Spinx Run Fest Downtown 10k #1
This is exactly the kind of race I hoped for when it became my first come back race after injury. Not only was I able to run strong but the competitive bug bit me again. While my credit card is not exactly happy that all my spring races increase in price tomorrow (aka I’m registering today) the competitive racer in me is more than happy to register for all those races. (More on that in a later post.)
Now to the race at hand.
Going into the race I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to perform. That’s thanks to a new exercise the PT added at my last appointment. (More on that in a later post as well.) He added walking lunges and even a couple rounds holding a rather small kettle bell. You wouldn’t think that they were hard but my legs are crazy sore. It’s frankly ridiculous. They’re still sore now but thankfully they did not hold me back during the race.
By the time we arrived at University Ridge to park, the lot was almost completely full so we had a nice walk to warm up. We timed our arrival just a little too close. Thanks to the long lines at the bathroom Mom didn’t have a chance to go one last time. (That comes into play later.)
We moved into the street to line up. I didn’t want to get too aggressive and get too close to the front. However, I always have a hard time with this. We probably could have gotten closer and still been just fine.
Since I was going to play my music without headphones Mom left her phone and headphones behind. (This will also come into play later.)
30 seconds before 8:15 we were off.
The first mile was our slowest but still pretty good. I had no idea what kind of pace I would feel comfortable running. Turns out, it was sub 9.
Most of the first mile is downhill which also means that a lot of the last mile is uphill. So much fun. We weren’t able to go quite as fast thanks to all the weaving around slower runners.
I was feeling really good. I thought I might have felt something around the right knee at first but it went away. I think it may have been a wrinkle or something in my capris that smoothed out as I kept running.
Mile 1: 8:49
A little ways into mile 2 Mom mentioned that she needed the restroom. She didn’t think she would make it through the rest of the race if she didn’t find one. I promised to keep my eye out.
Honestly, I didn’t really want to stop. I was feeling great, really strong and had no idea what a break a little before halfway would do to my mojo.
There wasn’t anything available for the rest of the mile. We kept looking and our pace kept increasing. That’s one way to motivate Mom. ;)
I still felt great and tried to remember to maintain good form: tuck my stomach in, keep my arms from swinging across my chest. Remembering is harder to do than it seems.
Mile 2: 8:13
I figured we might either run past the restrooms near the zoo or at the very least there would be portopotties of some kind in the park. Thankfully I saw one as we entered the park. I pointed it out to Mom. Right away she told me that I could go on without her. I really hated doing that because I had planned to run with her and that would mean that she wouldn’t have any music for a little under four miles. I still was feeling great so I kept going.
Mile 3 held plenty of hills. We climbed up one in the park and I kept plugging away, still feeling strong. If I was going to split from Mom because I was feeling good, I had better put in a good performance for the rest of the race.
Mile 3: 8:28
To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the individual miles for the rest of the race. I just remember feeling good and wanting to keep pushing. I also realized that I way over dressed. I was fine wearing my blue longsleeve yesterday in very similar weather but that was in the dark at a much slower pace.
Mile 4: 8:05 – plenty of downhills on this mile
Mile 5: 8:22 – more uphills
The last mile got annoying. We rejoined the swamp rabbit trail and then the road right where the trail emerges by Linky Stone Park. The course turns right to head up the hill of death. (That’s what I’ve named it because of how I felt at mile 25 of my first marathon aka right there.)
At that point the 5k merged from the other side (the Linky Stone Park side) with the 10k course. The timing of these races was way off. I spent the last mile weaving around and trying to avoid the way back of the pack 5kers, the out for a stroll walkers and those pushing strollers. The coned off lane is also incredibly narrow here so one person pushing a stroller took up the whole lane. I had no choice but to run in the road on the other side of the cones.
To put my frustration in perspective, the half marathon winners finished just a few minutes (5 or so) after I did. Not only did they have to battle the same stragglers but also the middle of the pack 10k runners. For someone running a 1:20 half marathon (or faster) I cannot imagine how frustrating this must be.
We continued up the hill outside the park, the same one we ran down to start the race, and had to weave around even more walkers, slowed by the hill.
When we entered Flour Field I wanted to take off in a sprint. I was able to increase my pace significantly but no where like what I wanted because these people were still walking or jogging very slowly on the fairly narrow warning track.
Finally there was a gap right before the finish line and I took off.
Mile 6: 8:17
.13 (Mom’s measured short too): 0:46
Chip time: 51:35
Not too shabby for a come back race.
I made my way up to the stairs passing the volunteers handing out the printed mugs. (My opinion, once again, is that they should have saved the money they spent on the stupid mugs and gotten medals that differentiated between half and full marathon.)
I grabbed a water and some grapes and hurried over to the section of the stands where I could come down and get a picture of mom finishing without being obstructed by the net.
Unfortunately, this was all I got.
When I went to start the burst, a reminder popped up. I thought I got more pictures but technology foiled me.
Despite the bathroom break, Mom did fantastic! She finished first in her age group less than 30 seconds behind 3rd place grand masters!
I have more thoughts on the race but I’ll save those for that later post I mentioned. We’re off to Skytop Orchard for some apple cider donuts. :)