My last two races and a string of horrible summer training runs had beat up my confidence to an ultimate low. I signed up for this race as a training run to both boost my spirits and get in a decent 18 miler. I've never done a 10 mile race before so instant PR! Given my better half marathon times, I figured sub 1:40 was doable - but not if I wanted to finish off the training run so I settled for a goal of 1:45-1:50 with 3 miles before and 5 after. I had everything planned out and was determined to make it work.
Let me just remind everyone who doesn't know - I HATE SUNDAY RACES! I swear they only exist to ruin a weekend. I wish all races were Saturday. I'm a Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to the battle over my weekends - Runner Girl vs Party Girl. We peacefully coexist for Saturday races and long runs because PG is tired from a long week of work and doesn't mind staying in Friday night. So, RG can run early, take a nap, and leave PG to a full Saturday night on the town and a Sunday rest day to recover. Sunday races and runs are a totally different story!
So, PG was already upset over the Sunday race. And then came the kicker - My friend Kacie who's been in Spain for the last 3 years was back and wanted to go out. PG promised RG an early night with a 2 beers max. PG is a liar (but we all knew that).
Life has a funny way of testing your determination because Kacie and I met up with a guy I call the Patron Fairy. Every time you see him he's handing you a Patron shot. So, it was a long night including at least 5 shots of tequila. We shut down the bars. I passed out around 3 am.
Only pic of the night...and you can barely see the little spanish girl who wooed me out (or the Patron Fairy behind my head). Yes, we're the plaid shirt mafia.
My alarm went off a 6:15 and I knew the second my foot hit the ground I wasnt 22 anymore. On top of that, I knew I was an idiot who deserved every ache and wave of nausea. I took a BC powder, chugged a Gatorade, and axed the prerace run in the hopes that everything would subside in an hour. I laid in bed trying not to die for another hour before getting dressed. Although I was feeling better, the idea of breakfast still didn't sound good so I grabbed a banana hoping it'd be more appealing in the car. It wasn't but I forced it down. It was gonna be a long morning!
My friend Ellie was doing this race too but I didn't have the energy to try to find her - just getting my chip and not throwing up took all of my focus and energy. In my zombie-like state everything took forever and I made it back to the start a few seconds before the start. The 10 miler and the 5k started at the same time. A few hundred kids sprinting by you screaming while your head is imploding is the best way to start a race! However, I deserved it. The first mile was a net uphill and I started to have my doubts on doing the whole race but the crowd kept me going. By the second mile we split from the 5k, but a sweet down hill pushed me along. I was feeling better by mile 3 and started to think I could finish pretty decently until the hills seemed to just get way worse.
The race was small so people were very spread out. I knew I needed to stay focused on external factors so I didnt retreat in my head. If I didnt then I'd just think about how tired and bad I felt. We were running through the Research Triangle Park area, which is nothing but campuses of large companies. Think wide roads to accommodate weekday traffic but ghost town on a Sunday and nothing to look at but lanscaped trees and signs announcing you're at the entrance to the IBM or some other corporate America compound. BORING!!!!
I resorted to running for effort rather than pace and my spits reveal every change in elevation, however I felt good for the first time all day and that's all that mattered. I smiled, cheered for volunteers, and thanked cops. Everything was great until mile 8 when the fact that I only ate a banana that morning and didnt bring a gel (it was in my car!) caught up with me. I crashed pretty hard on a steep hill and walked up it. How cruel my body is - my hangover had subsided but now I was bonking.
The final water station was like an oasis. Gatorade! To top it off, it was manned by the Alumni Association of Indiana University (That's where I went!). Seriously, I wasn't dreaming. There's hardly any Hoosiers in ACC country and here's my peeps in red handing out a caloric beverage. Talk about OSOM!! It was the kick in the butt I needed to kick out the rest of the race. 1:49:29 - made goal #1!
On to goal #2.
I knew Ellie would be somewhere back there so I grabbed a bottle of water, found some calories, and set back against the course to find her. We ran into each other around mile 9. She was doing great but obviously ready to be done. We ran/walked the last mile together with me yelling at her to get up the last hill at the finish (Really, dont race directors know it's evil to put a finish on top of a hill??). She beat her goal by 3 minutes and is def ready for her first Pikermi on 10/24. That's my girl!!
Me yelling at Ellie to get up the hill!!
After the race I went home to take care of a blister. It was huge and full of blood!? I've never had one of those and I was really grossed out (I didn't take a pic - that's how grossed out I was). I took care of it like a normal blister (googled later that's a no-no) and changed my shoes before setting off to complete the rest of my run. I probably should have ate more or took a gel but that was the least of my worries - it started to rain. I love running in the rain! However, this was a downpour similar to the Country Music Marathon in which my shoes weighed 80 lbs each. I toughed it out and maintained a pretty decent pace considering the circumstances. Goal #2 done!
I'm pretty happy I got the best of both worlds over weekend. I might have been able to do better had I not gone out...but I dont think missing such a fun night would have been worth a few min off the race time. Nope, both RG and PG were happy...and spent the rest of Sunday napping in compression socks. Let's hope I feel this good after this Sunday's Pikermi +7!!