Anyway, 10-10-10 was the big day. The one we spent 2 months training for - 10K Day!!! The race was held in conjunction with our town's annual Pumpkin Festival and included both a 5K and 10K.
I made sure to get everything ready the night before, and get to bed at a decent hour - since the race started at 9. C and I drove to the high school to pick up our numbers together, and then had some serious time to kill. We walked around the track a few times, stretched, and tried not to psych ourselves out with the fairly fit people walking around.
There was a significantly smaller number of runners for the 10K, but as my friend K says, that's because 10Ks are the worst distance and no one likes them. Figures. We started near the back and let a majority of the pack go out ahead of us. No use tiring ourselves out in the first half mile.
Frankly, we both felt like crap. We kept a steady pace and were keeping up with a couple in front of us for a while, but lost them around a turn at one point. And then there was this young girl, maybe 12, who was running the 5K and would go really slow right up until we were about to pass her, and then she'd take off. She did this for about 10 minutes until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and sprinted by her. On a hill. Poor decision.
By the time we split off from the 5K group, which was around 3 miles for us, I was seriously wishing we had run the 5K. As we ran by the track, and woman started flailing her arms and whipped out her camera.
(All photo credit to my awesome mom)
I was not nearly as happy as this picture portrays me to be. But seeing my parents did put a smile on my face and gave me a decent push to keep going. The next mile was pretty awful. About half of it was downhill and then flat, but then it was up, up, and then straight up. My strategy in these cases is to put my head down, and turn my legs over as fast as I can, because otherwise, I won't make it.
The woman holding the sign at the top of the hill to turn was bubbly and encouraging, even though we knew we were the very back of the pack. There was only one woman behind us. Once my knees survived the steep downhill, I hit my stride. Apparently my ipod knew just what I needed:
For whatever reason, this is my current favorite running song. No idea, don't ask. And it gave me the push I needed. For exactly the next mile and a half. With about 3/4s of a mile left, there's a some short, but steep, uphill on the sidewalk. I was able to run up it, but then was pretty sure I was going to throw up. So there was some walking involved.
But then, I saw a person in front of me. Crap. My competitiveness got the best of me and I decided she needed to be passed. The last half mile or so wraps around the middle school, and the takes you down this hill of drainage rocks - which I thought was just plain mean - and then across the field and back onto the track. About halfway across the field the woman who was in front of me and I were right next to each other. We exchanged a few encouraging words and I continued past.
So at this point, I just want to stop. Lay down. And take a nap. But you've gotta go around the stupid track. And all the little high schoolers that had finished their 5K probably like, a half hour ago, were loitering around in the center field, and migrating ONTO THE TRACK. Hi, please move, I'm freakin' tired get out of my way kthanks.
The announcer comes on and says "Here comes S - coming in strong! This is her very first 10K, great job!" So my mom used to work for the middle school in town, and my stepdad for the school district - so they knew the announcer and had him throw in the part about it being my first 10K. Sweet.
Much more accurate representation of how I was feeling.
Coming in, I could see the time. I wasn't thrilled, but it was better than I thought. See, even though I had "gotten everything ready the night before" I still forgot my watch. So I wasn't sure were I was at. About Mile 5 my playlist ended, and I have an approximate idea of how long it is, so I had estimated how I was doing. At this point, I was just glad to be done, and not last. (39 out of 42 isn't that bad right!? haha)
Official Time: 1:07:17 (Mom was a little early on the picture)
Good enough to be proud of, with enough room to improve. Which is hopefully exactly what I'll do this weekend.
Oh, did I not mention we're crazy and are running another 10K on Halloween? Yup. With not nearly enough training having been done in between the two.
And I've also signed up for a 5K on Thanksgiving. And have half committed to a 5K next weekend too. Who am I?!!?