I never planned on running a 10K when I started my racing journey, much less with people that I work with. Running the 7K was difficult enough for me and I was not entirely prepared for it. Since then, running seven 5Ks including 2 obstacle courses is also something that I pushed to be able to accomplish.
The last couple weeks have been a little stressful, to say the least. I did not get as much running in as I had hoped. But I really felt ready to run the race. It was a part of the Twin Cities Marathon weekend! Dubbed the country's most beautiful urban marathon! My allergies were bothering me, but I really thought they weren't getting any worse. My body felt fine for the most part. Mentally, I was nervous. 6.2 miles! What had I gotten myself into!?
The course started out at the Capitol grounds, past the Cathedral, west on Summit Avenue. The turnaround was at Albert Street, then east on Summit back towards the Capitol.
When I woke up Saturday, I was able to wake up earlier than I would for a workday, The race started at 7:30a.m. and I wanted to meet the rest of my teammates and also see my bestie and her hubby. Sometime in the night, our 7 year old crawled into bed with us. He can't just sleep like a "normal" person would. He likes to make the letter "H" between my husband and I. My child is not the little peanut he used to be. So when I finally got out of bed, my back was not aligned as I would expect. It was very sore, and then I had a headache on top of it along with some sinus pain and a very dry throat. Greeeeaaatt (sarcasm)....
My hubby was dropping me off on his way into work so that I wouldn't have to worry about parking. I thought my back might get better with some movement and stretching, I popped some allergy pills and was drinking an energy drink. I know I ate something for breakfast, but right now I can't remember what it was. I just hoped the headache would go away and that my throat would feel better.
I met up with some teammates, but I didn't find my friend. So we got in the starting gate and before I knew it, it was time to start! I started out slowly, since I really didn't quite know how to pace myself. I was getting passed and I was ok with that. Within a couple minutes my throat was burning. I already needed water. I also realized I forgot my gum, which I tend to have in my mouth during races.
The first mile took us up a hill, down Marshall Ave and past the Cathedral before going on Summit Ave. The first mile seemed easy, but I also seemed to be rather slow. The second mile I noticed more people were running past me, and then there was a water stop. Between the second and third mile is when people started coming past me the other way. I didn't realize that I would really see the people passing me, but it was kind of fun to see the people I knew doing such a good job. Next year I hope to be in that crowd.
When I got to the 5K sign I saw that I was 50 minutes in. Slower than I wanted to be, but I kept on going of course. There were fewer people running around me at this point.
I reached the 4 mile mark and saw that I was at 1:04. I got excited because that would mean I knocked off about 10 minutes from my 7K race time that I had run in the spring!! I was running faster than I had about six months before! That put a smile on my face.
At the turnaround I felt myself slowing down and I was trying harder to make my legs go faster. At the last water stop I was really hoping I could pick up more speed. At this point there was really no one else around me. I remember seeing some people behind me, but I just wanted to finish. I passed the five mile mark and saw my bestie running making her way toward me. She paced beside me and cheered me on. I was still trying to make my legs go faster and yet try to talk a little bit.
As the finish line came into sight, the 5K crowd started going past me. That confused me because I really thought that they wouldn't start until two hours after the 10K started. I soon realized I had done the math wrong. I started picking up more speed as we passed the six mile flag. I couldn't wait to be done with the race and get a drink! My throat was screaming for water.
My time was 1:40:48. I had really hoped for a time under 1:30, but I wasn't going to complain for my first 10K. My bestie kept telling me, "you did it, you did it!" It means so much to me to have someone cheering me who knows my struggles.
I've learned a lot from this race and so happy to have actually finished it. I can say that I am a 10K finisher!
And next year, I'm totally running this one again!