Well I did it! I ran my first 10K! Here's my detailed race report.
I got into Mandan around 7:25 am, and parked my car behind Central Market. Found the registration line, it was very long and slow-moving. I was chatting it up with an older guy who was run-walking the 5K.
Every person I talked to in line was doing the 5K. I saw a group of elite runner girls, and they too were running the 5K. I ran into my pals Sarah, Sarah's dad Bill, and Vance.. all running the 5K. Greeeeaaaat. I just knew I was going to finish dead last. I figured I could do the race in 1:20, but was hoping for 1:15 or maybe even 1:12.
I went back to my car to strap on my iPod & my Garmin, and take one last swig of G2, and headed into Central Market to go to the bathroom. Then it was time to start!
We started by going up a hill. No problem - Sarah had told me there was 1 hill in the beginning, which wasn't too bad, and then of course you get to run down it on the way back. Cool. Made it through that hill no problem. Then we turned.. and went up another hill. OK. I can do this. My pace was varying between 8:30 and 10:30. Probably too fast, but I felt good. Whoa - it's only 10 minutes into this race, and here come the 5Kers who have turned around. I still have an hour to go!
Then it was flat for a bit, but then up ahead was a long hill but not very steep. At the top was the 5K turnaround. I grabbed a cup of water at the turnaround, then kept going. I wondered why the hell I was running a 10K, when all these happy people got to turn around.
Corner time. Oh great - gravel! NO problem. I train on gravel. I love gravel. Me & gravel, we're TIGHT. But wait. This is not nice fine, smooth, grated gravel. This is washboardy-sandy stuff with huge rocks thrown in to make it an obstacle course. Sweet. No traffic control on this road, so when the cars would go by, I got to eat dust. Even better!
Another hill. I can do this. It looks huge. OMG. It's huge. I'm going to die on it. Here come the 10Kers on the turnaround, wow - they're really fast. I cave and start to walk about 2/3 up the hill. As I near the top, a dude going the other way says "You can finish this! Run! Come on!" I smile and think, yup, and start running again. Sweet, I made it. Cruuuuuuise down the other side.
Only to run up another one. Good lord, will these hills ever END?? But wait.. at the top is the turnaround! I made it halfway! And the back has GOTTA be more downhill than the out. I grab water from the dude, and think.. please. PLEASE let there be one more soul behind me so I'm not last.
I turn around and head down the hill. I'm not last! There is one more girl behind me. She looks to be in my age group. I'm not last!
The second half of the race was hotter, but faster. It's full sun the whole way, and at 65 degrees, I was feelin' it. I glanced at my Garmin only for pace, not for time. A few times there, I was going 11:30, and 12:00 is my projected half marathon pace, so I tried to cut myself a break.
I walked up the remaining hills. Yeah, I copped out. What of it? The uphills on the way back were much shorter though, so I didn't lose much time.
I finished WAY behind the rest of the pack, but when I hit the 5.5 point and saw 1:00 on my Garmin? Yeah. I didn't care. The rest was downhill and I cruised. I was so happy.
I finished in 1:06:42! WAY ahead of my goal! And I wasn't last. The last girl finished 1-2 minutes after me, and she didn't look like she cared too much about being last. I think my official time was 1:06:48 but I didn't pay too much attention to the girl when she said it, so until I hear for sure, I'm going with my Garmin time.
As I was leaving, I saw my mom drive by. She was going to take a finish picture of me, but oops... missed it. I guess I'm tooooo fast!
So I'm going to spend the rest of my 4th of July with my feet up, and not thinking for one little minute about the amount of calories I'll be consuming later on. Many will surely be in liquid form, as I make up for how crabby I was yesterday about not having any.