I wasnt expecting much out of this race. After an amazing-in-every-way Half Marathon last weekend I figured the running gods wouldn’t look upon me favorably again. Pre-race logistics were horrible. The 5k started a full hour before the 10k, which meant all the streets surrounding the start were blocked. On top of that it was an incredibly nice day (Sunny and 72) so it seemed like everyone was headed downtown – I’ve never seen traffic there so backed up!! I left my house at 1pm for the 2pm start and the trip should have taken me 15 min but I didnt get parked until 1:45. The square was so full of sponsors it looked like an Expo. I had a hard time finding the packet pick up. The timing “chip” was a 2″ x 4″ hard plastic card with 4 holes. I had to untie and unlace part of my shoe to slip it on (which also meant doing the reverse in the finishing chute – ARG!). Then I had trouble finding the start. I wasnt the only one I and I took comfort in the confusion of the other runners. There were still people finishing the 5k, and the 10k start was in the same chute but facing the opposite direction. Frankly, my frustration put me in a pretty bad mood from the very beginning and I was not feelin good about this run at all!!
Luckily my friend Julie was in the 5k and found me. We are each others cheerleaders and I was in def need of a pep talk!!! She tells me of a lack of spectators, running through a construction zone, water hose water stops. Not the pick up I was hoping for. However, she had a good run despite all that so I guess I could suck it up too Plus there was the possibility of a post race beer!!!!
The start was packed with people. I felt more crowded than I did at the RNR Virginia Beach. Man, those people took off flying!!I knew I started way too fast but it was like the running of the bulls and I was scared of getting trampled! First mile down in 9:30, which is way too fast for me but luckily the crowd was starting to thin out and I could find my groove. Around mile 2 I saw the first water stop. It really was a hose, which they used to fill dixie cups and I had a little chuckle. Mile 2-4 were in a construction zone and every so often I’d feel dust hitting my lungs. I struggled through this run more than I expected. FINALLY found my stride at mile 4 and I was calmy passing people. I could tell they had gone out too fast too soon and my ease compared to their labored breathing made me feel even more relaxed. I picked up some nice speed and picked off some more people. The last 2 miles were a blur. At mile 6 I could see the finish, on a slight down hill. I knew I was going to PR regardless at that point…but if I really hauled *** I could make my goal time. I was so focused on the time and the finish I didnt see Julie cheering for me (what a sweetheart!). Chip time: 1:01:49 (Previous PR was on 10/3 and 1:05:24).
There was puke in the finishing chute and it didn’t appear like anyone was making an attempt to clean it or even pour some water on it…so the whole area smelled disgusting On top of that…I had to bend over to untie my shoe and give them back their dumb timing card. I grabbed a bottle of water and headed back to my car asap. Even with a PR, I didnt think it was a very good run. Most races I do well in leave me with a happy, I-love-everyone-and-everything feeling. After this one I just felt annoyed and grumpy. I still feel grumpy. I think I’ll go get that beer now