This past Sunday, I ran in the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K. As I shared in my preview post of the race, I had the ultimate goal of going under 50 minutes for the 10K. And I am very happy to share that I was able to reach that goal, even though I thought it would be pretty much unattainable.
When I woke up the morning of the race, I was a bit worried. I stepped outside and it was cool (which was fine) but it was raining. I have never really raced in the rain before, and I was disappointed because the forecast I had looked at the night before said it would rain later in the day, not in the morning. But I should have known this could have been wrong, given the weather forecast is always pretty much unreliable!
I realized that I would just have to suck it up, pray for the rain to stop come race time, but deal with it if it didn’t. I got ready in my outfit I had put out the night before, and also put on my rain jacket in preparation for a wet race.
The race started at 7:30AM, so Justin and I left the apartment around 7AM. The race was not too far away, and there was no point in getting there super early if I was going to just be standing in the rain. Justin dropped me off about 10 minutes before the start of the race, and I made the decision to keep my rain jacket with him. I figured it would probably just end up making me too hot, and I was going to get wet anyways, so I might as well not be hot as well!
By some sort of miracle, the rain stopped just as we were about to start! I couldn’t believe it. I was now very relieved that I didn’t bring my rain jacket, because it definitely wasn’t necessary now. I felt like the rain stopping was some sort of sign that this was going to be a good race for me.
At about 5 minutes before the start, all the runners lined up behind the starting line. This race was also a half-marathon, so there were many different pace markers in the group. I stood behind the sign that said 8:01 per mile because that would be around the pace I needed to go below 50 minutes. I knew that the half-marathoners split from the 10k runners sometime during the race, but I figured it would be good to be around that pace group for the time we were all together.
During the first half of the race, I felt very comfortable and was going below the 8-minute mile pace. The only bad part was when I almost slipped on some rain, but luckily I caught myself and was fine! After a while though, the rolling hills of St. Louis were starting to get to me, and my thighs were really burning! I knew it was important to keep going if I wanted to reach my goal, so I just told myself that it wouldn’t be that long of a race and the temporary pain I was feeling would be worth it if I got under 50 minutes! So I just pushed myself through the pain, and kept going when I wanted to slow down. I was going at a bit slower pace than I started off with, but I knew that I was still around my goal pace.
Before I knew it, I could see the finish line and could make out large time clock right in front of the line. I could see the numbers “49” in the time, so I knew I would be very close! When I crossed the finish line the clock was at 50:09, but I was pretty confident I was under 50 minutes because I started several seconds after the race clock officially started.
I crossed the finish line and was met by many volunteers giving out tons of different goodies like fruit cups, FULL SIZE (!) candy bars, bagels, water, Gatorade, and my favorite – bananas. I was really impressed with all the goodies we got. We also received a really cool medal which I had forgotten about.
As I was going through the goodie line, I got a tap on my back and for some reason I assumed it was Justin (even though he did not participate in the race so I’m unsure of how he could have been in the finishers area haha). I turned around and recognized that it was a man that had been running around me during the race. He told me great job and that this was his first race and he was behind me the whole time and I inspired him to keep going even though he wanted to stop. I seriously felt that crying after he said that, because I remember in my first race I had followed behind someone and told myself that since they weren’t stopping, I shouldn’t stop. It made me so happy that I helped someone keep going!
After that, I found Justin and we went home. On the way back, I checked the live results on my phone and found out I had reached my goal (just barely!) clocking in at 49:56 for the 10K! I ended up 6th out of 155 in my age group (Female 25-29), 34th of 1016 for females, and 115th of 1426 overall! I was so happy with my time and place in my age group, and really enjoyed the race as a whole. The packet pickup was quick and easy, the race shirt was very cute, the race course was fun as we got to see a lot of downtown sites, the after-race food and refreshments were great, volunteer support throughout the course and after was awesome, and the medals were very nice. I will definitely do this race again, and am contemplating doing the half marathon race next year!