Well, today was my first 10K. I had trouble sleeping last night–I couldn’t get to sleep, the dog FELL OFF THE BED at one point, and I woke up an hour before my alarm went off. But I was excited anyway, jumped out of bed, got ready, and had a breakfast cookie. We were told to arrive an hour early!
Which made sense when we got there. Parking was a nightmare. We had to park about a mile away from the starting line, and it was a cold, icy, and muddy walk there. Boo.
But we made it! The whole gimmick was that the race was underground, in the world’s largest underground business building. Weird. So, we walked into the side of a hill to enter.
We had about 45 minutes to kill by the time we got there, so we watched the superfast 5K winners (the 5K was at 9, 10K at 10) clock in at the 15-16 minute mark. Crazy. Then we walked around a bit and I picked up some freebies!
Strawberry Gu Chomps, Pineapple Gu Roctane, and Vanilla Gingerbread Gu. (I have to say, that sounds disgusting. But it was FREE, guys. FREE.)
I made Tim take a kicky pre-race photo of me while we were killing time. You can see the structure of the building in the back–it was supported by these large column-like objects that made you feel kind of like you were in a glacier. It reminded me of the ice castle in the James Bond movie Die Another Day.
At about 10 minutes out, we lined up at the start. I was a little confused because they had signs for 8 minute milers, 12 minute milers, and 14 minute milers. I hung out between the 8 and 12 signs somewhere.
And we were off! I was super-nervous at the starting line, and when I’m nervous I get bad cotton mouth. That made the first mile or so pretty unpleasant until I was able to hit the first water stop. I hit the first mile at exactly 9:40, meaning I was right where I wanted to be pace-wise. I felt pretty good about that.
Miles 2 and 3 were honestly pretty boring. I felt good, and I knew I was pacing myself well. I just kept my head down and ran. I went with the “walk through aid stations” strategy, which I think worked well. It gave me a good 10-15 seconds to wet my whistle and catch my breath a bit, but wasn’t long enough to hurt my pace. Since it was a two loop course, at mile 3, I saw Tim waiting at what would be the finish line on my second lap! He didn’t see me, though, until I yelled his name. He commented later that I looked totally calm and normal at that point, which is a good thing.
In other, unrelated news, this is the picture I find on my camera when I leave my camera with Tim unattended while I race for an hour:
At around mile 4.5 I took a hit on my inhaler and took a few extra seconds to regroup at the water station. I could feel my lungs starting to get panicky, so I wanted to pull my pace back a bit and just relax.
Once I saw the mile 5 marker I knew I could do this. Just 1.2 miles to go! This was probably the most eventful mile–I saw a guy on his back on the side of the course with the ambulance roaring to help him. I hope he’s okay!
At the mile 5 water station, probably around mile 5.5, I slipped on the water slick near the garbage cans and rolled my ankle. Lame. I caught myself and kept running, but it did hurt a bit for the rest of the race. It feels fine now, but I”m going to keep an eye on it just in case.
Finally I made the last turn (yeah, there were a lot of turns on this course) and went down the straightaway to the finish line!
I was secretly hoping to finish in under an hour, and official chip times aren’t in yet (I’ll update when they are), but going by my watch I think I finished in the neighborhood of 1:00:30 or so. So, I was reallyreally close to my goal, and I feel great about my time considering it was my first 10K!
Immediately postrace, I found Tim, caught my breath, and grabbed some water and an orange slice. (Really great oranges, by the way. Note to self: get citrus at grocery store later.)
On the long walk back to the car, my hands felt funny. I looked down and realized my fingers were incredibly swollen. I couldn’t get my engagement ring off. It was kind of horrifying.
While in the car, I googled this and realized it was because my salt was probably low. So while we were waiting to pick up our food, I amused Tim by shooting a salt packet from the condiment bar.
Not pleasant, but my fingers returned to normal size pretty quickly.
I was craving carbs, so I went for an Everything bagel and a Panera yogurt parfait. According to my Polar, this race burned 868 calories, so I think I’m more than entitled to a little bagel love!
It was delicious. But I have a feeling I’ll need a big afternoon snack later!
Overall, I feel really great about my performance today. I felt like I paced myself really well and ran strong the whole way, unlike my last race where I crashed and burned and managed to get a good time in spite of myself. I felt very prepared this time!
Anyway, I wish I could just sit around all afternoon, but there’s laundry and ironing and grocery shopping and chicken roasting to be done! Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes!