Race: 10K, start time 9:00, temperature 45 degrees, sunny
This race was kind of a toss up for me. I didn’t really have any expectations, although I was pretty sure I was not going to do as well as I did last year (8:19 overall pace). It was just going to be a “let’s see” race, going by how I was feeling these days. Then I saw on our Moms Run This Town Facebook page that someone was looking for some company during the race. Pace to be 8:45. 8:45 was the pace that I have been targeting all of my full marathons (BQ attempts) for over the last few years. You’d think I would be able to pull that off for just 6 miles, right?? I agreed to join in at the 8:45 pace, but I got really nervous about the race. Running with friends? What if I crash and burn like I did at the OH/MI race earlier this year?? Ugh. I haven’t seen a lot of “8:” paces on my watch lately.
I volunteered at the race parking this year. I grumbled when I saw the meeting time as 6am. The race started at 9am, so I thought I was getting an easy gig, maybe arriving at 7am! I do run regularly at times earlier than 6am, but to have a race outfit planned, ready to go, complete with some makeup and my hair brushed prior to 6am??… that was asking a lot. Saturday night I started packing my race day bag full of everything I could think of. The forecast was for 37 degree weather at 6am, and 45 degrees at 9am. I grabbed gloves, sunglasses, a hat, long sleeve, short sleeve, headband, everything I could think of. I like to be prepared!
Volunteering at races makes me extra appreciative of the volunteers at the races I’m running at! Here are the computers I helped set up at the race tent.
With some good thinking on my behalf, I packed a headlamp (SUPER handy for setting up at the race), and wore some sweatpants over my race clothes. I also had those gloves (thank god!) and a warm jacket, so I was pretty comfortable during my volunteering. I also got to see this beautiful sunrise over the apple orchards and parking area! Directing cars to a parking lot was actually a pretty easy, sweet gig. I got to wave Hi to a lot of people I knew when they were arriving. I even got to use a walkie-talkie. So official! I’d do it again.
When race time got closer, I met up with several friends from the Moms Run This Town group. Love this group – we are always helping out each other with support, ideas and inspiration! This was only part of our group. We really need to get a flag so we can all find each other at races 🙂
I ditched my warm clothes. The sun was coming out and it felt good! I thought I would freeze in my Run Toledo Ambassador singlet, but in the end I think I picked out a very good outfit. Anything more and I would have been uncomfortable.
Finally it was race time! I decided to try out some Run Gum for my race. I figured I would need the extra energy, and I was very happy it did work well! I chewed 2 pieces about 10 mins before the race while I did my warmup run. When the race started I was with my friend, Danielle who had suggested the 8:45 goal pace. She was going a bit faster than 8:45 for the first mile. We had both agreed that it was fine to let the other person run their own pace if they were having a good day. I decided just to keep it a little slower and stick closer to 8:30. She passed me. I know she is very capable of a faster pace, so I just let her go. I was listening to music and my race was going pretty good, no problem with it. She did stay in my sight though.
The course was 2 loops. By the time I was hitting the end of the first 5K, Danielle was getting closer to me. Maybe she was slowing a bit? I did feel my Run Gum really kicking in, so my mile was a bit faster. Either way, I ended up passing her at the half way mark. Here we are when we met up half way through… (I tried really hard to get a good race picture “shoulders down”, “look at camera”, “smile”, “no freaky jazz hands”, “lift feet off ground”, “wear sunglasses to avoid squinting”… I think my logic worked!)
This race wasn’t anything like last year, where I had some pretty decent negative splits, but I was keeping a very solid pace which made me happy. (except for that burst of energy at the half way point – Run Gum, or race photographer power?? who cares!
After the halfway, I was getting overheated, so I pulled off the arm warmers. Wasn’t sure what to do with them, so I just tied them to my tank top. Looks like I’m laughing in this picture. Race joy! ha!
The finish line was in sight, so I picked it up just a little (barely!), and finished in 52:14…. After I crossed the line I waited for just a few seconds, and there was Danielle crossing behind me! I had no idea she was so close behind me. Woohoo for her, she was getting a PR!! My average pace was 8:25 and she ran 8:26. Even better than plan, so big smiles were in order.
Did I mention that there were donuts and cider at the end for all finishers?? OMG, cinnamony sugary donuts are actually quite delicious after a hard run! No picture of that, because I pretty much just inhaled them really fast. LOL! Here’s another friend of mine. Such a little bundle of energy. Who do all of my friends make me look tall (I’m only 5′ 4!!)
We met up with our friends and shared some race stories. I checked the finish times, and I had placed 4th out of 20 in my age group. Nice! Last year I ran faster, but I finished 7th in the age group. I know it’s a little thing, but age group numbers matter to me! Even better though – that night I checked the official times, and someone in my age group had been bumped up to Masters winner. Yep, I was now 3rd in my age group!! LOVE when that happens. Only bad thing was I left before I could collect my pumpkin prize for 3rd place 🙂 Oh well, next year I’ll stick around a little longer if there’s any chance of a replay.
Given my pace, I’m thinking an 8:45 pace might be appropriate for my half in Columbus in 2 weeks. I’ll give it a try, and see how my day goes. My hamstrings felt pretty good during the race, but now a few days out, they are feeling the stress of running hard. Time to rest a bit.
Q: Do you use any pre-race (or during the race) energy boosts?
I really haven’t in the past – just the caffeinated GU varieties, but I have to be careful with stomach issues with that. Run Gum is a pretty cool idea, I will have to get some more!
Q: What would you be wearing for a 45 degree race?
Q: Have you raced in a costume before?
I was going for the “Run Toledo Ambassador” look that day, but there were some really good costumes at the race!