On Memorial Day, I laced up my running shoes and headed to the St. Louis suburb of University City (home of Nelly the rapper!) for a 10K race. I went to bed at about 8:30PM the night before because I was so tired, so I woke up around 5:30AM with not too much of a problem. I did wake up with a bit of a headache, though, so I took some Advil and ate some food, and that combination seemed to help as it went away after a while. I got dressed, and then I had some extra time, so I took Lilli on a little walk so she would be more tired when we left her alone for a couple of hours and not whine and disturb the neighbors. I think this walk was also beneficial to me, because usually I don’t warm up that much before running, so it was good for me to get my muscles a little heated before the race.
We left about 6:40AM, and got to the race at about 7:10AM. Justin dropped me off and waited at Starbucks during the race, because he was not running in this one. I found my friend Rob who was running in the 5K portion of the race, and we walked around and found where the start line was. There were a lot of runners participating in this race and of all ages – old, in between, and very young! It is a family friendly race and you can even register at a discounted price as a family for the race, so the wide variety of ages was expected.
After a few minutes of waiting, the race began. The first few minutes I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. One side of the street was still open to cars, so there was only two driving lanes that runners could run in. And there were cones for some reason in the middle of the two lanes, so I was not only weaving around slower runners but also around these cones! I really didn’t have a great feeling at the start. I think I was just a bit anxious with all the people and little amount of space, but luckily it wasn’t too long into the race that it split up – the 10K runners kept going straight while the 5K runners took a turn to the right. Luckily for me, there were more runners in the 5K race than the 10K, so it became much less congested.
My goal for the race was to be around 53 minutes, which would be a little over 4 minutes faster than my previous 10K PR. To achieve this goal, I was going to have to run around an 8:30/per mile pace, and I was crushing this for the first couple of miles as I was in the 8:00 minute per mile range! But the humidity and endless rolling hills got to me after a bit, so I settled in closer to my goal pace, which I was completely all right with.
With about 1.5 miles to go, I decided to try to pick up or at least maintain my pace because I knew I was getting quite tired but I didn’t want to slow down too much. The last quarter of a mile “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera came on my playlist and I did just what Christina was singing about – I kept fighting and pushing towards the finish! And I ended up beating my goal, and finished with a 51:41 (8:19/mile pace)! I was happy with this time as it was better than I expected, and I was proud of myself that I kept pushing even when I was getting worn out!
I found Rob and Justin after I finished and we headed over to the finisher’s area where they had plenty of goodies. I settled for a pomegranate frozen yogurt, which tasted especially good after fighting the humidity during the race! (I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty gross at the end – completely covered in sweat!)
I ended up placing 8th out of 39 in my age group (Women’s 25-29 y.o.) and 156th of 548 overall. Not bad, but I’m hoping I can come back next year and go below 50 minutes for the 10K! Overall, I really enjoyed this race. We got a cool t-shirt, frozen yogurt and other goodies at the finish, a really cheap price for a 10K (only $25), and a challenging course. Definitely will be back again next year!