Saturday, February 9, 2013

RSG1 Valentine's Day 10K

Before I get to race day, let me just say that my nerves were calmed when I picked up my packet at Elite Runners.  They gave out the timing chips with the bibs, so all I had to worry about was getting to the start line by 9:45. I could do that.  Phew.  So, I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get up there wicked early and stand around, etc.

Speaking of the chips, they were customized for RSG1 and super cute (If you can consider a timing chip "cute"):


I wish I could say the same thing about the shirt.  If I'm being totally honest, it's a little disappointing.  Nothing specific to the race, just the logo of the organization.  I'm not totally mad about it, though, it is a fantastic cause and I'll be proud to sport it around.  I also don't think the extra $15 I paid for it was a waste.  One can ALWAYS use more running gear.  I just wish it had something on it with the date, the race, etc.  Oh well.

Pittsburgh Colors FTW.

No goodie bag for this race.  I received an email stating that they were going green this year and instead of a bag filled with paper stuff they were just going to set out a table at the race for you to take from.  That was cool with me!

Race day I woke up at 7:00.  My 3 year old was snuggled next to me as he has been doing lately and I snuggled back in with him for a few minutes.  I didn't feel rushed this morning at all.  I got up, and had my standard pre-race grub:  Peanut Butter on toast.  I'm not going to fix something that isn't broke!  I was smart enough to have a list made and most of my things laid out the night before.  I had originally planned to wear tights underneath a pair of hot pink shorts to help pull off the whole Valentine's Day theme, but when I flipped to the Weather Channel and learned that the temp "felt like" 13 degrees, I scrapped that plan and went with my Nike thermals.  I still did wear my bright pink Nike long sleeved shirt and my hot pink zip up (that I've pictured here before).  Some pink is better than none!

We dropped Victoria off at church at 8:30 and made our way to North Park.  We got there right around 9:00.  Luckily we were able to park not too far away.  I saw the 5K runners start.  There didn't seem to be many people at all.  At about 9:30 I started walking over to the Boathouse, where the 10K starting line was.  It was cold.  Most people were hopping around trying to get warm.  This was what I expected the Frigid Five to be!  Eventually, Kevin from Elite Runners had everyone get in line and then he explained the course.  We were going to make the left out of the boathouse, go up a hill, then turn back in around the tennis courts, go past the boathouse and then make a right and do one loop around the lake.  Sweet.  A route I was very familiar with.

The race started with the typical "are we going now?" shuffle to the start line.  Immediately upon starting up the hill people were whining about it.  I just kinda giggled inside, remembering the MONSTER that was the last 3/4 mile of Frigid Five and thought to myself "this is no hill, just a little bump".  My boys were sitting in the van a little way up the hill and I was able to wave to them as I ran by.  That was cool.  I was passing people and had made my way a good bit through the pack.  I wanted to keep my first mile slow - probably around a 9 minute mile and then work my way down from that.  As we went past the boathouse again and someone said "only right turns now from here", I was still feeling great and threw my hands in the air with a big "woohoo!" and had people around laughing.  Hey, you gotta have fun with this!  Mile 1 split: 9:03.

Mile 2 started the lake loop, which by now I am quite used to.  There's a small "hill" at the beginning and then a nice downhill and then it just keeps rolling up and down and up and down.  It's just enough that it is interesting but not too much (at least to me) that you're dying.  I was still feeling great through miles 2 and 3 as I picked up the pace.  Splits: 8:33 and 8:32.

By mile 4, the runners were very spread out.  In fact, most of the time it seemed as if there were more people on the lake loop that weren't in the race than were.  It was kind of odd.  I found myself running pretty much by myself looking ahead at what seemed to be the front of the pack and not too far behind me was a small group as well.  I pushed the pace a little harder.  Mile 4 split: 8:16.

Around this time the sun came out in full view and I kicked myself for not wearing my Oakleys.  Being blinded by the sun on snow sucks.  It also seemed to be heating me up (or maybe it's because I was wearing all that cold weather gear) and I was getting really sweaty.  I took off my gloves and unzipped my jacket.  I sucked it up and kept plugging along.  I seemed to be catching up to people in front of me.  There was this one guy in a hunter safety orange shirt that I really really wanted to catch up to and get past if I could.  Around the 5 mile point there I started feeling a little bit of fatigue flirting with me.  There was a slight uphill, but I wasn't going to let this get the best of me.  Thankfully, there was a water stop and I grabbed a cup of water from a super nice volunteer.  Her smile and cheerfulness really got me and I remembered WHY I was running this particular race and the people I was running for.  I took a big swig of water and threw the cup to the side.  The ice cold hit was just what I needed and I put the pedal down and shortly thereafter I caught up to and passed Orange Shirt Guy.  Mile 5 split: 8:24.

Mile 6 I just wanted to give it all I had left.  And I did.  I flew past several more people on the last part of the lake loop and in front of the tennis courts.  One of the guys I passed found another gear and passed me up again right before the end.  He must have really not wanted to get chicked.  I pretty much crossed the finish line with another guy.  If I had literally 2 more seconds I would have had him.  lol  But I crossed the finish line smiling!  My 3 year old son came running at me in the finishing chute of sorts screaming "Mommy YOU WIN!!".  Priceless.  Mile 6 split: 8:07.  I realized after I hugged my kiddo that I didn't stop my watch yet, so my time was going to be off.  It said 52:49, so I knew already that I'd crushed my goal of 55 minutes.  YEAH!!  

I grabbed a cup of Gatorade (which had turned into a slushy due to it being 20 some odd degrees and all) and headed to the Rose barn where I knew hot food and heat were waiting.  First I stopped at the table of goodies and grabbed a couple of Raw Revolution bars, a box (yes BOX!) of Emergen-C, some handwarmers, a couple of awareness bracelets and a ribbon car magnet.  Sweet stuff.

Downstairs they had hot pizza, chicken noodle soup, bananas, hot chocolate, water, and heart shaped Eat 'N Park cookies.  I grabbed some water, pizza, half a banana and a cookie.  I only ate 1 slice of the pizza, a bite of the banana, and a chunk of the cookie.  Garrett (my 3 year old) ate the rest... haha  That's ok, I was more after the drinks anyway and had 2 cups of water.  After eating, we went back upstairs where I entered a raffle for a heart monitor and some other stuff (didn't win.  Boo.), and waited for the official results.

My official time was 52:30!  Average pace: 8:28.  I am beyond thrilled with this.  That was good for 6th in my age group (out of 33) and 35th overall (out of 138).  You can't wipe this smile off my face I'm so ecstatic with this accomplishment.

If and when race pics are posted, I will be sure to upload some.  Nick was able to get one of me at the finish line, but he was standing far off and the pic is blurry.  If I can zoom it in some and clean it up I'll post it too.

I'm going to go on feeling rawrsome now.

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