My racing calendar was looking fairly empty after January 13th and my decision not to run the 26.2 with Donna as a redemption race. I had thought about doing the Best Damn Race half marathon and figured it would be a good chance to see what I had in me after the marathon. But when I mentally combined my personal and running schedule I realized that I wouldn’t be able to run the half because of the baby shower later that day. Oh well! That, of course, didn’t mean that I was just going to throw in the towel on what looked to be a great race. I decided to sign up for the 10k!
It had been since September 2011 that I’d run a 10k previously, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to claim a PR. I pretty much figured I wouldn’t have an issue holding faster than 8:55/mile; I just wanted to see how much faster I could go.
The race was in Safety Harbor, which is only 20 minutes from my house, so I went over to pick up my bib on Friday afternoon. I came about 15 minutes before they were closing, so not many of the vendors were still open. The only thing I wanted to buy was some Shot Blocks from Fit2Run, but they had none. Oh well!
After spending Friday evening making baby shower crafts, I headed to bed for a very early morning. The race started at 6:30, so I wanted to be there by 5:40 to make sure I got parking. I got up at 4:45 and had a cup of coffee and a couple of pieces of bread before heading over to park. It turned out that I got there right in time. Parking wasn’t hard for me at all, but a few minutes later all of the spots were full near the starting line.
I found Genna and then sat in my car for a few minutes after using the bathroom a time or two. There were lots of port o potties and I never even saw a line of more than a person or two form. That was definitely planning ahead! I happened to walk into the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa to keep warm (as the temperature was about 45*) and ran into Tori, Meghan, and Genna again. It worked out perfectly! We walked to the starting line and made our way to the front of the group. There were no waves or corrals so we wanted to make sure we didn’t have to do much weaving.
The national anthem was sung, and we were off. I immediately looked down at my watch and found myself running in the mid to high 8 minute mile range. I was happy, but it made me so frustrated that these couldn’t have been the conditions for the marathon. That whole “this feels easy but is a little fast” feeling is something I never felt. But I’ll get off my bitter soap box now. The first two miles of the course were an out and back to the north of the starting line on a small residential road. It was along the water and was pretty, but something about out and backs make me feel like I’m running longer. I didn’t take water at the first water stop at mile 1.