I picked up my packet at Bob Jones High School the night before the race. It was 6:30 p.m. or so when I went over there with my daughter. I ended up volunteering for packet pick up for the the remaining hour and a half. My daughter helped me by handing out tattoos and scoring the free goodies for us from the other booths--chapstick, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen! Nice! We later found out that the tattoos were supposed to be 50 cents each, and we hadn't been charging anyone. Oops!
I was worn out from getting everything ready for the garage sale that day, but I still hydrated and went to bed at a good time to be ready for the race. On Saturday morning, I headed over to the race at 6:15 a.m. for a 7:00 start. I parked in a nearby church parking lot (the one recommended by the race director) so that I could leave after running the race and not have to stay for the 5K at 9:00. I did a short warm up and hit the bathrooms.
Right before the race, I started to have doubts that a sub 42:00 was possible on this course for me. So I decided to aim for sub 7:00's. I knew that would be a challenge on the last 2 miles, since those were hilly.
Mile 1 6:08
The first mile (along Hughes Road) seemed to go very easily and wasn't a struggle at all. I knew it was too fast--a 6:08--but that is the way I always start races. It was fun to be running the course in the road and not on the sidewalk this time! I was right behind the lead runners and was first female for this mile. I passed and did some flip-flopping with a guy who said he read my blog the day before! I guess he was searching for RTTR and he found my blog, but he didn't say. I wasn't really able to carry on a good conversation with him since I was running hard!
Mile 2 6:20
Mile 2 went on Old Madison Pike and then Wall Triana. I felt great through this mile too. I started thinking, "Oh, wow, I am running a 5K PR right now!" But that's not too smart when you are racing a 10K. Oh well.
Mile 3 6:38
During this mile, I saw my friend's husband, Jason, just stop right after Mile 2. He had been in front of me up until then. I think I said, "Hang in there, man" as I passed him. I hoped he was okay (and later found out he was). I think this was the mile where I started feeling the girl who was right behind me really closing in and pushing hard! She passed me somewhere in this mile, I think.
Mile 4 6:41
I started feeling tired in this mile, but I kept pushing. I could still see the first place girl right in front of me. Also in this mile, I noticed a blister forming on my left heel, something very unusual for me. It was the pretty new racing flats doing that. Ouch!
Mile 5 6:56
This mile had a long gradual hill--Old Madison Pike (you pass Dublin Park on your left) and then into the neighborhoods along Crestview Drive. I was so glad to have the Garmin, and I used it to keep myself below that 7:00 pace I wanted.
Mile 6 6:59
Here is where I knew I was probably going to have a second place finish, as long as I held on. I pushed hard up the steepest hill of the race--Eastview. And I FLEW down it, bringing the mile's pace down from a 7:20 to a 6:59 (just under a 7:00--I am very goal-driven and have often said that you will rise to wherever you set your bar--I should've set mine higher!!)
Last .2 (Garmin .24) 5:41 pace
Official Time 40:59 (6:37 pace)
I heard lots of cheering as I finished the race. The first place girl was super nice and came over to congratulate me and to thank me for setting a good pace at the start. We ended up doing a cool down together with my friend, Julia, after she finished fourth female.
I talked to several people at the finish, including a guy who had stayed with me almost all of the Rocket City marathon I paced in 2011 and several other friends. I headed home shortly after that, and Julia picked up my award (Fleet Feet gift card). I also got a finisher's decal that says "I survived the Eastview Beast." Very cool!
I think my Madison group represented well out there today. In addition to Julia and me, there were two other girls from our group running the race (Jane and Jan) and one other girl volunteering (Madelyn). It was so nice to have a Madison race!
I exceeded my expectations for this race. I would have been happy with a sub 7:00 pace. I ended up with a 6:37 pace, only 16 seconds away from my old PR (and that was on a much easier course!). I beat my old time on this course from 2 years ago (44:30) by over 3 1/2 minutes! I have a lot of confidence in my ability to break my old 10K PR (40:43) and my 5K PR also this season if I have a couple of good opportunities to race in between my marathon training.
|Katie (2nd) and Julia (4th)|
|Picture from Jane Reneau|