I did a positively delightful job of carb-loading for this race. And yes, I realize that it’s a 10k and you probably don’t need to carb load, but I did and I did it well. Unfortunately for you I can’t really back that up with pictures, but suffice it to say I spent Thursday night at La Parmigiana eating bread and pizza made by angels and supplementing that with a glass of wine and then supplementing THAT with some frozen yogurt. BOOM. Carb-load Thursday happened. Then Friday I continued on my carb-session by making a very complex meal of Kraft Organic Mac ‘N Cheese and leftover corn bread. Oh and maybe a pumpkin beer. But don’t worry, it was healthy cause I added in frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower and frozen peas. Which totally ramps up the nutritional value, obviously. I also made sure to not work out on Friday, so my legs were super fresh on Saturday morning… it had nothing to do with accidentally missing my yoga class because of stupid Friday traffic.
Since I can’t show you any of my delicious carbs, I’ll show you this instead… any time I try to take a picture of Leo he gets really close to the camera and is adorable… you’re welcome.
Saturday morning started the exact same way as every other race of my life – be it swimming or running – has started… with peanut butter and banana toast. This is a strategy I’ve been using for 20 years and it hasn’t failed me yet.
I set out around 6:15am to do a warm-up mile around the neighborhood. I am a huge fan of warm-up miles because my legs usually think I’m joking about running until we get through at least a mile and they realize I’m serious and they actually have to move somewhat quickly. I started in capris and when I got home I ditched those for tempo shorts instead, even though it was 60* out and felt amazing. I figured at some point I’d be hot (I was) so it was a good move. When I got home I woke my faithful photographer up and after loading him up with coffee we were off. There were quite a few races going on this weekend, but the FBC Greater Things race was so close to my house that it didn’t make sense to go anywhere else.
Now is a good time to mention that when I switched out of my capris and into tempos I couldn’t find any that matched my shirt (I didn’t look very hard). But I wanted to wear the same shirt because it’s loose and comfortable (ok and it was brand new, so it was begging to be worn – thank you Target clearance). So I don’t match. And I don’t care.
I am 100% convinced that I am ALWAYS going to be late to races so I made us leave the house at 7 so I had time to pick up my packet. The race didn’t start til 8:15-8:30 and it took us a whopping 10 minutes to get there… whoops. That left plenty of time to take pictures. Sean was trying to be artsy which is how we ended up with this gem:
and all together now:
Now is a good time to go ahead and tell y’all I was gunning for a PR and I was really aiming for a PR under 50 minutes. My last 10k went fantastically well and it was done in very hot, humid conditions. This time I was paired up with PERFECT running weather and I have been working really hard to improve my times, so I was hopeful. My stomach, however, was not having it and was in an all-out revolt. I stopped by the bathroom at the race at least 3 times, every time praying that my stomach would chill the eff out. I was also trying to be level-headed that I have been focusing on distance over pace and to not get disappointed if I didn’t PR. After some pretty discouraging 5k races, I opted to go for the 10k to give myself a mental break from beating myself up over not getting faster 5k times.
I can’t really say enough good things about this race. The volunteers were fantastic. Of course, I may be a little biased because Heidi was a volunteer
I have a knack for holding my hands in awkward positions. Here is another attempt at Sean being artsy:
And here’s further proof that I can’t keep my hands in normal positions:
Note that my sunglasses are on top of my head in all these pictures. This was a stupid mistake on my part because when I went to take them off the top of my head and put them on my face it also took my headband off so right when the race started I was busy putting it back in my hair as evidenced in the following picture:
This also means I started my Garmin a little late because I was busy messing with my hair. Lame. As you can see from the above picture, this was a really small race. Not a lot of people ran the 10k. It was an out and back course that started at the church, wound through a GORGEOUS neighborhood and then came back around. The setup was unparalleled to ANY race I’ve been to thus far. They had really nice and obvious markers every km so you knew where you were, they had several water stations set up that you passed more than once and the course itself was just plain awesome. I will be running there again VERY SOON. I started out way too fast per the usual – when I first looked down at my Garmin it read in the 6:xx minute pace, so I had to check myself and slow it down a bit (a lot). I backed off to about an 8:15 pace and tried to keep one guy in my sight. There was one girl that I knew of that was running in front of me and I knew before she did that she started off ambitiously – right before the race she said she was hoping to not come in last and when the race started she took off running like crazy.
After mile 1 I passed her. I felt fantastic. I hovered around the same pace for most of my miles and was really enjoying the scenery. Oh and another mishap: somehow my iPod got stuck on repeat of one song so I had to manually change it after every song. Kind of annoying but not detrimental. I kept telling myself that if I maintained an 8:15 pace I’d be on track to at least finish around the same time as my prior 10k PR and if I could speed it up a bit I’d PR. If I could speed it up to an 8 minute pace I’d come in under 50 minutes.
Now is a good time to mention that about mile 4.5 I was really worried that I was starting to lose steam. And then I thought of this lovely lady and I thought about her race where she decided she was just going to go all out the whole time. I pictured her and my sometimes-running partner Britt running with me and it boosted me up to go faster. I thought of Tara running her 21 miles that same morning and how proud I was of her and I thought of Heidi waiting at the finish line and how before I took off she told me that I better come in with no one around me and I better come in fast. So I picked it up.
I felt like I was flying the last mile. By the time I hit the main road that took us back to the church I felt like I was all out sprinting. When I rounded the corner to the finish line I saw Sean crouched down taking pictures (I adore him, have I mentioned that?).
I sailed through.
Official finishing time: 48:56
I could have cried I was so happy.
My Garmin clocked the course at 6.1 but I’m not sure if that’s because I cut the tangents really well (I did) or if it was just short (don’t care). Either way it doesn’t matter because I still would’ve come in under 50.
I was ecstatic.
One really big plus to small races, aside from not having to really worry about weaving and all that good stuff: I was the first woman finisher in the 10k. BOOM. There were some speedy folks here too – the first male finisher finished in 42 minutes.
Overall: I would definitely run this race again because the course was so beautiful and everyone was really friendly. It didn’t hurt that I won a free Chik Fil A tray in the raffle either. I am almost always bribed by food. The course was set up really well, there were plenty of water stations and they had people set up throughout the course to cheer you on. My one and only complaint: no chip timing.
Do you like big races or small races? I love smaller races. LOVE them.