The day started out with a 4:15am alarm. Way too early. Showered, changed into several layers as I wasn’t sure how the weather would turn out, made breakfast to go, kissed D goodbye, and was on the road at 5:30. In the car I had a sprouted grain english muffin with natural pb and ab along with a few Laughing Cow cheese cubes and water.
The drive was dark and rainy but uneventful until I had almost reached the North Carolina border. A flashing sign warned me of high winds. All of a sudden I was surrounded by fog so thick I couldn’t see past my headlights. I dropped my speed by 20-25 mph and hit the flashers. Then the rain, which, until that point, had alternated between light and manageably moderate, started pouring sideways. The wind whipped around my car and the roads looked like they were swimming. All of this while it was pitch black outside and I’m driving through mountains with a bunch of semis and a severe drop-off on one side. For a brief moment it occurred to me that a race wasn’t worth the risk. Just as I started to consider pulling over for a few minutes, the fog cleared, the rain died down, the winds stopped, and life was good again.
Those events had gotten my heart up pretty well so by the time I pulled up to the race I felt practically warmed up. I had 30 min. until the race started. I went and picked up my packet. Not the best swag but, hey, the race was only $20 so I really can’t complain! The skies were overcast and drizzly with temperatures around 65* F. It was pretty windy, too. Aside from the occasional downpour and gust, it was very comfortable running weather. I wore a performance t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses to keep the rain out of my contacts, and had a Hammergel and Sports Beans tucked down my sports bra.
There were maybe a couple hundred people there?, most of whom looked like decent runners. We all lined up and hit the ground running while hitting our Garmins as the gun went off. Right about this time it also started to rain.
I haven’t looked at my Garmin splits yet but I know my first couple of miles were a little too fast despite efforts to control myself. I felt really good. I remember being glad I had my sunglasses as it kept raining. However, I also remember that they fogged up a lot. There were several hills in the beginning of the course but after about a third of the way through, the course flattened out and was great – smooth and even with lot of clearance on the pavement. The course was also very well manned by volunteers and police and there were plenty of drink stops.
Miles three, four, and five were spent focusing on maintaining my pace but allowing some slowing if necessary to keep my energy. I had a few Sports Beans around 3.5. I was also taking a brief walk break about every mile or so. It continued to rain off and on.
Toward the end of mile 5 I picked up my pace and tried to hold it all the way to the end. I started to falter as I rounded the corner. I’d like to go back and tell myself to keep pushing it because I was seriously almost there! Finally I saw the finish line and maxed out all the way to the line.
I could tell my hips and thighs were a little trashed afterward. Did some easy jogs, stretching, and walking for about 20-30 min. while getting drenched in the on-again, off-again rain. I had some water and a banana. It seems my stomach does best when I get something simple like sports drink, beans/gel, a couple of cookies, or a banana into it immediately after a race. Let it digest and recover for a while, then eat a larger meal later.
By the time I headed back to the car, I was absolutely soaked to the bone…and realized I had no towels in the car. However, I did have a ShamWow that my mom gave me a while back. Yes! I shut myself in the back of my RAV, toweled down with the ShamWow, put one of the seats down for more room, and changed into dry clothes. So glad I had extra socks and shoes. This is a lesson to always bring a backup set of gear to a race in case something fails/breaks/gets wet!
Of course, to spite the horrible weather driving down, the trip back home was absolutely gorgeous. October in the Blue Ridge is breathtaking.
I don’t know my exact time but I think it was in the low 55’s (forgot to hit my Garmin again at the finish line. I’m so bad at that game.). Not my preferred goal, but at least I hit my realistic goal again. I really enjoyed that distance. I’d like to try something longer in the future if my joints can handle it but I made it through the 10K distance and would love to do another soon.
One thing I have noticed – I am more sore now after 55 min. of running than I was after 1.5 hours of triathlon. It’s definitely not a gentle sport! I have had a couple of black toenails for a while now and they were pretty painful after the race. I finally got up the courage to do something about it. I won’t go into details but let’s just say a sterilized needle does a lot of good.
So there ya have it. The last of my races this fall. It’s been a remarkable year. Two 5K’s, two triathlons, and a 10K in a matter of a few months. I did not expect to be here after battling patellar tendinitis for most of the year. However, rest and attentive care really do work. 🙂
Filed under: Gear, Plan, Race Report, Running | 3 Comments »