Race: Fort Bragg Army 10 miler
When: 6:30 am, June 3rd, 2011
Temp: 69 glorious degrees with a little wind
Outfit: New bright orange/white singlet (got 10% off for a grease stain), white/blue marathon slutties, and my orange/white Ghost 3 Brooks.
Since the race started at 6:30, I had to get up at 4:45am to eat, get dressed and get to the
parking area before it filled up. I forgot to charge my Garmin the night before and it was the very first thing I thought of when I woke up. I jumped out of bed, ran to my car to get G and then charged it while I got ready. Whew! I had my usual before race meal of an English muffin with peanut butter and honey and a small glass of milk (I don’t drink cow’s milk anymore, blek).
I wasn’t sure how this race was going to turn out. I’d only ran a total of 25 miles after the
marathon (a month ago) and hadn’t done any speed work. I was shooting to beat my 2007
1:19:05 PR (same race*) but really didn’t think it would be possible. I ran a 10K two weekends ago and I really bombed during it. I started off way too fast and ran out of gas.
* I did this race in 2007 and was asked to be on the Women’s Army 10 miler team (for the D.C. race)! Unfortunately, I was deploying and couldn’t do it. It would have been an amazing opportunity but I was still honored to be asked : )
I was hoping for a miracle and for my Go-Go gadget legs to kick in!
I met up with Erin and our friend (Shannon) and we headed to the start line. I was definitely nervous as I was waiting for the gun. I was so grateful for the overcast 69° and the slight breeze; quite ideal. The gun went off, and I took off conservatively. Race beginnings are always hectic – the weaving in and out until you find your zone.
I got in a pretty good rhythm and felt good. The first miles were good and they had some hills. I was really feeling the gradual incline at miles 3-5. I’ve always hated that stretch of road because it goes on forever. At the turn-around point at mile 5, I didn’t think my PR would happen. I’d slowed down to about an 8:15 pace and that just wasn’t going to cut it. I kept trucking along and someone came up from behind me and told me I was doing a good job. It was a trainer that works at the gym I go to. I said hi and he moved along. I started to loosen up a little bit and was able to pick up the pace some. One of my friendly rivals, “Cindy”, was doing this race and I saw her ahead of me at about mile 3. I just wanted to keep her in my sights but figured she’d pull away. I stayed behind her the whole way but she did speed up at about mile 7. About that time, I saw the trainer again and he seemed to be struggling. I got up beside him and he said, “Cindy is just up there!” I replied, “Yeah, but I’ve been trying to catch her and it’s just not going to happen.” He said he didn’t have much left in the tank and was going to run the last bit conservatively. At that time, I sped up past him and I heard him say, “Ah, what the hell!” and he took off with me. I never saw him again though so I don’t know if he ran out again or what.
The last approx. 1.3 miles is straight down a rolling road. You can see the finish and the few hills in between. It can be a bit demoralizing if your head’s not in it. I just gritted my teeth and went for it. I gradually picked it up and was giving it all I had; I even started wheezing a little bit.
I was passing people left and right. I LOVE hills!
All of a sudden, I see Cindy ahead of me! There was only about 0.3 to go and I didn’t think I could pick it up enough, keep that pace, and pass her. I went for it anyway and literally finished like 2 seconds ahead of her!! IF THAT! I didn’t look back when I finished because I was trying not to pass out. I just kept walking through the chute. I grabbed some trail mix, water, a banana, AND a bagel w/cream cheese. I scarfed that down then met up with Erin and Shannon. They both had good races, especially Erin who had been battling strep throat for weeks! She’s my HERO! I had a couple people tell me they were trying to catch my bright orange shirt, and that I was motivation to them! Erin said they were actually just looking at my butt. Red Robin was DELISH afterwards! I had two baskets of fries and a turkey burger. YUMMMMMMMMM!
I did what I set out to do. PR! 1:18:38*. 14th in my AG (25-29) and 36th female overall. So proud of myself and looking forward to my 12 hour adventure race this weekend in Virginia!
*That is still my 10 mile PR and I was also asked AGAIN to be on the women’s 10 miler team but I was already out of the military! I don’t have any pictures from that race and don’t think any were ever posted.