Its been almost a full week since I ran my first 10k, and I'm only now finding time to write about it. And I really should be working, but I'm finding a real lack of motivation right now. So, here's the story:
My brother and I signed up to run the Deseret News 10k together. The race was held on Tuesday July 24, which is Pioneer Day - the day that Brigham Young walked into the Salt Lake Valley and declared "this is the place", and thus began the habitation of this great state.
The race began at 6 am, in attempt to combat the heat. But even at 6 am it wasn't very cool outside. It began in an area called Research Park, and the route started out downhill and ran downtown. The last 2 miles or so were along the parade route, and the race ended up in Liberty Park.
I was a bit nervous. I've run several 5ks, but nothing longer. A 10k is 6.2 miles, so I knew it would be a bit of a test for me. I still haven't been running that long.
We lined up about mid-pack, and waited for the start. My brother and I chatted with a veteran runner. She was so nice, and told us how she and her hubby are running a marathon in every state. She has run St George, and it was fun to hear her words of wisdom. She was interested in our iPod arm bands, and I thought how funny it was that we each were experts in something.
Finally the race started, and I was grateful the race was chip timed because it took almost a minute to cross the start line. My brother was gone in the first few seconds, and I never saw him again. Immediately the race started downhill, and I found myself struggling to hold my pace. The force of running downhill combined with the excitement of the race made me want to push it. But I knew that I needed to save something for the end.
The first 2 miles of the race went very quick. I had forgotten my heart rate monitor, which also has a timer and I regretted it. I really think I set a PR for the first 2 miles. I would love to know my time. After about 2 miles, the course leveled off a bit and even went uphill for about 1/4 a mile. I started to feel a bit thirsty and I hoped for an aid station.
I didn't pass the first aid station until after mile 3. By then I was very thirsty. I drank a water and gatorade, and walked about a block to let my stomach settle.
At this point, the course turned southward onto the parade route. Again I found myself running downhill. I probably ran this part too quickly, but it was so exciting to have the spectators along the route. Some of them were uninterested in us runners. But others had signs, were shouting words of encouragement, and some were even giving hi-fives. At the bottom of the hill, I had to walk a couple of blocks, and of course that is where I saw a friend. He shouted "hi" to me, and I wished I looked more like a runner and less like a tired walker at that point. I started running again.
While I was walking, I got passed by a man who appeared to be in his mid 70s. He was wearing a shirt that said "running behind Opa". I thought he was really cool. Unfortunately, I don't remember if or when I passed him. I'm not sure which of us finished first.
The race course turned again with about ? mile to go. I had kind of been leapfrogging with a man and a girl. We kept shouting encouragement to each other, and noting that this seemed like the longest part of the race. I hadn't taken anything to refuel, and I felt tired. Finally I saw the finish line. I really wanted to sprint to the finish, but all I could manage was a strong jog. I felt good though. There were several vomit puddles at the finish line, and I was grateful that none were mine.
I crossed at around 1:16-ish. Results weren't published until the next day, but my official chip time was 1:15:07. Not a fast time by any means, but I was very pleased with myself. It was such a fun race and I'm definitely running it again next year.