Carytown 10K Race Recap- Just have fun and work hard

Hi everyone!

I haven’t been posting a lot other than some random puppy pictures because I’m lazy and my life sometimes isn’t interesting enough to blog about. Last weekend was really nice and actually pretty busy, despite Kyle being out of town. Lots of outside time, running, biking, festival-ing, and good beer/wine.The semester is wrapped up for me and I’m really excited to enjoy summer without papers, tests, and “reflections”. If you’ve ever been in an education or counseling program, you know we love to “reflect” on everything from here to New Zealand. 

As I write this post, I realize that if I am going to blog about stuff, I should probably start taking pictures of said stuff. However, I also like to just enjoy my life, company, food, and craft beer without having to photograph everything. This is exactly why I will never be a real blogger. Oh well.

On to Sunday’s race.

I woke up late and with a headache Sunday morning, and hadn’t really trained much for this 10K. I was ready to roll up to the course and struggle to maintain half marathon goal pace (8:15/mile) then enjoy some free bananas. Usually I go to races with Kyle, and since he was away I just went by myself. I’ve done this for a couple of local/small races and don’t mind it too much. I like having the support and cheering squad for bigger goal races and long distances, but sometimes I am charitable and forgo forcing people to get out of bed on a weekend to watch me sweat.

I needed 9 miles for half training, so I did 2 before and 1 after. Before going to the race, I took Jango for a 2 mile shuffle/jog at the river. The goal was to run very easy as a warmup for the race, and taking Sir Sausage Legs encourages that. (Jango if you read this, mommy loves you and you’re awesome). 

The weather Sunday was PERFECT running weather. Mid to high 60’s, low humidity, sunny… just wonderful. As I started out, I didn’t look at my watch until the end of the first mile. I noticed that I was running 7:45 for that, and figured it may be possible to maintain that effort for the whole run. Mentally, I just decided to push myself as hard as I could (for that distance), and to not give a hoot about the time.

I need to remember that “just have fun and work hard” mantra for other races, because it paid off. SO MUCH of the struggle with running is mental. The course had a few minor hills, but overall was pretty flat. It ran through most of Carytown on Cary street, then went down Cary Street Road and Grove through the near west end, which is a gorgeous area.

Whenever I got to a point where I was feeling the fatigue, I reminded myself of a few things:

1. This will be over before you know it.

2. Your legs are not going to fall off. Unless you feel like you are going to puke, you can keep working it.

3. A mental loop of Meb’s Boston finish fist pump kept going through my head. I hope the elites of the world know how they inspire us average people. I kept thinking “what if Meb had decided to give up? What if he had slowed down to take a break in that race? Don’t cheat yourself of the race you deserve”

So yeah, I guess this race was very philosophical.

Approaching the finish, I felt like I had a little in the tank. Seeing the finish line about 100 meters away told me that I could now turn it to “feel like you will puke” speed.

Using that speed allowed me to close the gap on a couple of people who had been in front of me the whole time, which was a great feeling crossing the finish. With chip timing this means nothing, but I felt pretty cool in that moment.I was hopeful for an age group place, but these Richmond ladies are FAST.

I wound up finishing 9th (11th if you count the overall winners) in my age division, and 35th female. Official time was 48:10 with negative splits for the second 5K.

If you are in the Richmond area or within an hour or so, I HIGHLY recommend this race. It comes on the heels of the nationally popular Monument Avenue 10K, and the course is just as pretty. It had a nice small town feel, parking was a breeze, and the shirts were better than the Monument ones. The race fees also go to the local running club rather than to a for-profit company that charges $40 for an outdoor yoga class in May. You know who you are.

My ONLY complaint about this race was that I have no race photo. This is just something that you risk with a local race, but honestly who actually likes the photos that you have to pay for anyway? Since I went alone, there is pretty much no proof that I was at this race other than my picture of my Garmin. So that’s disappointing.

Finally, a big plus of racing in Carytown? Buying day old donuts at Dixie Donuts for 50 cents after the race. I did a little jog around the area to get my cool down mile (OCD girl must get 9 miles for half marathon training!) and to flush out my legs a little bit. Somehow I ended up at the donut place and then weirdly wound up with a giant apple fritter and coffee. Not sure how that happened.

Hope you are having a great Thursday! How is your goal race training/running going???

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