A 10k. The longest race I've ever run. 6.2 miles. Sunday morning, 8:30am.
I got to the parking lot - the starting line was at Pimlico race track - around 7:45. Found the group pretty easily, as we were all wearing yellow "Fleet Feet Sports" singlets. There was a 5k also, and the 5k started at 8, which didn't make sense to me... It concerned me that most of them would be done by the time we started and the food was all going to be gone. I'm starting to really be known as "food girl" to the group.
Kathy (group leader) said she was going to run as slow as her slowest group member. When the gun went off, we all took off doing 2 and 1s, and I must admit that 2 minutes in when we took our first walk break, I felt like a total jackass walking. Dianne had fallen behind, and Kathy said she was going to fall back to run with Dianne, but we could continue on if we wanted to. I decided that I wanted to push myself and continued on at a faster pace. Kristy stayed with me. We talked about it and we decided to stay together (Kristy & me) and start out with the 2 and 1s, moving up to 3 & 1s if we felt like we were going too slow.
Mile one was a bit of a downhill, and we ran it in 10:55, even with the walk breaks. I was floored. Seriously, I couldn't believe that walking 1 out of every 3 minutes would still result in an 11 minute mile. And we were passing people!! We passed "marathon girl," as we called her, who was wearing a Baltimore Marathon Relay shirt and listening to her iPod (against the rules, bah!).
Starting at mile 2, there was a gradual uphill that lasted until mile 4. Rough. During mile 3, I told Kristy that I didn't think we were going to go up to 3 and 1s. She agreed. Mile 2 was 12 minutes, mile 3 was 12 minutes. During mile 3 I asked one of the water stop people if there were going to be any damned downhills on the course. He said NO, but there was a big hill towards the end of the course. Great.
During mile 4, marathon girl passed us, totally pissing us off. She was running straight through and had picked up her pace for a bit of a flat part. We were keeping our pace pretty consistent. We were in the back of the pack by far, with only a handful of people behind us. Slow people don't run 10ks, they run 5ks. Mile 4 was 11 minutes. Mile 5 was 12 minutes.
Mile 6... UGH. A BIG HILL. They weren't kidding. We run hills on Tuesday/Thursday with the running group, but this was a hill to beat all hills. Big enough that doing 2 and 1s we took THREE walk breaks. The largest hill on our weekly runs usually only results in one walk break. This was a big hill. We passed one guy that had been in front of us the entire race, who had totally hit some sort of a wall on the hill. Then... top of the hill was mile marker 6. We'd done the 6th mile in about 14 minutes, totally killing our overall pace.
Still... only 2 tenths of a mile remaining! It was all downhill. Kristy looked at me and said "Do you want to sprint to pass marathon girl?" I shrugged, but Kristy took off. As we passed her, marathon girl said "Dammit, I thought I was going to beat you!" HA HA HA HA HA! Hooray for walk breaks!! I am not completely sure what our times were, but I think we crossed the finish line at 1 hour and 13 minutes, which put us at a 11:45 overall pace - very very good!
It was a great race. I was giddy from endorphins the rest of the afternoon. A bunch of fleet feet people won awards. I was not one of them, but I still had a great race. Hooray!