You know you are finally feeling fall weather when you can start the morning like this...
And end up like this!
My family went up to one of our favorite places, Monte Sano Mountain, for Rick and me to run the Monte Sano 10k and 5k races this past Saturday. We had originally planned to each run both races (the 5k is an hour and a half after the start of the 10k), but our sitter fell through so we opted to only race one each. It turned out to be a lot better for me because I was running on fresh legs for the 5k while many of the other runners had already done the 10k.
I have to admit that I really liked watching the 10k runners warming up before the race and knowing I did not have to run it myself! I took the children for a nice walk in the double jogger. They thought the race had already started since they saw so many people running! During the race, we cheered for Daddy, who placed 3rd in his age group and looked pretty tough finishing his race!
Rick was able to run his cool down with me during my warm up (he pushed the stroller). I met my friend, Julia, and we all three finished the short run together. He suggested I shoot for a 20:30, to take 7 seconds off of my last 5k time. Now I am getting forgetful, but I think it was something like a 6:37 per mile, so I figured I would aim for that. Right before the start, I couldn't figure out how to start his Garmin, but luckily my fellow teammate, Lisa, pressed a couple of buttons and got me to the right screen easily. Two things were different for me from the last time I had run this race: the women start separately from the men by 10 minutes (we are second), and the women could start on either side of a median (I chose the right side if you are facing in the starting direction). As we started the race, I took first place but felt another girl right behind me. The weather was great, and I felt strong in the first mile. I had forgotten that probably a mile of the race is run on loose gravel. It was very hard to run on. This is where I caught up to the men's race, and I found it hard to maneuver through the other runners. I have that same problem when half marathons start with marathons in the same start line. It is much easier for me to pace myself with runners of a similar pace, and I am kind of clumsy when it comes to passing people gracefully. One really nice guy called out, "You're first female. You're my hero!" That was so sweet and uplifting! I also liked the turnaround because I was able to see many of my friends and cheer for them as we passed one another. My second split was a 6:43, just a tad bit slower than what I wanted to get, but I was just trying to hold the lead for the last mile since it ends with a slight hill. I saw the finish line and heard Rick and the children yelling, "Go Mommy!" That was the best part! And I finished in 20:40, not quite what I wanted to get but very consistent with the 20:37 in my last 5k and good given this course. My running friends have inspired me to run the day before races (I used to take the day off), and I had run 12 miles the day before, and I felt fine and don't think it hindered me at all.
We really enjoyed talking to friends after my race and waiting around for the awards. I won a really nice picnic blanket and an Outback gift certificate (dinner for 2) for first overall female. I love sitting in the old amphitheater for the awards in this race. My friend, Kathy, came over and talked to us a little bit. She is getting ready to run a 153 mile race in Greece called the Spartathalon. That is amazing! The children ate ice cream and hunted in the woods around the amphitheater for sticks and bugs. It was a great day for our family and a great way to spend a Saturday morning!