This weekend I ran the LaPorte County YMCA 10K. It was my very first 10K! How is that possible? I registered for a 10K when I started running, back in 2011, but ended up not being able to do the race because I had to go to a funeral. Somehow I never signed up for another one. Whoops!
A few weeks ago I was searching for a small, local 5 and 10K race to do together with my father-in-law, who is also a runner.
FIL on our very first run together, 2012
FIL and I dancing at our wedding, October 2012. Obviously this pic has nothing to do with running, but I just love it!
I came across the LaPorte County YMCA 5 and 10K race by accident, but when I saw the price -- $19!!!-- I knew it was perfect. We both signed up for it right away.
Race week finally came around and I didn't really know what to do. Should I taper? How much? Do I need to carb load? How fast should I go out? AHHHHHHH!!!
By Friday, I was in full on panic mode.
I managed to calm down a bit and got a pretty decent amount of sleep Friday night.
Saturday morning the Hubs and I were out the door by 7:45am. A quick run through the Starbucks drive-thru (using another free drink coupon!! score!!) and we were on our way to LaPorte. About 45 minutes later we got there and my FIL and I were back out the door to make our way to the race.
The race was very small, so parking was a breeze. We got there with about 30 minutes til race time and had plenty of time to do all the pre-race activities.We picked up out packet without having to wait in any lines and even got to use an indoor bathroom (yay for no porta potties!!). My FIL and I even had a chance to take a pre-race pic!
The 10K race started at 9am, with the 5K starting shortly after at 9:15am.
We started right on time. My FIL told me he was 100% OK with me taking off on my own and while I would usually NEVER pass up the opportunity to run with him, since this was my first 10K I really wanted to see how I could do.
So, I was off! I tried REALLY, REALLY, REALLLLLLY hard to not start off too fast. I watched my Garmin like a hawk and tried to stick around a 8:15 pace. I told myself my "goal" was a 8:30 average and while starting at 8:15 when my goal was 8:30 wasn't exactly not starting off too fast, I knew I would have been muuuuuch faster if I wasn't focusing and aiming for that. Somehow 8:15 with a 8:30 goal didn't seem like going out "too fast" to me. An older guy actually came up right next to me and I just kinda made it my mission to stick with him as long as I could. We ran the first mile together in about 8:15ish (don't have my exact splits with me, sorry!!). I wondered how long I could hold that pace, but figured I'd just hold on as long as I could and if I crashed and burned later, I crashed and burned. So, I held on with the guy. I have no idea what his name was, had no idea who he was, but he's one of the big reasons I held on. I tried not focusing on my watch or how much time passed and just focusing on him. He held a pretty even 8:00 pace so it helped me not go any faster (which DEFINITELY would have led to a crash and burn situation). Somehow, I ended up passing the guy on a hill (oh, the course was HILLY!!!!) and didn't see him again til he came into the finish about 2 minutes after me.
After I passed him, I kinda latched onto a girl in front of me-- THE GIRL IN THE PINK. I just kinda kept telling myself to catch up to her and not let her go. I made it my goal to finish NEAR her. I didn't even need to BEAT her, just finish near her. The girl in the pink and I ran side by side from mile 3-4.5. She pushed me to stay a consistent sub 8:00 pace (whaaaaat?!?! WHO AM I?!!?!?). At mile 4.5, I told myself I was SO CLOSE and to bring it home.
I was BOOKING it. My legs were burning, I was out of breath and all I wanted to do was STOP, but I didn't. I FELT strong. My mental game was ON. Somehow, I passed the girl in the pink. I just kept telling myself to hold on and not give in. I was SO close. I realized if I kept about a 7:45/mile pace the last mile I could finish in 50:00 or less. I pushed. And pushed. Harder than I ever have, I think.
And, I kept pushing right into the finish.
Garmin: 6.28 miles, 50:00 (7:57/pace)
Official: 6.2 miles, 50:05 (8:05/pace)
1st in Age Group (25-29)
I was SOOOO excited. And, BEAT. I swear, I was more tired than after the marathon! I almost collapsed when I crossed the finish line. I immediately texted the Hubs while waiting for my FIL to finish.
I really, really excited. I stayed mentally strong. I told myself I could do it and I did. I ran a SMART race. I'm proud of myself.
I even won a medal!!
My FIL did amazing too, despite having some injury issues... poor guy had some knee and foot pain! He still managed to finish, despite the pain even if it was with a slight limp. SOOOOO proud of him!!!!!
The guy who was with me at the start and the girl in pink both also placed in the top 3 of their age groups. We all found each other after and each said the other helped pushed us to keep the pace. LOVE that. So, to the girl in pink and the guy who started this race with me: THANK YOU AGAIN. You rock!!
I LOVED this race. I loved the small race atmoshpere. I never felt crowaded, but also never was alone. There was legit NO crowad support, but I'm 100% OK with that. They had some great volunteers and everything was super organized. The course was hilly and it was a bit windy, but I don't care. It was perfect.
I felt STRONG during this race. I KNEW I could do it. It wasn't easy. It hurt. I pushed harder than I knew I could. But, I stuck with it. I wanted to stop or slow down, but I didn't. After my 8:15 first mile, I maintained pretty darn even splits ranging from 7:45-8:02. I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOVED this race. I loved my attitude during this race. I'm still on a runner's high and it's been days. Did I mention I loved this race??
Anyway-- after the race while we waited for some ice for my FIL's poor knees and for me to get my medal, we enjoyed the post-race refreshments...
After 6.2 miles, you better believe that was the best hot dog I've ever had. Seriously.
We spent the rest of the day lounging around, watching college basketball. Perfect day.
Now... don't tell my FIL, but I'm already looking for our next race. I've got a 5K and another 10K in mind... :)