I love running local races. I especially love running these smaller races in my hometown (Danville, VA) and especially when these races benefit a good cause. When I ran the Danville Shamrock 5K last month, the race benefitted the Danville Free Clinic. The Bridge to Bridge race from Saturday had all proceeds (raised over $4700) for the Danville Cancer Association. The Bridge to Bridge race consisted of a fun run, a 5K walk, 5K run, and a 10K run. I chose to do my very second 10K (the first was March 2012 and was not a fun time) in preparation for my upcoming Divas Half Marathon in N. Myrtle Beach. The race today turned out really well for me, relatively.
I had all my race items out last night ready to go in the morning since I had to depend on my dad (did the 5K walk) and sister (did the 5K run) to get to the race and they both went to bed early and we never discussed what time we would leave in the morning, etc (totally drove me crazy!). I picked up my packet from the local YMCA, which was kind of surreal because I pretty much spent every summer from like age 5 to 17 there from taking all the levels of swim lessons to then teaching swim lessons and finally lifeguarding from 2002-2004.
my bib and tshirt! I never wear race shirts, I need to make a quilt or do something useful with my collection!
I was ready to go pretty quickly but my dad and sister had to pick up their bibs before the race since they registered last night so we headed out around 8:35am. And let's be honest, no one was really sure when the race started- I thought 9:45, my sister thought 9:20, my dad had no idea haha! I was getting nervous because I had so much riding on this race (I intended to use this as my pace requirement for the Detroit Half Marathon in October) so I wanted to get a really good time and it was a short training run for my upcoming half marathon. I had my piece of peanut chikki on the drive from my parents' house and half my yummy luna bar. Let me go on a tangent for a minute and tell you how amazing this luna bar actually was- I tried it at the PHM expo and I was instantly hooked so I grabbed a box when I saw they were on sale at Target couple weeks ago. They are delicious and not overly sweet that many of the chocolate nutrition bars (hello balance bars!) can get and it had a nice crunch from the coconut.
We got everything sorted out and then while we were at the Community Market, we saw that one of our family friends' business was one of the sponsors and had a table so we went over to say hello. I saw a couple of friends that I haven't seen since high school so that was a blast from the past but it's crazy to think that we're all serious adults now when the last time I saw them we were silly little teenagers!!
We eventually left the Community Market to go and find my sister's friend Sara (she came to PHM with us!! HI SARA!) and her husband John (who's originally from the D-vegas too!) and surprisingly ran into them right as we got into the parking lot. My sister is pretty good friends with them and it was fun hanging out a bit in the Danvegas. We heard some loudspeakers so we figured it was time to get to our starting lines. The 10K started on the backside of the Community Market and the 5K walk and run started on the Riverwalk along the Dan River but they went in opposite directions so I stayed by the market for my starting line and my dad, sister, Sara & John all headed down to the Riverwalk trail.
I was ridiculously nervous at this point seeing all the super-fit and older people who I knew were going to be so much faster than me. I got to the start line and just tried to stay calm. It was pretty breezy at this point and in the low 50s so everyone was acting like it was middle of winter, naturally. Haha, I thought it was perfect race weather and hoped it didn't get too hot later in the day (ughh boy was I wrong).
Ready to go!!
I chose purple for my outfit inspiration today- purple tank/ shirt, essie's Playdate on my nails, my purple PHM sweaty band, & my pink/purple KT Tape!
One of the older men who was running the 10K gave everyone a breakdown of the course (we ran down one of the bridges in downtown Danville, then down highway 58E for the first 2mi and then merged into the 5K walk course, ran through the 5K run course along the Riverwalk to the Riverside Drive Biscuitville and Holiday Inn and then back to the 5K/10K finish line).
While I was at the starting line waiting for the race to begin, I had many people come up to me and ask me what the brightly colored tape on my legs were and I gladly told them more than they ever wanted to know about KT Tape haah! THEN, a "nice" old man came up to me, clearly he was nervous, and asked me if this was my first race (I think I surprised him by telling him how many HMs I've done, etc) and he said he's only ever run 5 miles. The race started off well but I started WAY too fast. I know my own pace and was hoping to maintain a sub-12 min mile or faster. One thing that made me angry was the "nice" old man who came up to me beforehand tried to run with me after the start and began asking me all these questions (while I had my headphones on)-'do I live in Danville, what do I do?' I told him I was born and raised here but moved when I went to college/grad school and now I live in Greensboro, NC. His response= "Typical younger folk from Danville, you all never come back here." I was so angered by that statement because hello, what am I doing in Danville right now fool?? I love Danville and even all of it's faults and I greatly support events and organizations in my hometown and I was seriously offended by that old man making a generalization about me without knowing a damn thing about my background.
ANYways, by the time we (and I use that term loosely) got to the first mile-marker, I was dead last (ps. how can everyone run so fast in a city where people here only eat things that are battered and deep fried??). I had the race pacer running behind me the entire race but I never felt like I was too slow (even though I had the Danville Police car creeping behind me holding up traffic while I ran the 1.5 mile stretch on 58E hahah)-- one thing I love about races in Danville, everyone is always so encouraging. I kept to my 3:1 intervals the entire race other than maybe 3 intervals during miles 4-5 and added an extra 30seconds to 1 minute to my walk intervals because the last half of the race was completely in the sun and I was having trouble breathing with all the pollen. The first 2 miles were on the 58E and then turned off into a gravel road by the prison farm (haha I know, WTF right?) and then hit the riverwalk before mile 3.
The last half of the race was so picturesqe but again, I am TERRIBLE at taking pictures while running so I didn't. The sun was shining down and my body got to the point where I stopped sweating (uh oh) so I tried to drink more and more water. This situation made me even more thankful I got the Nathan QuickDraw Plus Handheld Water Bottle in tango red/tangerine from REI a few weeks ago. I love the colors (hokie, of course) and it's super comfortable to carry, even with my tiny hands! It holds about 22oz and has a cute little pouch in the front where I put my sunscreen Coppertone Sport Lip Balm (SPF 30!!!) and kleenex (ugh allergies!).
I was pretty spent but the last .2 mile I tried to run as fast as I could at that point but a flock of geese were in my way and I almost trampled them but one moved out of my way so that was good.
Last but not least!
all hot&sweaty and pollen-y but at least I look cute, right?
I finally finished! I was the last person but you know what, who cares. I finished, PR'ed in the 10K distance, and had a good time. It was actually nice running by myself and I was able to enjoy my music (boy do I have a great playlist for next week), and focused on my running. I tried to use better posture that would help with breathing, I tried to focus on my strides and how my foot hit the ground while I ran, and I tried to stay positive. I have a tendency of getting all worked up in my mind over little things (hence my anxiety issues in life) so it's a constant mental struggle for me to stay positive when I know I am the very last person to finish a race. Everyone at the finish were very encouraging and supportive and literally as I crossed the finish, they started breaking down everything haha. It was really nice that my dad, sister, Sara& John stayed until I finished and then we all walked up to the Community Market once I was done.
I'm still waiting for them to post official times but I am going to stick with my Garmin time/pacing for now. I'm really proud of my overall and moving pace. I have been working really hard to get back to where I was pre-flu/pneumonia at the beginning of the year and now I have my allergies acting up. I'm hoping that I can keep this pace up at the very least for Divas HM in 2 week and I will be ecstatic! Here are my stats from the race courtesy of my beautiful garmin forerunner 10:
(can I just ask generally, how in the world is a 12 min/mile "slow"?!! I thought it was absurd that with this pace I finished last!!!)
I feel like I had a great pace and all the hills I ran earlier in the week made this run feel so much easier in that the majority of the race was flat. I was reviewing my detailed stats to figure out where I slowed down and how I can work on it and improve for the Divas HM and saw that I slowed down during mile 5 the most. I guess that was partly I couldn't breathe and the sun was literally on me the entire last 1.2 mile but I need to work on my endurance outside beyond 5 miles because we all know I can run on the treadmill until I'm blue in the face! I wouldn't consider these negative splits but I'm sure if I started out more conservatively, then I probably would have gotten my negative splits.
We ended up staying at the Community Market for the awards ceremony because my dad wanted to sit for a bit and I was anxious to see how many people signed up for the 10K (at packet pick-up I was told only 3 people in my age group). It turned out great because my dad got 3rd place in his age group for the 5K walk!!!! I'm so proud of him even though he's had a little head cold and even took a benadryl this morning (I would've been asleep hahah). My dad has had diabetes and a myriad of other health issues over the past 10 or so years so it's great that even though it's not regular, he at least makes an effort. My mom wanted to do the 5K walk too but with this much pollen, she would've passed out from her throat closing up!!!
Daddio w his 3rd place trophy!
We all had a great time and the course was marked (albeit with white flour haha) very well for the 4 different races going on all at once, and the finish line area had a great set-up. The awards ceremony had a great selection of post-race food (orange slices, apples, bananas, granola bars) and waters but my only complaint is that even for the 10K, there was no sports drink option. I understand it's more costly but seriously, just buy the powder form from Sam's or Walmart (what the Gate City 8K race did), especially when it's supposed to be heat index in the mid-70s. Everyone at this race was so supportive and encouraging and it was such a great cause that benefitted by over 400 participants this year.
Sister, Daddy and I after the race in the Community Market!
Have you ever run a 10K? Do you like smaller local races or larger more popular races? Ever finished last in a race but still had an enjoyable, positive experience?