I’m like Margarine*?? 10k(ish) PR RR

*California Runnin says I’m like butter, because I’m on a roll!
It’s been 2 years since my last 10k.
Well, I did one in March 2011, but I had bronchitis and I’m a moron who did it anyway…and I did so horribly it doesnt count. Throwing that one out, my last 3 10k times were: 61:49, 61:43 and 61:10. A few weeks after the 61:10, was CMM 2010 and I’ve been chasing marathons ever since. Everyone knows I think 5k’s are trying to kill me, and 10k are twice the death wish. 
However, I’ve been eyeing a sub 60 10k for 2 years and I’ve been on a crazy PR streak in 2012….. 50k, Marathon, and 5k have gone down this year. My focus turned to a cheap 10k. 
Well, the MST 50k beat me up earlier this month so I held off on 10k registration (for those who missed the memo, I had a pretty bad heel bruise) until I was sure I could race it. Online registration for the race was $13 + $3.25 in Active.com processing fees. Race day registration was $17. Pretty sure that was a sign to wait it out and decide race morning. 
I still wasn’t sure when I woke up race morning. My heel had been feeling better (a little off but no pain) but I really wanted to press snooze and rest up for the Beerfest at noon. In the end the race won for one reason – I skipped my Friday workout just in case I raced. I’d be really lame if I skipped both days. 
The deal was simple – dont be a pansy and actually race this thing. The sub 60 was happening that day or I’d die trying (or just wish I was dead).
I got there super late, with barely enough time to sign up and get in a quick 1 mile warm up. No time for pictures. Luckily the day was pretty similar to when I did this race in 2010….the banner was the same and everything…it’s not like you know the difference. 
Dont act like you can tell this is recycled
Luckily, since the heat came early this year, the worst of the pollen came early. Those of you not in the South might not realize what we mean when we talk about the horrible pollen, here’s a pic of the restrooms at this race 2 years ago. 
Yeah, we breathe that stuff.
This year was a much lighter coating. 
Given there was no start mat (It was $17, I’m ok with that), I started Gary with the gun. It only took 15 seconds to cross the start, but we all know sometimes that 15 sec matters when you have a goal!
People obviously lined up all willy nilly. It felt more like a battle in Braveheart than a race, with many rushing ahead to what would surely be their doom and others completely in the way, seeming to only move forward to avoid being shot for cowardice. 
The only major hill of the race started picking people off about a half mile into the race. It was a small hill by Raleigh standards but pure evil in the context of a 10k, which was two loops so we’d have to run it again. I tucked behind two girls wearing shirts from a local half marathon and seemed to be keeping a decent pace. I dropped them after getting to the top of the hill. Check ya later! Mile 1 – 9:26
Coming back down the hill, I passed a ton of people. I always take down hills hard, its one of the perks of having quads that scare grown men. However, the heel bruising made me timid, and although it didnt hurt, I was scared to really let go. After the hill we turned onto a greenway around a small lake. There was a guy calling out the split at mile 2. He must have gotten a late start, because he called out “16:xx” Two guys in front of me complimented each other on how well they were doing. A better informed woman behind me exlaimed “That cant be right!”. It sure wasnt!! Mile 2 – 9:09
The nice flat part around the lake
Rounding the lake a girl passed me with really strange form. It almost looked like she was a marionette they way her arms and legs flailed around. It was annoying to watch, even more annoying that she was in front of me…but she was fading and I finally passed her going into the turn around to start the course over again. Mile 3 – 9:28
I knew the hill was going to suck the second time around so I tried to speed up getting there to bank some time. I think this was a horrible, horrible idea, as Gary told me my avg pace for the half mile was 8:3x. I was pooped by the time I reached the hill…I even walked a few steps of it before I mentally slapped myself back to reality – YOU’RE HERE TO PR, NOT TO WALK. Pansy. Mile 4 – 9:44. 
Mile 4 p!ssed me off and I needed to be punished. 2 miles of HURT coming up! I took the down as hard as I could and rode the momentum going back around the lake. It helped seeing my friend Ellie at this point. I cheered and since I didnt get to text her that I was coming, she was shocked to see me and yelled out, which gave me a boost. I told her I’d see her at the finish and kept on going. Gary rewarded me with a nice beep earlier than expected. Mile 5 – 8:46
Now came the hard part….trying to hold on for dear life. It all hurt – not the hurt the last miles of a marathon or 50k….a burning hurt that I am not used to. My usual mantra of “Smile every mile” morphed to “It’ll all be over soon.” Turning off the lake, I felt like it would never end. Mile 6 – 8:58
Oh, it ended….It ended too soon –  the course was short!! I was really hoping Gary was off with the many cone turn-arounds and the 56:20 that’s posted (thats 56:05 mins if there was chip time) was my super awesome 10k PR. But I looked up other people’s race reports online…and they agree it was closer to 6 miles than 6.2. Drats. 
Finish area goodies – nice spread for a small, cheap race
Way to take the wind out of a girl’s sails!!
On the flip side, at the time I was blissfully ignorant (or in denial) and was ecstatic over the huge PR. I went back to my car to grab my phone and my cowbell (Am I the only one who keeps a cowbell in her car??) and I was able to run my friend Ellie in the last half mile (some of you may remember Ellie – I badited a race so I could keep her company on her first Half Marathon).
Afterwards, and I got free tacos from the race. 
That’s not a toilet seat on her arm…..taco people gave out koozies and frisbees
I’m still mad about the course being short. I know I would have PR’d and met my goal no matter what (I def could have somersaulted less than .2 miles in 3:45), but it doesnt feel as cool as it did last week when I thought I really did it. I guess that means I have to sign up for another death trap??
Hopefully another death trap with tacos

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