Somehow it slipped my mind to mention it, but indeed, I had a 10k race this past weekend. Since it is darn hot in Utah during the summer, we have a fair amount of midnight races to choose from. Running Roommate picked this one out last year and I've been looking forward to it since then. What's not to love? Midnight runs = cooler temperatures, crazy costumes, and tons of glowing items.
|How can you not get excited?|
At 10:55, they had us line up at the starting line. There was a guy on a megaphone shouting some last minute information that sounded REALLY important, but we certainly couldn't hear it. Something to the effect of "RUNNERS--please be sure that you absolutely DO NOT asldjfiu asdf *mumble mumble mumble*. I repeat - DO NOT asuoidufojlj."
Yep. That was not very good.
I think the jist of it was that we should stick to the right lane of the trail because the half marathoners were going to be passing us going the opposite direction and we wouldn't want to get creamed by them. Good advice for the few that could hear it. Luckily, I knew that the runners would be passing us so I stayed on the correct side the entire time (unless I was passing someone).
As we were standing around waiting for the gun to sound, I was checking out the sheer number of runners doing the 10k. The Legacy Parkway trail is one of my favorite places to run, but it is not meant for hundreds of runners. I'd been concerned that the start of the race would be a giant bottleneck, and my fears proved true as the gun start went off. It was chaos. It was hard not to trip over all the runners. Some were trying to go way faster than me, others were trying to walk right off the bat, and it resulted in a whole lot of stopping and starting. It was like that for the first mile because there really wasn't anywhere for the runners to go to allow them to spread out and find the appropriate pace.
However, once I got settled into the pack and found a comfortable place to run I started having a lot of fun. I was decked out in glow stuff (and because I'm 12 it made me super happy), and the temperature was a nice cool(ish) 73 degrees. The moon was out, and I could just settle into the running. I looked down to see what my pace was and realized that I couldn't see the time on my watch because it was so dark outside. I opted to just run on feeling rather than relying on my Garmin for this race. I paid attention to my body and tried to run at a speed that I knew I could maintain for the 6+ miles. I was feeling good!
Before I knew it, a half marathoner came blasting past me as I reached the first water exchange. He was going SO FAST! You could barely see him in the dark. Luckily he had a flashing baton thing. Otherwise, I am sure that he would've taken out several runners. I definitely don't think this was the safest race! I saw a lot of "near-misses" during this run.
I did have a small hiccup where I thought I had seen a sign signifying I was at mile 2, and then a half a mile later I saw another sign that said mile 2, so that was confusing. Like I said--it was dark and hard to see! When I reached the turnaround just after mile 3, I was feeling good. I knew that I was having a good race (especially compared to my last 10k) and I was looking forward to seeing my time. I was hoping for a 1:10 time or less.
At this point in the race, I was starting to pass some people that had started out too quickly. This is the first race I've had where I actually got to pass more people than passed me! I was super excited about that. At my last 10k I finished 5 from the bottom. I knew that there was absolutely no way that would happen to me this time. The happiness that brought kept me going strong.
With 1.5 miles left, we encountered the turnaround point for the 5k. What a mess!! There were hundreds of runners turning around RIGHT in the path of the 10k-ers and half marathoners. It was a cluster, and kinda dangerous. I went from having about 10 people within my area to suddenly having about 50 people. It slowed everyone down. I definitely think they should rethink this portion of the race next year.
Once again, I got situated within the pack at the correct pace and continued on for the last mile or so. By this time, I was starting to feel tired. I knew that I was going to have nothing left once I hit the finish line. I could see the bright lights from the finish line, but knew I still had about half a mile to go. I tried to pick up my pace, but it just wasn't happening.
Finally, I could see the finish line and decided to give it my all. Admittedly, there really wasn't much left. But as I crossed that finish line and looked down at my Garmin and saw that I had finished a 10k in 1:02:55, I couldn't have been happier. I couldn't believe how fast (for me!) I had ran those 6.2 miles. I had shaved nearly 14 minutes off from my previous 10k time. Now THAT is a cause for celebration!
|Love this girl! She's my partner in (running) crime!|
|I think it was the fancy glowing shoes that made me run so fast...|
Overall, I loved the race. It definitely had some technical issues that it needs to work through for next year, but it was fun enough that I can totally ignore those little hiccups. The race had a great vibe, and I look forward to doing another midnight race sometime in my future.
Did anyone else have any races this weekend? If so, how did you do?