I have just completed my first 10k race. I am really pleased with my time, 55:41. That’s just under a 9 minute per mile pace, so I am really happy was able to maintain that over 6 miles. I don’t think that’s too bad considering this was only my 6th run of 6 miles or over. I have to say, there is a pretty good hill that starts about 2.5 miles into the race and the course pretty much goes up until the 4 mile marker, and that almost got me today. I actually passed quite a few people going up the hill (this is where you started coming across people who had to start walking). But I was so exhausted that I had to give up a lot of spots going back down the hill as I tried to catch my breathe and find some more energy. But I never walked! And I beat my goal of 1 hour pretty easily (Actually I ran the course the week before in 1 hour and 4 minutes. The fact that I shaved 8 minutes off that time says something about race day adrenaline and just being out there with a bunch of other people trying to push it).
The post-race festivities were a little disappointing, but mostly because I had high expectations. I had seen pictures from the event where they basically had a buffet of food for the runners at the post race party. This year, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, they had stuff to eat. They had Mexican finger food, frozen yogurt, and Krispy Kreme donuts. I think had I had no expectations going in, I would have been quite pleased. But when you thinking you are going to be getting plates full of BBQ and pizza, finger food and snacks are a little bit of a let down. I am thinking, though, that this is probably just a sign of the economy. I am sure when times are good, the races get more sponsorship and thus more free stuff to give away. But when times are uncertain, race sponsorship certainly would be cut back. Still the music was good, as was hanging out with friends. And for the beer drinkers, there was PLENTY of that flowing (I am not a beer drinker, but I wouldn’t think that would be the best post-race beverage. But those who were drinking didn’t seem to be complaining!)
Now that I have a 10k under my belt, I am plotting my next move. I think I am going to run another 5k race next weekend. There is one in Vestavia Hills called Run For The Hills. If I am not too sore, I am going to test the course tomorrow. I do know that the first mile to mile and a half is a HUGE challenge with the hills. (There is also a 10k, but with the hills and considering this would be my third weekend in a row of racing, I don’t think I am up for that!) But it is something different, as it seems that a lot of Birmingham courses run through downtown, so this would be a change. Then there will be some time off from racing. In December, there’s the Jingle Bell 5k and the Meadow Brook 5k. Also, I am pretty sure at this point I will run a half-marathon, it’s just a matter of when. The Mercedes is in February. And the Red Nose 10 mile race in January may be a good warm-up for that. But we will have to see.