My recap is FINALLY here! Sorry to be such a procrastinator, but I have been absolutely exhausted this weekend.
The week before my 10K I made sure to do everything “right.” I got miles in, but didn’t over-train. I ate right, focused on stretching, and felt prepared. The seams in my socks were starting to bother me, but I bought a pair of seamless socks and also bought a 10K sticker for my Jeep (hoping I wouldn’t jinx myself).
I never feel good before a race. I’m always terribly nervous, and I’m constantly worried the week of the event that I wont be able to finish the race. For whatever reason, I felt confident all week that I would be able to finish this 10K. I didn’t care if I was the last person to cross the finish line. I had 3 goals for this race, and I felt like I would accomplish them:
1) No injuries 2) Finish 3) Place a 10K sticker on the back of my Jeep
The race was held in Anderson, SC, about 30 minutes from our house and began at 11 pm.
We left around 8:30 to pick up our friends Robin and Tyler who live in Simpsonville, about 20 minutes from our house. Robin was running with me and Andrew and Tyler were going for support.
We arrived to the race around 9, picked up our packets and checked out our swag. We were given a nice tech shirt, a drawstring bag, hairspray, candy, and discount flyers for future races. The parking lot had several vendors including GNC, Girls on the Run, and several food stations. There was even a zip line for kids. As we were walking around, my socks started bothering me again, and it felt like the seams were rubbing against the outside of my little toe on each foot. Then I remembered I was wearing seamless socks. I readjusted my shoes several times, hoping this wouldn’t become an issue while I was running.
The 5K began at 10 p.m., and we watched the finish before heading to our start. The winner of the 5K crossed the finish in under 15 minutes. He was absolutely incredible to watch. He then raced in the 10K and finished in either 1st or 2nd — amazing.
The gun went off at 11, and we were off. Immediately, my toes were uncomfortable. I took a second to tighten my shoe, then got back in a groove with Robin. The first mile was great. It was completely downhill. As we were approaching the first mile marker, a man next to me told me to look across the street at Mile Marker 5. We would be running up the same hill at the very end of our race! Ugh! I just kept going and tried to enjoy running downhill for the moment.
Mile 1- 11:43
A water station was set up around the mile and a half mark. I stopped to tighten my shoes because they were bothering me again. I grabbed two cups of water and poured one on top of my head and the other down my neck. The humidity was intense, and I needed to cool off. I was running with a Fuel Belt and used the water in my bottles to drink. This is when I started to notice the hills. We would run downhill, only to have to run right back up. It was tough.
Mile 2- 13:52
My shoes were still irritating my toes but I kept trucking on. I looked behind me and noticed some people behind us so I was happy that we weren’t in the very back of the pack. We passed AnMed Hospital around this time, and it put a smile on my face. I gave birth to my son Connor at that hospital almost 7 years ago. It was pretty neat to be in the middle of completing a dream right beside the place that I reached my dream of becoming a mother. We hit mile 3 and Robin looked at me and said, “Just a 5K to go!” I kept reminding myself “A 5K – you’ve done 7 of those. You’ve done 2 8K races. You will finish this.”
Mile 3- 13:54
After this mile Robin and I noticed a bus was behind us and right on our tails. I thought at first that we must be the last ones running and the bus was following us to the finish. But, then I remembered that I saw several people behind us earlier and I didn’t remember anyone passing us. The turnaround was around mile 3. I took a GU Chomp and decided to run with half of it in my mouth. I, of course, started to gag and had to chug water to get it down. I began a walk/run pattern around this mile as well. The hills and humidity were getting to me. My feet were hurting too and that was a bit discouraging. I have never had pain in my feet before and I just knew it was from my shoes.
Mile 4- 14:41
There was another water stop here and an adorable little boy was helping to hand out water. I took a second to walk to him and made sure I got my two cups from him and told him thank you. Again, I threw one cup of water on my head and the other down the back of my neck. I was running when I did this and the one I threw down my neck went onto the ground instead of my neck. I had no relief at all.
Again, this mile was extremely hilly and I was on the brink of hitting a wall. I was so hungry at this point and almost every single building on the street was a restaurant. I also knew where we were in relation to the finish line because I lived in Anderson a few years back. That really began to play with my head. I am not a fan of out-and-back courses and knowing how far I still had to go really started to fatigue me.
Mile 5- 14:46
I hit the wall once I crossed mile marker 5. I knew I was going to finish, I knew I wasn’t going to be last (the bus finally left Robin and I after about a mile of being on our heels), and I knew I’d have that sticker on my car. I also was now on that horrible hill that went straight up to mile marker 6. I told Robin to break away from me at that point. She had been with me this far and she was so close to being able to PR her 10K time and I knew that if she stayed with me she wouldn’t be able to. I also kind of wanted that last mile to myself. She didn’t want to leave me at first but I told her I’d be right behind her and I would finish, and I wanted her to PR.
In a way I think knowing that I was going to finish kind of hurt me. I didn’t push as hard as I did in the beginning. But, mostly it was that horrible hill. It was the worst one that I’ve encountered in a race and I’ve only ran one flat course. I walked the entire mile. I hit my last water stop here and poured one cup down my neck, took a few sips and poured the rest on my head. The volunteers here were so nice, and told me I was doing a great job and that I was almost there.
My toes were so cramped at this point and I knew this would be the last time I ran a race in my Mizuno shoes. It may sound funny to some of you, but these are the shoes that started my journey in January and I can’t part with them. I may not wear them again but I’ll never throw them away. I was also thinking that I had to step up my training after this race because in October I’ll be adding 4 miles to a 10K and then in February I’ll be adding 7 miles to a 10K. I was seriously having a full on conversation with myself in my head! I kept thinking too about how hopeful I am that Andy will be able to run those two long races with me. I know I can finish both if he is with me, but I have my doubts if he isn’t well enough by then.
As I was thinking all of these things I noticed a “media guy” approaching me. I saw his shadow and the big lens of his camera walking toward me. I was thinking, “Great, they are coming to tell me to hurry up, that I’m the last one on the course.” As I got closer I realized the “media guy” was Andrew with a big grin on his face.
He started telling me how proud he was of me and that I was almost done. I told him to hurry back to the finish line because I was going to run once I got to the top of the hill.
Mile 6- 17:35
I got to the top of the hill and ran the next .27 miles in 3 minutes 27 seconds. I finished my first 10K in 1:29:56, my pace was 14:21 and I burned 604 calories.
We were all very hungry after my finish. We went to Waffle House then Robin, Tyler and I fell asleep in the car while Andrew drove us back to their house. We dropped them off and Andrew and I got home and finally crawled in bed at 2:58 AM.
I am happy that I finished, I am happy that I am injury free, and I am happy that I was able to put my sticker on my Jeep. My feet were better as soon as I took my shoes off. My legs have been a little sore but thankfully I haven’t had any major issues. I plan on doing another 10K after the 10-Miler to try to PR. Overall, I am proud of myself, and I’m super excited that I can finally say that I finished a 10K!