd be very hilly. Considering my average elevation loss/gain is about 10 feet this course is what I'd consider HILLY at a 255 foot gain/loss.
After a few words from the race and fest officials, we counted down from 10 and then we were sent off on our way. I stupidly tried to keep up with the front of the pack not realizing that most of the runners were apparently running the 2 mile loop. It took me awhile to back off on my pace, plus we were running down hill right from the start, but I finally found a pace that was comfortably hard.
Mile 1: 8:14
Mile 2: 9:10
Mile 3: 9:20
We'd gotten close to the half way point and I still hadn't seen any runners coming back. It was at that moment that I realized that there weren't that many people running the 10K! I tried to hold a steady pace but going into Mile 3 we were running down hill and Mile 4 was a painfully slow uphill climb. I considered walking a few times but just kept hearing Steve (Coach B's husband) in my head when he scolded me for walking a couple of Barrington hills the week before my half earlier this spring. I knew he was right then and he was still right now so I dropped my arms and my shoulders and tried to take a few deep breaths and just kept pulling my way up the hill.
Mile 4: 9:44
Mile 5: 9:30
|Right before I had to run up the last hill|
There is a 50/50 shot that I was cursing at this point
Miles 5 and 6 were mostly small rolling hills or completely flat. There was a little head wind but it was tolerable. As I turned the last corner and headed back towards the school I saw Mom and Dad standing and cheering for me. That was the best place for them to be because I was just ready to head back up the last hill. I'm pretty sure I was still running but it felt so dreadfully slow. I just wanted it to be over at this point. There were two women at the top of that hill that were cheering all the runners on and that was amazing. If anyone from Arcadia is reading this and knows those women tell them they are AWESOME!!
There was a slight bend in the road and I could see the finish. I found a good solid kick for that final push - my Garmin said I was running a 7:XX/mi for a brief time! I crossed the finish line and felt good. Exhausted but good.
Mile 6: 9:45
Mile .2: 2:36
Official time: 58:16 - and a new PR!
However even a new PR could not delay the muscle soreness as I could almost immediately feel the hills and total weekend mileage in my quads and hamstrings. I walked a little before laying down in the grass to stretch which helped a little bit.
My cousin, Mel, was a champ and also ran the 10K. I had wanted to go back and finish with her but that last hill (and possibly the 10 miles from the day before) kicked my butt. I managed to meet her with about a quarter of a mile to go (all flat) and ran in with her. She finished like a beast cutting 20 minutes off her training time from Wednesday! Way to go, Mel!
All in all this was a fun race. For the $20 registration fee I received a t-shirt, free chicken dinner, and there were two water stops along the way. Plus it was fun to race in my hometown and get to spend time with family and catch up with friends. I'd definitely run this race again!