Last Monday I made the last minute decision to run the Fleet Feet Women's 10K on Sunday. I realized looking over some past races I haven't run a 10K since 2006! Either there aren't a lot of 10K races or I am never looking for them instead choosing to focus on the half or full marathon distances.
Race morning came early after a night of not sleeping well. I had originally planned on having to walk to the race start (less than a mile away from my condo) but the husband rolled out of bed early to go golfing at the city course right by the race so he dropped me off a little closer to the start. Since he was golfing this was my first race I went to completely alone. It ended up being not as bad as I thought it would be ;) I arrived about 30 minutes before the race start and tried to stay hydrated. It was humid! Luckily, there was cloud cover or I most likely would have walked the course instead. I lined up about 10 minutes before the start and snapped a quick picture.
There were a lot of announcements but there was one that had me choke up a bit and remind me why I run. I didn't know but the race donated to/was sponsored by "Catch Your Breath" which is a women's lung health group. She thanked us for being there, asked us to take a deep breath and see how good it felt, then reminded us of all those people who would love to be out here with us but couldn't because they had diminished lung capacity/problems breathing. I'm very glad I can catch my breath and run for those that can't:)
Like I said it was a humid morning. As soon as I started running the sweat started rolling off of me and I knew this was not a day to break any records. I decided to push myself to my abilities that day and enjoy the morning with 3000 other women runners.
Mile 1 went by quickly enough as I passed the clock just under 9 minutes. As we headed North and then turned back South along the lake there was a nice breeze coming off the lake but it seemed to drag on forever. Before mile 3 the 5K runners were splitting off and the 10K runners were on my usual running path. As I turned to my right I cursed myself for not signing up for the 5K ;) I made sure to stop at every water stop (except 1) since I hadn't brought my own water and ended up walking through the stop. I take racing in the heat seriously, especially after my 2007 Chicago marathon experience, and I wanted to make sure no to overheat too much! Oddly enough my slowest mile was the one where I didn't stop to walk and take in any fluids. Miles 3-4 went by quickly enough and I seemed to be keeping the pace around 9 minutes or just under. Miles 4-5 I really felt the heat. My legs and lungs were fine but I was just exhausted. I dialed it back until just after passing the mile 5 clock. I ended up finally picking it up when I could see the finish line, passed a few ladies, and broke the 8 minute barrier for the last 1/2 mile.
At the finish line I found sweet relief in the cooling fan race organizers had set up. I tried not to linger too long to make sure everyone else could enjoy the cool mist. There was decent food but all I wanted was a water and to head home to shower. I had plans to meet the husband for a yummy brunch at The Southport Grocery. Some of the best breakfast and lunch food in the city that only seats about 30 people. So you need to get there early or wait for awhile.
According to the B chip results I finished in 56:28, about a 9:06 average. Way off any sort of PR but it was my best on this day.
Even though I was by myself I had a lot of fun. It was nice to have all the guys cheer us on and not competing against us. I don't know if it was the weather, lack of testosterone, or just me but atmosphere was completely different; it seemed a lot less intense. A fun race AND we received a super cute running shirt and reusable bag. It doesn't get much better than that :) As usual Fleet Feet put on a fantastic race!