To get an idea of what the run is like, here's the elevation for the race (it'll make your eyes pop!). Somehow the route map isn't available anymore.
The weather here has been pretty constant for the last 2 weeks: drizzly and in the 50s & sometimes low 60s. Blah. For the race, it was much the same. My husband and I hadn't considered packing gloves as we packed up the kids to drop at my parents' house, but thankfully I had a pair hanging out in the car (hooray for me, though sad I didn't have a pair for hubs) - I think they made a BIG difference for me, though they were fleece and got pretty heavy by the end.
So, we left the kids with my dad and picked up my mom so she could do her first 5K. Though she pre-registered and we were doing race day registration, we made it through the line first and then ran back to the car to drop off the race bag and do a bit of a warm-up (and potty break!). Before we knew it, it was time to GO!
The race started fairly flat for about a tenth of a mile, but then started the assent up the first hill. Though we got caught up in a fast start, our first mile was right around 10:20. Not terrible, but slower than I really wanted. Mile 2 clocked SLOWER (agh!) at 10:40, but that's really where we were primarily UPHILL. Things picked up for Mile 3 (though now 2 days later I can't recall what it was . . . somewhere around 9:50, I think). I forced my husband to take a few mini walk breaks with me (he would have pounded out 8:30 minutes uphill, if he was doing this on his own), but they were really rejuvinating and helped me find a good groove as we continued on.
My parents' neighborhood is right at the top of our final big hill, which was the PERFECT place for my dad and our kids to plant themselves (in the pouring rain!) to cheer on the runners. It was thrilling to have our very own chering squad. We saw their lone umbrella as we made our way up the hill - us with our arms over our heads waving to them to see us. We could see that Dad recognized us and he had the kids start waving harder than they already were. "Go, runners!" yelled our son, until he spotted us and started dancing around, "Go, Mama!" "Hooray, Dad!" Little Sister flapped her arms and squealed as their treasured "Papa" worked to get a few photos of us in action. It was really the highlight of the race. And from there on out, we did manage to pick-up the pace with happy hearts and soaked (but warmed-up) bodies. Sorry the photo is so blurry - it is hard to take a good pic while holding a wet toddler and umbrella in the rain! And, yes, for those of you who "know me" - that IS a yellow hat I'm wearing (see, Running Knitter, you don't have to worry!).
Mile 4 was at a 9:40 pace - and the flat part was coming, followed by the fast downhill. I forgot to mention that they had a photographer planted near the crest of the MONSTER hill to capture our survival. It was nice to see that they got photos of us on the way DOWN, too. I can't wait to compare the two to check out the difference in facial expressions. We did Mile 5 at a 8:something pace, with Mile 6 sprinting down toward the finish at an 8:20 pace. Talk about a day of negative splits! Edit: The results are now posted and as it turns out, when all was said and run, I finished in 58:46.77 (7 out of 14 for my age group).
I overheard that there were about 100 runners for the 10K, which is amazing since there were only about 30 the first year (3 years ago). Only a handful of folks passed us and we managed to pass some of them in the second half of the race. I may not be the strongest runner on the hills, but I'm getting better. AND, I do have the endurance, so even if they were faster on the hills, the hills wiped them out and we were able to keep going strong. That part made me smile.
The kick into the finish was great. I felt so strong that we sprinted past the "crowd" of 5K finishers and folks arriving for the Duvall Days Parade/festivities. It was a bit crazy with people milling about, and I did have to yell out "On your right!" to zip safely past some 5K finishers (they ran on a different course - a trail run - but our finish lines were the same). It was fun to see that in just under 59 minutes we were able to pass the 5K runners who started 15 minutes after our start. AND, I was excited that my mom crossed the line ahead of us, probably at around a 37 minute finish for her FIRST EVER 5K - hooray, Mom! Sadly we forgot to get photos to prove she was there, but one of her friends did note that "we were walking together, but your mom was much faster, so I told her to go on ahead and run. She just blasted right past me!" That's so cool!
Anyway, we finised the morning by quickly heading back to my parents' house to retrieve the children (peeling Little Sister out of her crib from her 20 minute nap) so my dad could take his van and piano to the parade line-up. We rushed home, changed out of our sloshy shoes and wet clothes, threw the kids in the double jogger and hoofed it 2 miles into town to see the parade (downhill). After enjoying the bands, horses, seeing my parents in the parade, etc., we made the 2 mile uphill walk back home, rounding out our milage to 10 for the day. What a FULL morning!
I could probably write more, but Mr. Music is desperately seeking a snack and Little Sister is waking. I'll post the photos ASAP. They're fun!
Oh, and did I mention I like the 10K distance so much that I'm doing it again this Saturday? A flat one this time, so maybe I'll PR (easy to do since this week was my first - ha!).
And while I'm actually thinking about photos, I'll go ahead and throw in one from the in-person Book Launch Party in May. From left to right: My mom, my aunt, Maria (the lovely hostess!), me, my husband. My dad was the photographer (as usual, it seems!) and took care of documenting the start of the party before we all forgot to take pictures when the guests started to arrive (which is what always seems to happen to me - just like I tend to forget to get a fork at the start of a buffet line - it is inevitable!)!
Have a great week!