River City Rat Race Recap
Here's the Rat:
As a preview - here was today's forecast compliments of wunderground.com:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the mid 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent
The forecast was enough to get me worried going into the race, combined with my very terrible run on Thursday, I'm thinking one thing - Can I even do this?.
My mom and I arrived at the rendez-vous point in plenty of time. We people watched - that's always fun.
Eventually, it was 1:00 and "K" ("C's" oldest daughter) & "T" ("K's" friend) arrived.
A few minutes later "C" met us at the rendez-vous point. I had picked up the packets and shirts so it was like Christmas distributing them to the gang.
We made a trip to the porta johns - I was surprised there wasn't a line. "C" and I split apart for a few minutes. It was at that moment that an absolutely fantastic surprise happened. I met RustBeltRunner. How in the world did we find each other in the sea of people? Holly was a very sweet person. We walked over and I introduced her to "C" and we spent a few minutes talking. It was really nice. I'm so happy we were finally able to meet. Shout out to Holly - thanks for walking over to meet us!!!
The race start was very congested. I don't remember quite the issue last year. There were 800+ people crammed into a small half a block area - it was pretty nuts. Here are some photos of the crammed starting area from where we started:
Oh well, "C" and I rolled with the quick initial pace and got our first mile done in 12:40 (or so). We then clicked off the second mile in another sub 13 pace. I had a goal to PR this race and as such had written 2 different pacing guides on my hand. We were rocking it through the 3rd mile, but things kind of fell apart at about 3 3/4 mile mark. I had some beans (thanks "C") which I think helped me finish up the race. We slowed way down and by mile 5 we were really off the pacing guide. We decided that finishing using our 2:10/1 interval was more important than anything else (after all, "C" had never done a 10K before so this was going to be a PR for her no matter what-always takes the pressure off-SMILE). We got to mile 6 in 1:21.37 which was the slower of the goals I had set for crossing the finish line. We decided we could run the remaining .2 and sprinted across the finish line finishing in 1:24.00 (we tried so hard to cross while it was still 1:23.59 - no luck). It wasn't a PR for me by nearly 2 minutes, but . . . it was a successful training run (especially given Tuesday)
I have to remember that I've spent 7 months working on distance not speed. Not sure speed will ever be my goal, but I think I do enjoy training for the 10K distance a whole lot better than the half-marathon distance. I digress -
The end of this race is pretty neat. The finish line is inside the Fort which makes up the City's name (Fort Wayne).
Last year I stayed for all of the prizes to be given away and ended up sick for a month. This year, I opted to leave. It had begun raining (for the 3rd time since our warm-ups) and it was really quite chilly (hard to believe I would say that given the high was like 75 degrees). The post-race food was pretty good (Subway subs, apples, bananas, pretzels, cookies, soda - isn't that a bit odd at the end of a race?, 4 Gatorade flavors, and water). We posed for a few pictures before heading to Logan's for dinner.
This next little section is more of a reminder for me, but also maybe a little reminder for you all too. I wear this when I run longer races. I drink a lot. I carry a lot as I'm prone to low blood sugar and allergies. I'm not completely confident that I won't need 911 at some point during the race or at least need a ride home. I carry candy, extra gum, Kleenexes, my camera, my blackberry, chews (though, not today), and 2 16.9 ounce bottles of water. I've never pretended to be cute, but I have things that I need with me and sometimes the stuff I carry helps other people (my "crew" or other racers) like at the F4F a woman needed a kleenex. Last year at the WOOF my boss tripped on a root and needed to wash off her wounds with water and stop the bleeding with tissues. I'm not a small person - I'm not a fast person - but I'm a nice person (or at least I think I am). There were a group of about 5 girls dressed in green custom T-Shirts that were doing their thing and "C" and I were doing ours. We would pass them when we ran and they would pass us when we walked. Late in the first mile one of the girls who had braided hair said, "Hey, can I have some of your water?" Without a second, I pulled the bottle of water from my backside and handed it to her and said "sure." My thought was that I had 2 bottles and I hadn't opened that one so why not. She started laughing and so did the girls with her. She said some smart-ass comment which I have chosen to forget. I clarified with "C", but yep, she/they were making fun of me. Really? At age 30 they haven't grown up yet? We all make comments to our friends about the running attire others have chosen, but at the end of the race - we're all just doing the same thing - running/walking and crossing the finish line for better health, for stress management, for a sense of accomplishment, or some other reason. I carry a 5 pound belt - think that makes me a bad ass! Oh well, I'm pretty sure she felt pretty small when I was willing to give her the water.
p.s.s. last year this race ran out of water. This year they ran out of cups at the last water station. HMMM- good thing I had water for "C" and I with me.