I knew I had a race this weekend, and knew it was at 5 p.m. on Saturday. I wanted to do a 10K and it was the only one that fit into my schedule on this particular weekend.
The week was crazy so Saturday came faster than I expected. I got back from a four day weekend late Monday night, I was sick Tuesday and Wednesday, had a crappy couple days at work, was out Thursday evening for the PTA, on Friday evening my mother in law was here, and I went to my aqua gym class. So around 11:25 p.m. Friday evening, when I finally sat down for 2 minutes, I figured I better check where my race was, and start thinking about preparing.
- 11:10 p.m. : charge watch
- 11:15 p.m. : go on line to check where the race is, how to get there, if I have sent in my medical certificate, check the race route, check the weather (yes, I have some
obsessivespecific race day habits).
- 11:16 p.m. OMG, I discover there are 62, yes 62 people running the race. Wow. Its going to be small.
- 11:17 p.m. How many people are doing the 5 K ? 19 ? Wow, that’s even smaller…
- 11:20 p.m. Read the race description again. Its a lot of nature trails. OK, now I remember why I signed up for this. Anything that keeps me off pavement for a good part of the race works for me.
- 11:22 p.m. Go to bed and remind myself not to eat too much tomorrow morning to avoid any kind of stomach or bloating incident
- 11:25 p.m. Remind my husband that I have a race tomorrow and he will have to do all the cooking for our friends coming over for dinner tomorrow evening
On Saturday, I was very busy in the morning and I prepared the rest of my things
kind of at the last minute. This is so not like me !
The race was starting at 5 p.m. I wanted to get there around 4 p.m. to be sure to find it, find a parking spot, get my bib, use the toilets… all those pre race things. You could sign up on the spot and I saw bibs in the 300s so there were a lot more people than expected. It was in a small town and part of a family event with 1 km, 3 km and 5 km races in addition to the 10K, so there were a lot of kids. My daughter went with me to cheer me on, so we just hung around enjoying the wait and beautiful weather.
I checked the race map, pleased to see how much of it was through the woods :
While waiting I started to worry a bit about the heat. It was in the low 70s and I was unsure if, in a small race like this, there would be water along the way. And since I hadn’t anticipated my race prep, impossible to find a small water bottle to bring with me. (Note to self : buy handheld bottle). So we lined up right before 5 and we were off :
I wanted to finish in under an hour. I started out a bit too fast, then tried to keep my pace between 10,5 km/h and 11 km/h. There were a couple parts of the route where we were single file and I lost some time but I still felt I would keep it in under an hour. At a couple points I wasn’t sure about the time and distance because the distance on my watch was behind by 200 to 300 meters compared with the race markers. I wasn’t sure if my GPS had a problem because we were in the woods, or if their markers were off. Finally the heat wasn’t a problem because there was water at km 6 and it was through the woods. Luckily.
I finished in 56 minutes 49 seconds but you can see is is 300 meters short of a 10k. Doesn’t matter, I would have finished in under an hour with 10,18 km/h. I placed 9th out of 21 in my group and 117 out of 165 total. Not too shabby !
I felt really good and was happy with my performance. As it is a small race and there is no time chip, you stand in line as you come in and they take your bib and pile them up to keep them in order. You can tell by these photos how happy I was :
And if you look closely, the woman who finished behind me, in black, was next to me when we started. I didn’t see her the whole race so she must have been behind me every inch of the way. LOL.
The race itself was pretty uneventful and overall a ton of fun :
- It was 90% through the woods on flat trails (no difficulty what so ever)
- Not too crowded
- Extremely well marked
Some key takeaways from this experience :
- I probably should have warmed up better because my shins hurt almost immediately and that happens if I don’t warm up enough.
- Luckily it was in the woods, or else it would have been really really hot. I need to get a hand held water bottle. I had brought some dried apricots, my go to fuel, but my mouth was dry and I had a side stitch for a bit. A side stitch = dehydration for me.
Special mention : the race organizers had spray painted, in neon colors, anything that you could trip over on the trail… big rock, roots, etc. I didn’t have my camera but every time I saw a bright yellow spot I thought to myself “how smart of the organizers to do that”.
I have another 10K race next Sunday, much bigger, it will be interesting to see how the experience compares !
Did you race this weekend ? Every seen rocks or roots spray painted ?