On Saturday morning, I ran the second 10k of my life – and blew my previous time out of the water! But let’s back up a little, shall we?
About a week ago, I sent my friend Katie and my dad an email asking if they wanted to run the St. Pete Beach Classic together. They both said yes! Katie has never run a “real” race and wanted to get one under her belt before our half marathon next month. My dad has done a few mini triathlons over the past couple years, but this was his first distance race in about 20 years.
My parents (wisely) got a hotel room right at the starting line and we all met there early in the morning. Despite temperatures in the 70s earlier in the week, the temperatures plunged just in time for the race – we were chilly with the 50 degree (and windy!) weather!
We stayed in the hotel room as long as possible and walked to the starting line about ten minutes before the start. The crowd was the perfect size – about 550 participants. Big enough to feel like a serious race, but not overwhelming – like I know our half marathon will be. If every race could have this many participants, I would be a happy camper!
We left my dad nearer to the front of the crowd – he is a bit more speedy than us!
And Katie and I got ready to run!
We didn’t really have any goals for the race – just to finish. Katie’s knee had been acting up lately, so we agreed before we started that we wouldn’t feel any obligation to stay together on this race. Note: If you’re running a race with a friend, it is VERY important to get those details worked out before the race! It avoids hurt feelings and sometimes hurt bodies if someone pushes to the point of injury to stay with the other. Communication is key!
Before we knew it, we were off!
We started at a quick pace – and did the first mile in 10:13. We both felt great! A little chilly, but great. At mile 2, Katie wanted to take a quick walk break but I was really feeling the momentum of the race and kept running. Just me, no music, alone with my thoughts.
My pace stayed pretty strong and I kept pushing through. Three miles down. Four. At five miles I ran past my cheering family. My husband jumped on the course with me for a few moments to cheer me on. He gave me a compliment that kept me going for the last 1.2 miles of the race. He told me I looked great – and that I looked graceful. After seeing this photo, I think he was lying. 🙂
But who cares. Those words remind me to try to lengthen my strides and keep going. We actually had to run past the finish line for the last mile loop (totally demoralizing!). As I made the last turn back to the finish line, I realized the wind was right in my face. It felt like I was running into a wall. But I had gone too far to walk now! I ducked my head and kept pushing through.
And finally – there it was. The finish line!
I have no finishing photos yet, but if they’re any good, I’ll be sure to share them with you all. 🙂
I crossed the finish line with a new 10k PR – 1:06:08 – an average pace of 10:39/mi!
Even more than that time, I’m proud of myself for running the whole thing. I have NEVER run that far in. my. life. Not before I had a baby. Not back when I was in high school. NEVER.
It’s true what they say – running is SO mental.
I celebrated at the finish line (at 9:45am) with a post-race beer. My dad said my name should be the “Want-A Beer Athlete” instead of the “Wannabe Athlete.” 🙂
My dad finished in an impressive 59:07 and Katie came in just over two minutes behind me. I would definitely run this race again. They planned a fantastic course on out St Pete Beach.I also realized I love the 10k distance. It is long enough to feel challenging, but not too long that it requires extensive training. I’m already considering signing up for another 10k in my hometown in April – the Sharkstooth 10k.
I also just got an email that if you sign up for the Women’s Half Marathon today (Sunday), you can get $10 off the registration fee! The code is FLWHM115 for the one in St Pete, but they also have races in Minneapolis, Nashville and Scottsdale/Tempe – let me know if you need the codes for those races. Anyone want to fund my racing habit? 🙂
Did you run a race this weekend? Feel free to leave a link to your recap in the comments – I’d love to read it!