Note: I'm writing this race report about a week later, because it's just been that busy around here...
(Courtesy of the Project Life App)
My 10K race went very well. I want to add, "..despite it being warmer than I anticipated.", because it was warmer than usual for this time of year. The race also went well despite me being a nervous wreck the night before and even than morning. Glory!
I'll just add in here the next day we woke up to a lovely 60 degrees and I asked the earth why we couldn't have had that the prior morning, but I digress.
This is the 3rd year I've participated in this race and I loved this shirt the best so far; so much so I decided to wear it to run the race in. Had I checked and seen it was going to be warmer than normal I would've stuck with a running tank, especially because I've always followed the running rule of "don't wear the race day shirt until you've completed the run"... oh well. I was proud of my reason for running and wanted to show it.
I wasn't really nervous about running 6.2 miles until the night before. It's like this year came crashing down on me. I told my husband last fall was so full of anticipation and feelings of accomplishment as I finished up my half marathon training, completed that in September and then he returned from an eight-month deployment in November. "It's like then the new year came and everything came crashing down!!", I moaned. Okay, I think I actually cried for a minute.
[Once again] he was awesome in reminding me those things weren't my fault and to not be worried because I knew I could finish the race. *deep cleansing breath* *wiping tears away* "I know. You're right.", I confirmed and went to sleep.
He had duty Saturday morning, so he was up just before me wishing me luck and reminding me to just enjoy myself and not worry about the time. I groggily agreed to do just that.
So, I got up and went about my race morning ritual of heating up coffee first thing and grabbing a protein bar to go with it. I honestly wasn't really hungry yet, but I made myself drink the coffee pretty quick so it could go through my system in time for me to potty before the race. I live about ten minutes from the race location, so I wouldn't have a long drive time to get there and let my system do what needed to be done.
I dressed, made sure I had everything and headed out the door. I was grateful for a clear sky and a beautiful sunrise because my stomach was a mess of jumbles. It wasn't minutes before I decided I needed some motivational encouragement and I found one of my mantra songs, The Climb by Miley Cyrus (sorry...this is the ONLY song I love from her...) and proceeded to listen to it on repeat the whole way to the base...crying a couple of times and then reminding myself I knew I could do this.
As I pulled in the parking lot I spotted a car belonging to friends of ours. The husband was running the 10K as part of his training for a half marathon this weekend. That brightened me up a little. When I spotted them in the crowd I was even more excited.
His wife came as well and humored me with a few pictures of us together and me alone before we lined up to start. (By the way, I had a perfect potty stop before meeting up with them for pictures, which is always HUGE for me. I love when I have to go and there is time to relieve myself... small things make me happy.)
As I lined up I also chatted with a gal who told me she was a nervous wreck because she had an injury and hadn't been able to run the last five weeks. I just encouraged her with a saying I adopted the minute I heard it, "I'm a completer, not a competer." We're just here to finish and time doesn't matter. She thanked me and I wished her a good race.
There was a lot of people walking, so right away I knew one of my fears wasn't going to be realized -- I would not be the last one. :) I was seriously worried about coming in last because I've slowed up by a whole minute per mile this year.
As is always the case in my races I started out slow and steady, pushing just enough to know I wasn't going too easy and after a mile or two I started picking off the people who rushed out the gate too fast and had to stop for walk breaks. That's always my small victory and one I didn't really expect to experience with my slower running time this year. But it happened and I felt better knowing that I wasn't the only one running so slowly this year, because very few of those people ever came back and passed me again. I was actually amazed at the amount of slow runners in this race.
My friend's husband was not slow and he had told me he was shooting for a 42:00 finish, so I didn't expect to see them after the race since I planned on a 1:15 - 1:20 finish. However, around mile 2.5 there was the wife cheering me on and taking pictures with her phone. I was so tickled that she hung out to cheer me after her husband had passed by.
Even better, just after mile 4 there is a portion of the race where you're headed to the finish but you make a left turn and head out for a 2-mile loop back to the finish line (It's quite deceiving the first time to run it, but I expect it now.). My friend's husband had finished the race and they were both there cheering me on. Aww...gee...I felt really special.
So, I continued plodding along and grateful we had one more patch of wooded area to shade the warming morning. I also chatted with a few people as we skipped around large puddles in the wooded area. I try to not be one of those people who annoys other runners, but at this point in the race people usually complain about the large puddles and I always joke that this is where I feel like a trail runner. :)
I have to say that I knew I was running slower than any of my previous races, but I was running faster than I had so far this year. By mile 5 I was beginning to feel it in my legs, but I just pushed through and tried to continue my steady pace. What's funny is at mile 6 I always want to pick up my pace for that last 0.2 mile, but this time I didn't really feel like I had it in me. So, I pushed a little, but just decided I wasn't worrying about pace, so I was just going to finish strong.
As I cross the finish line I heard someone call my name and my friend had stayed to see me finish. In fact, she was videoing my finish. Awww... (okay, well, really her husband was staying because he was winning first place for the over 40 group, finishing in 42:__something.)
When all was said and done I was glad I signed up for this race. It was hard in more ways than I thought it would be when I originally planned to do it, but I finished and I finished strong. As I said earlier, it was my slowest 10K time, but my fastest average pace since I began training. In fact, I was hoping, praying for a 1:20 finish and I killed it with a 1:14 finish! Woot!
THAT is something I'm very proud of.