This race recap is so long over-due I almost didn’t write it. For my local friends though, I thought this might be a helpful recap one day so I’m going to post it anyway.
Let’s borrow Hermonie’s time-turner for a minute and go back in time to October 21, 2017. Yup…almost 6 months ago I decided to run a 10k. Not just any 10k, a relatively flat, certified 10k course to get a sub 1 hour time. I have been chasing this runner dream for over a year now and have come just shy of it several times. I want to be in the sub hour club so bad I can taste it! I also wanted a great proof of time for 2018 races, namely the Princess Half Marathon weekend. Corral placement is crucial for crowd control and Amy and I wanted to be in the fastest corral we could get.
I was looking for a race that met a few criteria:
- Close to home (ie The Woodlands, TX area)
- Certified course (runDisney will only accept certified times)
- Cooler month
- Before November 4th (runDisney deadline for Princess)
- 10k or longer, but ideally a 10k
Not too much and not too hard to find either. I found the perfect match in the Houston 10k on October 28th but personal stuff came up (that didn’t even pan out thanks a lot Harvey) so I had to hunt for another race. Luckily I found this Run for Hope race the week before the Houston 10k and even better it was in my backyard! It was really cheap ($35), had an easy 2 loop course and started at 7:00am, which is a good not too early time. I asked my friend and running partner Amy to be my pacer bunny. She has always been faster than me, loves running, and is a fantastic ball of positive energy. We had been training together through the summer so it was a perfect fit. Luckily the race worked with both of our schedules, and just like that we were set for a PR 10k race.
The day before the race I picked up our bib’s at Fleet Feet in Hughes Landing, it was so easy. Came in with my ID and a phone call from Amy allowing me to pick up her bib and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. I bet Fleet Feet wasn’t happy I didn’t stay and spend money but I’m still sore Luke’s Locker went out of business, they haven’t won me over yet. Later that night Amy came over for pizza and a running sleep-over. Amy lives in Richmond, which is about an hour away from The Woodlands. It just made sense that she stay the night with me so she could get at least an hour extra of sleep. Carb loaded and race outfits ready we went to sleep for a 5:45am wake-up call.
Joe was gracious enough to be our chauffeur for the day and we were out the door by our goal time of 6:15am we made it to the race start at Market Steet by 6:40am. Plenty of time to potty, stretch and get acclimated to the nasty heat and humidity of the day. I was not happy with the temps and was a little worried that my training plus the heat would impact my running time. Amy was positive though, which always helps having someone to squash those negative thoughts.
7:00am came and went and there was no race start or even call for runners to line up. I was confused so I found a volunteer and asked. She told me the race wouldn’t start until 7:30am! What! Everywhere online clearly said 7:00am so what gives! Minutes later we found out, those 30 minutes were to be used to talk about the charity and all the work they have been doing in the community. Now, that’s amazing that they are doing so much good in the community and raising awareness for homeless children. A race start time is a race start time. If you are going to do 30 minutes pre-race of announcements, at least disclose that information so we can adjust our schedule accordingly. This was the only big frustration of the race, and its not a really big one. I will say though, they did start right at 7:30am, although I would have liked that extra 30 minutes in my own bed.
Race starts and we are right on pace. The course is a 5k, so we will be doing the loop twice. There was also going to be a 5k and a 1k walk but this race fortunately had those start about 15 minutes after the 10k. This gave the 10k racers plenty of time to clear the start line and get ahead of the walkers that would be in the other two events. There were to be 6 water stops and almost no hills, yay! We make it to the 4th turn and find out the lead car took the lead runners down the wrong way adding a little distance to their run. Luckily it was fixed before we got there but that had to be frustrating for the lead runners. Its warm and I’m feeling it fast but we are doing ok with pace. We hit the 5k mark and I’m really feeling the humidity. At the next water stop I pour water on my head but its a little too late and I start fading. I know I wont be able to maintain the required pace and the negativity sets in. Amy is doing her best to keep me going but I know if I push my body too much things will end badly.
At the last water stop, just before mile 5 I start walking a little too soon and Amy keeps running to try and encourage me to keep going. It kinda’ worked. I didn’t start running right away but my goal was to keep her in my sights even if she was a little far away. That kept me running at an OK pace and lead to a finish time of 1:05:48. Almost 6 minutes shy of my goal time. I cross the finish line knowing I pushed as hard as I could, got my little dog tag of a finisher “medal” and a nice cold bottle of water.
After a disappointing finish we took a few minutes to cool off then changed shirts (we were drenched in sweat and water) then headed to brunch. In The Woodlands there is this great brunch spot called Fieldings Wood Grill. Amy rarely comes up here so I thought this would be a perfect post-run brunch. As early as we ate it was really breakfast but I’m calling it brunch! Amy and I both had the mimosa flight and agree that the elderflower variety was the best. Amy ordered the creme brulee french toast, and as I promised, it changed her world. I got one of their poached egg dishes and it was ok but luckily I had ordered a side of the french toast and was very happy with that decision. After brunch we headed back to my house for a shower then Amy headed back home. While the finish time was’nt what we had hoped for, the pre and post hang out time was just what we needed!
In hind-sight, I wasn’t properly trained for a sub hour finish time. I don’t race well in high humidity and 70+ degree heat. I don’t cool myself with water early enough and I get inside my head too much with negative thoughts. I know I have that sub hour in me, it just wasn’t this race. I have high hopes for 2018 and know I will see that sub hour in my PR chart very soon. Until then, I have goals to chase, quite literally!
CHIME IN!!! Do you have any race goals for 2018? Are you in the sub hour 10k club? What are your favorite running conditions?