week of bad runs, but because on Friday night while Sean and I were heatedly playing Words With Friends, I was also googling race reviews for Funfest in years past. And they were not good.
Mostly they talked about how unorganized everything was, how the miles were not clearly marked, and how the split from the 5k/10k was not clear. At least I wasn't already nervous. Sean was nice enough to text me Friday at work the following:
Me: I've had sucky runs all week
Sean: Saving the good run for when it counts, good strategy babe!
This is what was getting me through Friday night. The knowledge that for every bad run, there is a good one waiting somewhere. Have I mentioned that I really like him??
Needless to say, at 10pm Friday night I was neurotically laying out all my running clothes (and yes, even my socks matched my shorts, thanks Jenn!!) and setting out my Clif Shotblocks just in case I needed them (I am not a fan of gels), my iPod, my Garmin, and any other miscellaneous items I thought I may need.
At 4:15am I was sliding out of bed and into my running clothes, and at 4:45am I was running an easy "warm up" mile on the treadmill. By 5:00am I was shaking Sean awake (who seriously gets an award for best husband ever for letting me wake him up earlier than he gets up for work on a Saturday and then subsequently forcing him to drive me an hour an a half to the race. he ROCKS) and loading him up with coffee while I simultaneously made PB + banana toast and got everything ready for us to go to Galveston after the race. By 5:30ish we were on the road.
We got to Funfest about 6:45am and I picked up all of my race stuff and then Sean and I hung around watching all the other runners get everything together. At this point I was feeling pretty good - it was a beautiful day and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful run. We watched the kiddos dominate a 1k and then it was time to line up. Sean fulfilled his husbandly (word?) duties and took the necessary pre-race photos.
Then we found this gem:
I don't even know.
And then we were off.
I suppose now is good time to tell you that I had mapped out certain goals:
1. To finish (I know this sounds dumb, but I was seriously contemplating if I would be able to given the crap runs I had going for me. Ok that's not true, I knew I'd finish, but it seemed like a good goal to have).
2. To finish under an hour. When I did my self-imposed 10k a couple weeks ago, I finished right under an hour.
3. To finish under 53 minutes. I figured that was a good goal to be reaching for, and had pretty much figured out I'd be ok if I ran 8 1/2 min/miles... I just wasn't sure if I could sustain 8 1/2 min/miles the entire time. I wanted to run hard, but sustainable.
When the gun went off there was a little delay in me crossing the start line, so I made sure to start my Garmin right when I stepped foot over it.
That picture has nothing to do with the race, we had just figured out how to work the panoramic settings and I thought it turned out cool and wanted to somehow include it...
Mile 1 went by quickly, I was running about an 8:38 pace and felt good. I figured I'd keep it around there and I should be golden. I picked out a couple people to catch up to and was off without a hitch. We looped around the street and went off onto a small trail. It.was.gorgeous.out. Seriously, one of the prettiest races I've ran to date. I wish I had taken my camera with me, but I left it with Sean because he is notorious for getting finish-line photos. Good husband.
We ran up a wooden bridge (random) to a street that gave you a full view of the bay. This is where it split for the 5k and 10k. And it was very clearly marked. I headed off with the rest of the 10k folks, still feeling good, still maintaining a good pace (little under 8:30).
Around mile 3.5 I started wondering where the turnaround was. There were no runners coming back at that point. But the view of the bay kept me calm and collected, and it was really neat watching the sun come up over the water. Eventually people started coming back and there were water stations every 1/2 mile or so. For the first time ever I grabbed water during the race, because let's be honest, I live in Houston and it's the summer. It's hot. I hit the turnaround and picked a person in front of me to pace me up to them. At this point I checked my Garmin and saw that I was running about an 8:17 pace. Pretty happy and feeling pretty good.
I do want to say though, that one thing that bugged me was that by the time we hit a water station that the 5kers had already ran past, they were out of cups. This seemed like poor planning in my opinion, but I also didn't need water so it didn't really affect me.
I picked water up at random intervals and took small sips before tossing the cups. I also managed to choke on one of the gulps of water I took and got water up my nose. Clearly I have not mastered drinking out of a cup and running. I should point out that while I felt great, I also was very aware of what mile I was on and how much longer I had to run. I just kept telling myself that even though I was running hard, I could maintain it. Right before mile 5 I ate one shot block, but before eating the rest told myself I didn't need them (I didn't) and that I'd be fine without them. So I put them up. Found a guy in a red shirt and ran to him. Passed him on the downhill wooden bridge. Then he passed me. Then I passed him again. There was no way I was going to let him finish ahead of me.
I saw the finish line coming up and my BIGGEST complaint is that there was a couple doing the 5k and they were walking and we hit a turn at the same time and I had to make a huge arch around them because they didn't move. Some of us are here to race, not just to participate. Just sayin'.
I picked up the pace and was running around a 7 min/mile for the last 1/2 mile or so. Crossed the finish line and immediately looked down/stopped my Garmin.
I am pretty sure I yelled "yes!" pretty loudly. I was so stoked. And out of breath. I had to walk around a bit chugging water before I regained my composure and found Sean. I didn't even say anything, I just showed him my Garmin. I was so proud of myself at that point. I told Sean we could leave, I didn't care about seeing the results because I figured it was a big race (definitely not huge or even the biggest I've been to, but there were quite a few people there) and I wasn't really concerned with my ranking, I was just so happy to have exceeded all of my goals. Sean convinced me we needed to stay because "the last time you wanted to leave early you placed first". Touche.
So we hung around waiting for results. When they finally went up and I finally located my name I lost my breath all over again.
1st in my age group. 5th woman to finish overall. And the girl who placed 2nd in my age group was 7 minutes behind me.
I was beaming. (And yes, I realize that no one pointed out to me that my medal fell behind my number.) Sean noticed though, which is how we ended up with this awkward picture of me:
Overall: I thought it was a great race. It seems like they listened to past complaints and fixed things that had been wrong. Would I run it again? Definitely. It was beautiful. They did seem a little unorganized, but nothing that was unbearable.
Anyone run any races this weekend??
Ever gone into a race thinking it would be horrible and it turned out great? I'm notorious for this.