I didn't get even close to a PR today, but I still had a fun time in the race and enjoyed some great team camaraderie.
I like this race because it is the only one in my town of Madison, Alabama. It is a few minutes from my house versus the 20-30 minutes most other races are from us in nearby Huntsville. So today I enjoyed staying in the house until about 6:20 for a 7:00 a.m. start. Just enough time to drive over, park, warm up, and hit the bathrooms. The weather was a rainy 47 degrees, so I wanted minimal time just standing around. Brrr.
Just when I'd parked in the designated church parking lot nearby Bob Jones High School, a man started shouting at me and lots of the other people who were also heading to the race, "Hey! You can't park here! We have a meeting at 9:00!!" He did not seem happy, and I am a rule-follower, so I obliged and got back in my car to move it. The next closest lot was a little less than 1/2 mile away at Asbury Church, so I parked there and jogged to the start. I was supposed to warm up with Julia, but that plan got messed up due to the reparking situation. The good news was that everyone must have been inside staying warm and using the bathrooms, because there was no line for the porta-potties. I took my time in there (It had a roof and was dry so why not?).
We waited an extra 10 minutes because there was a train along one of the roads that we ran on (we didn't cross the tracks but ran alongside it). Usually delays are not a big deal. In the cold rain, it was a different story. We were all ready to get moving!
I just love the pictures below because they show me in between 2 of my favorite teammates! On the left is Kylie Lemon, and on the right is Julia Clark. Both of these women have meant a lot to me, especially recently since they have both become Fleet Feet Racing Team members. I met Kylie exactly one year ago, at this race. She was the overall winner and was brave enough to approach me and Julia after the race and ask us to go on a cool down with her. I remember thinking as we talked, "This girl must think I am so old. What can we possibly have in common? She will not like me once she hears that I am a 34 year old mom!!!" Well, that was not true. Kylie saw me as a friend and a fellow runner. In the passing months, we chatted at races and on facebook and eventually began doing training runs together. SHE, one of the newest members of the FF Racing Team, took it upon herself to unite us teammates together through training runs. Not me, a charter member of the team. That humbled me a lot and it made me appreciate this team and the new unity I felt among us even more.
The other thing Kylie did before this race is make a statement that I just loved! On a training run on the course last week, Kylie remarked, "I want us to have a 1-2-3 sweep. Any order!" It was so sweet to hear her add that at the end. Kylie is a much stronger runner at the shorter distances than me, and she won the race last year. But she never boasted or bragged that she was going to win again this year. Yet with this challenge she offered us, I really wanted that "clean sweep." Then when I got to the race and saw her and Julia there in our matching uniforms, outnumbering the guys from our team for once (this race does not draw many Huntsville runners for some reason), I felt like I belonged.
We look like we are having so much fun talking in these pictures!
|All pictures by James Hurley|
Kylie, Katie, Julia
Mile 1 6:24 This mile felt good, probably because it is a totally flat mile along a usually busy main road for our city, Hughes Road. It is fun to run in the middle of the road when I am usually on the sidewalk! The rain had died down during this time, and it was great finally starting after the 10 minute delay. Below you can see the girls in purple. From right to left, this is the order we eventually finished in too. The first place guy, FF Team member Eric Charette, was already out ahead of this picture. The guy in white between Kylie and me finished 4th. A guy wearing long black pants and an orange jacket pulled ahead of me in Mile 2 and eventually finished 3rd.
Mile 2 6:29 Also another good mile for me. I was pleased with the consistency. This mile takes us through downtown Madison and alongside the train tracks.
Mile 3 6:54 This mile just started the miserable miles for me! When I saw the time, I thought, "Wow, I really slowed down here. I'll just pick it up in the next mile." But then I just could not! It had started to rain harder in this mile, and we hit some rolling hills as we headed onto Old Madison Pike. I guess if I had to say why I slowed, it would be that I have not trained for this distance (and was running much faster than any of my recent training) and the rain bothered me. But I think it was mostly that I have not been doing enough speedwork.
Mile 4 6:51 Okay, I picked it up a tiny bit here. Small victory for me!
Mile 5 7:08 This mile has some rolling hills along Crestview Drive and through neighborhoods leading up to Eastview Drive. For most of the race, I was going back and forth with the eventual 4th place finisher, the guy in the white shirt in the start pictures. I kept trying to pass him but then was getting passed right back. It probably helped keep my pace up, to be honest.
Mile 6 7:19 This mile was very tough. It has the Eastview Hill called "The Beast" towards the end of it. I don't do many 10Ks, but I think putting a very steep hill near the end is brutal! Today I contemplated walking it and felt extremely out of shape as I slowly crept up it. I had seen Julia right behind me as I turned onto Eastview to begin the climb, and I knew she was closing in (I had long ago stopped even being able to see the first woman, Kylie--she finished in 39:05). Julia ran a great race and ended up being only seconds behind me at the finish.
.2 1:19 I actually felt great as I went down the hill! I was calculating in my head, thinking I could possibly still get a 41 something, but as I saw the Mile 6 marker, I knew I didn't have it. So I ran hard and finished in 42:26---not even close to the time I got last year, but fine for me today. It was raining, I haven't done enough speedwork to prepare for a 10K race, and last year I was marathon training at this time. So it's hard to compare times from one year to another, even on the same course.
overall 42:26 (6:51 pace)
2nd female overall
5th place overall
I would like to say that I felt great at the end and wanted to stay and cheer other runners on, but I actually felt chilled to the bone and a little cranky, so home for a hot shower it was! Below is a picture of my family, who came to watch my finish. Awards were over 2 hours later (after the 5K race at 9:00), and luckily for me, Julia was able to pick up mine so I did not stay.
As Kylie predicted, The Madison Fleet Feet girls did a 1-2-3 sweep this year at the Run Through The Roses! It felt great to know that we had done it, and I was proud of teammates Kylie and Julia for representing our team so well.
After not having run a 10K in months, I needed this one to get back into the swing of things and to get a feel for pacing myself for this distance and not a distance of a half marathon-50K (which is all I've raced since November). And I have some knowledge about what I need to work on before Cotton Row next month. Hopefully, this will be my only 42 minute 10K this season and I will improve my 10K time as the season progresses.
For all of the Run Through the Roses runners today, I think we should all feel tough in choosing to get out there and run in these conditions! As a trail runner who has done trail races in the rain, I can say that road running in the rain in much harder! Braving these elements was challenging. I feel extremely happy that I am done, inside, and dry now after reflecting on the conditions of this morning's race.