I’ve been running for three years, and in that time, I’ve managed to never race a 10k. Thankfully I had the opportunity to remedy that situation this past Sunday.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I realized I need to race more – it’s a key component to becoming a better runner. So while perusing any website I could think of to find local races, I found the Giralda Farms 5k/10k. I actually had a hard time deciding which distance to do; part of me wanted to take the ‘easy’ way out and run the 5k, not wanting to run a race that would likely hurt (in the good, racing hurt kind of way), but another part of me realized I probably needed a 10k under my belt. The real selling point was the price – whether I ran the 5k or the 10k I was going to pay $18 (a steal if you ask me, most races are at least $25!), so I figured I’d get my money’s worth with the 10k.
Sunday was absolutely gorgeous – the sun was shining, and by the time the race started at 12p, the temperature was well into the 60’s. Race morning started as they always do, with a PB&J sandwich, some water, and multiple bathroom stops. As soon as we got to the race, though, I realized I had forgotten my Garmin. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but I’ve recently been taking things out a little to fast (i.e. my last 5k), and since I’ve never run a 10k before, I wanted to know my splits. So much for that.
This particular race is run within and along the outside of a corporate park, just across the street from Fairleigh Dickinson University. You may be thinking that a corporate park would be relatively flat… don’t be fooled. The race starts at the entrance, on the precipice of a nice little hill. If there’s one thing I know about geography, it’s that if there’s a downhill, there is likely an uphill not too far away to match it. For the most part the race was “rolling hills,” but there were two hills that could only be characterized as steep inclines – one at about mile 1.2 and another at 3.5.
The 5k and the 10k started off separately, but merged about a quarter of a mile in. Then, at about 1.5, it split off again and left those of us silly enough to sign up for the 10k to trudge on. There weren’t any clocks – just a few volunteers at every mile marker with a stop watch yelling out times (which I appreciated since I didn’t have a watch!). Because the first mile was downhill, despite a super crowded start, I’m sure it was my fastest. I managed to blow by quite a few people on the first hill, but I was nearly spent after that… leaving me with 4 more miles of “fun.” By the time I hit mile 4, I realized the race was pretty much over, and after spending so much time climbing up, I knew it was time to head back down… this was both a blessing and a curse.
I was happy to finish in a respectable (to me) 48:24. I have no idea what my splits were, but my finish was good enough for 9th in my division, the 34th woman, and 191st overall. It was a competitive field on a tough course, so I couldn’t be happier with my first official 10k!
Next up is a 5 miler the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and then Disney in January! I’m eyeing the beginning of the year for a few more races, but haven’t committed to anything just yet. I think the jury is still out on my favorite race distance. Guess I’ll have to run some more races to decide!
What’s your favorite race distance?
Any fun races planned for the end of the year (turkey trots, jingle bell runs)?