6.2/9.3 miles down and 1/2 races done. That wasn’t so hard now was it? PIECE OF CAKE. Kind of.
Today I woke up, ate my usual race day peanut butter and apple/banana (with a side of motivational videos to get me PUMPED UP and got dressed. Right before I was heading out the door to my res hall I realized I hadn’t taken my inhaler. Which I was not going to let happen again. I took the elevator up to my room (GASP) and ran in, took two puffs, and bolted down the stairs so I could drive to where I was meeting someone else. We met up, got in my car, and parked.
While we were walking over to the corner of the parking lot where the shuttle would pick us up and I saw 2 people who I was pretty excited to see, my parents. This all happened about 30 seconds after I had finished talking about why I was nervous about running with my car key. After talking to them for approximately 3 minutes the shuttle came and I gave them the key and the other runner and I hopped onto the shuttle. 1 pump-up song later we were at the starting line.
Usually I’m posing WITH someone for these pictures but this time I wasn’t and it ended up just looking kind of weird. Including it anyways for YOUR viewing pleasure.
Pretty typical stuff. We both got water bottles and granola bars for after the race from the INCREDIBLE health food store that I love going to and checked our stuff. (I have no idea why I haven’t used a bag drop before because it would alleviate the whole I hate running with my car keys thing AND then I don’t have to leave as much stuff, like my inhaler, in the car and instead I can have it pretty close to the finish).
Raffle and free food and free water bottles. Ahh the joys of racing.
Does this bridge look familiar to any of you?
After walking to the start I decided to stay further back from the other girl from my school because I had a strategy of running the 5k slower and then speeding up during the second half (which was a continuation from the 5k course). She decided to stay with me but as soon as the horn went off (no countdown, which I thought was weird) we didn’t move and then when we did no one was running and we realized that we had stayed too far back. Also it was pretty impossible for 2,600 people to be on the pretty narrow path, which in turn made it hard to pass anyone/everyone who had been way ahead of us at the start line but walking.
Hamming it up. Obviously I was feeling good. And yes, I do run with my phone in my hand. Judge me. I dare you.
After the turnoff for the 10k things got seriously easier. There were only 600 10k runners which cleared the path for me to focus on myself and not have to think about not tripping on someone else or accidentally cutting them off. The cheers I got from my parents at 3 miles came in handy and made me realize that, yeah I can bust through these last 3 miles, NO PROBLEM.
Even though I felt like I had a lot of energy I was pretty happy when I saw this sign. Also pumpkins.
The fun thing about this race, the last half was harder than the first half! Ha! Haha! Fun! Cool! Then again, the good thing about spending most of the first 3 miles trying to figure out if or how I should pass someone let me keep some (most) of my energy for the second half.
My mile times (from Nike+) look hilarious because of how much shorter they were from the first couple of miles.
As I ran up the last couple hills I kept passing people which leads me to believe that (1) I was still behind after coming across the start 1:40 after the gun went off and (2) hills just might be my strength (?!?!?!?!).
As I rounded the second to last corner there were my parents again, cheering me on, smiling faces, cheering hands, high fiving me. And then the last corner and suddenly I still had energy and knew my leg had a sprint in them. And so off I went, kicking the last 50-ish meters.
Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k: 1:04:20
The take homes from this race were that fact that I might like hills way more than I give myself credit for. Also the fact that I had enough energy to sprint to the finish line, which means that I still had energy left. And therefore I could have gone faster. So basically, as is the case with most of my races, I’m even more motivated to race faster and again in the future.
I think 10ks are my jam; long enough to really feel like I get into a rhythm but not so long that it’s too intimidating. I’m sure some of the initial intimidation fades after running a distance a couple times. Maybe I’ll be able to say that marathons are my jam someday. Until then…