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A 10k PR and Botox!

Confession: My 10k was a PR only because it was, technically, the first 10k I've ever raced.

Now that we've got that out of the way, here's the recap!

Once I started getting my iron levels back up, the parasites in my belly were heading out and I started picking my running pace back up, I decided to sign up for a shorter road race to test my speed a little. I signed up for the "Affordable Botox Stars, Stripes and Wishes Race" that takes place at Enterprise Park in Chattanooga. It was the first year of the race, I drove there alone and I didn't know anyone running, but I just wanted to get a race in before heading to Europe (tomorrow!) So here's the good and bad for this race:

Kicking it at the finish


-Considering it was the first running of this race, things went pretty smoothly. I got there with time to spare, there was plenty of parking and packet pick-up was convenient.

-The course was clearly marked, perfect for a park that has lots of different trails and road that intersect constantly.

-The volunteers were great. Not many of them cheering along the way, but every single person out there was positive and enthusiastic.

-The Botox. The main sponsor was a Botox place.  That's weird, right? I don't want to wear my race shirt because it says AFFORDABLE BOTOX! across the back.

-It raised money for the Make a Wish Foundation. This is incredibly important to me because when I was 7 and my sister was 5, our family received a "wish." My younger sister has had a brain tumor since she was five, and when she was first diagnosed it seemed fatal. The entire family got to fly to England to see our relatives over the summer, something we could never have afforded with the medical bills my parents had at the time.

-The awards were handmade with the handprints of the current Make-A-Wish children awaiting their wishes at a nearby hospital. Hands down, it was the most touching award I've ever gotten. Dang it, I'm tearing up again reading this. I can't help it - how incredible are they?


-It was 81 degrees at the start. I don't know how to make that sound better than it was. Luckily, it was 90% shaded on the route so it could have been a lot, lot worse and I'm definitely grateful.

-Hills. No, really. HILLS. The people I was running with kept saying, "this HAS to be the last one. Right?" It never was. The only good part about the uphills were the corresponding downhills - I don't have any knee/ankle pains so I could earn back some speed on them. The last mile was entirely downhill - beautiful.

-Results for the race were kind of confusing. Even though I started 3-4 seconds MAX after the start of the race (I was close to the front) my gun time was a minute later than my chip time - didn't really make sense to me.

-The Volkswagen factory is pretty new, and my car's GPS didn't even know there was an EXIT there - let alone how to get to the parking lot. 7am freakouts are not appreciated over here!

-Post race treats were limited. To be honest, I didn't even see anything to eat/drink after the race, and went back to my car to refuel. Afterwards I saw people with fruit, so I'm guessing there was something but it just wasn't clearly marked?

-The 5k started 10 minutes AFTER the 10k, which seems ideal. However, my 54 minute finish meant I was crossing the finish line with the 44 minute 5k-ers. Not ideal when you are trying to sprint to the finish! (Think: dodging walkers holding hands when you have .2 miles left to run. Um, not cool.)

I finished the 10k in 54:34 (chip time) and ended up as the second in my age group (20-29). When I started running, I was the 6th woman overall, and I am 99.999% sure that no women passed me during the run, so I should have been 6th at the finish. I'm still waiting for the online results so I can check! Keep in mind, there couldn't have been more than 100 women running the 10k - this wasn't a big race by any stretch of the imagination.

What was the best award/trophy/medal you have ever received?
Even though my marathon medal will also hold a special place in my heart, this award was pretty cool. I was so touched by how personal they were, and it's definitely something I'll keep forever. 

Do you like to run races alongside someone or alone the whole way?
Normally, all alone is best. But yesterday I stuck with a guy for about 5 miles, and it was great motivation. He said his average 10k finish time was 53 minutes, but he was adjusting for heat and hills- so I let him do the pacing until the very end! (For the record, he beat me!)


  1. I won a stuffed owl one time for a 5K. That's pretty hard to beat. He came with a stick to perch on and everything.

    "Affordable Botox" sounds awesome. If I want someone to inject me with botulism, I want it on the cheap.

    1. Okay, THAT is the best award I've ever heard of.

  2. Heat and hills are such a horrible combination. I think I could totally get behind a race sponsored by a breast implant company... especially if they gave out discounts in the goody bag. Kidding, kidding. Have fun in Europe!

  3. i couldn't help but laugh at Kara's comment. Affordable botox is quite a weird sponsor, but at least the cause was awesome!
    congrats on the insta-PR :)

  4. Affordable Botox. That's special.

    I've only ran six races and they were all fairly large so I've never gotten a cool award. At least they weren't handing out certificates for affordable Botox injections.

  5. CONGRATS on your auto-PR!!!!!

    And have a wonderful time in Europe, I'm really jealous about that...

  6. First 10k and you place??? That is freakin' sweet! Great job! Also, you look way more hardcore in your kick photo than I ever hope to look in mine. I usually look like I'm not even moving. Hmph

  7. Woohoo!!! A race recap with no puking!

  8. Oh man that sounds like my 10k last month with the not fun! lol

  9. congrats on your AG and first 10K! i placed in the Mobile 1/2 marathon and the awards were made by the mentally handicapped adults that live at L’arche. Very sweet.

  10. That's a priceless age group award. Congrats on getting 2nd in your AG!

  11. Awesome pic you look very determined! Yeah botox = weird shirt, but LOVE the awards! Way to go!

  12. Congrats on the PR* and AG, that's awesome! And no puking is nice!

    I love those awards, we are leaving for a Wish trip for my daughter next week. MaW is amazing.

  13. I love running with friends, but when I'm going for a specific goal, unless the friend is there to pace me, I need to be alone.

  14. Great job Vanessa! I loved reading your recap. Sounds like a pretty eventful race. I love the awards they gave out. So sweet. I personally love to run with friends because it keeps me at a good pace. My running buddy and I think the same way and when we want to quit, we always think that the other one is on a roll and would feel bad to stop when in reality, we both want to quit. It's a silent agreement that we have that we wont tap out unless it's an emergency. We push each other in that way.

  15. Great job on your first 10k! I did my first one last year and didn't learn to like the distance until this year. I love the awards and given your family history that does make it really special. Have fun in Europe!

  16. Love the make-a-wish award! How fun and great job on your PR! Wow, my first 10K was 1:05:01 but I told myself next time it'll be finished in under an hour, guess I just need you as my running coach!

    great job and great race pics and recap!

  17. That is the most ridiculous sponsor I've ever seen for a race. I wouldn't want to wear the shirt either!

    Awesome job on your AG win!

  18. My yoga mat says "Botox" across the top! It was a freebie back when Big Pharma could still give fun stuff away to doctors and pharmacists. Now we only get dinners.

    Congrats on the speedy PR!

  19. congrats on your PR and award, definitely a keeper!

  20. Congrats on the PR and award!
    Botox...really?? Wow..

  21. Great job on the 10K and that award is pretty awesome! I have yet to run a 10K! :)

  22. Love the first time you race a distance - insta PR! Personally, I think 10Ks are my least favorite distance to race, but it sounds like you did awesome! I always screw up my pace SO badly :) I prefer to run alone, but I know it's common to run with others during races.

  23. Congrats on the awesome race Vanessa you totally rocked it. 81 degrees is freaking hot and hills to boot. Wow girl you are really running great right now and should be incredibly proud of yourself. Congrats on 2nd in your AG too.

  24. CONGRATS FRIEND!!!! that is a fantastic and impressive 10k time! im absolutely in love with that award. the coolest thing ever! i really like the medals from our St. George marathon here...they are made out of Utah Sandstone...something I will be able to cherish forever especially since I am moving away soon! Congrats again!

  25. Congrats on your first 10k PR!

    And I'd use the botox shirt as a car-washing rag. At least it's useful that way!

  26. Have a fantastic time, hope you have brought a raincoat ;-) Let me know if you get more than 20 seconds & I can haul ass up to London for a coffee (I'm there this Sunday anyway for the British London 10k). Have fun xx

  27. Congrats on your time! You did amazing! I absolutely love the award. Hands down, the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

    I placed in one race last year (a 5K) and I got a second medal for the race but it was like DOUBLE the size of the regular medal. That's probably the best/only award I've gotten!

  28. I guess money is money in terms of sponsors but yes, weird. Could the other women have won overall and be intelligible or age group prizes? At least 3 of them? Either way, great job on an AG win in a hot race! I'm reading this while I wait for a 10K to begin and your win has psyched me up!

  29. Good job on the PR! I love automatic PRs! Also, did you say Europe!? Where are you going!?

  30. Congratulations! Look how awesome you're doing now that you've got your GI issues resolved. I'm giddy excited for you. Sub 55 10K - holy speed demon - jealous, jus' sayin'! Your award is truly awesome!!!!

    You already know my answer - love to race with peeps - the more the better!!!!

    Coolest award I ever got - hmm, well, seeing as I don't win a lot of awards (3 to be exact) - I'd have to say that my best award was my pink trophy for getting first place in my AG last September in the 5K women's only walk . . . power walking is WAY harder than running (jus' sayin').

    Happy Independence Day! Can't wait to hear how you are celebrating!

  31. This is a very good and entertaining post. And you also included amazing pictures from the race. Keep making articles like this.

  32. PR HECK YEA!!! i'm so happy for u...and daaaang, check u out in that pic, talk about a woman on a mission! ;)

  33. Nice race Vanessa!!!! I love the make a wish foundation and I have a family friend who's child was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age and they also benefited from getting their wish too :) what an awesome cause. I love the handprints!

    YAY for the PR and tackling those hills. Although, now all I'm picturing is you in that hardcore looking shot trying to pass girls skipping while holding hands ;) lol

  34. You seriously take the most amazing race finish line shots! You look so badass and strong! I always look like a smelly flat tire.

    That award would totally make me cry. You know what else would make me cry? If you got second in a race. But a different kind of cry, like a happy/thrilled/ZOMG how cool is that cry.

  35. Great 10k! congrats! and no getting sick?!!! that is HUGE!

  36. Nice post. Thanks for sharing useful information. chemical peel utah

  37. Hi Vanessa! Looking cool!! I've got much pleasure by reading your happening race event. It seems you enjoyed the marathon at the end. Congratulations!! Keep it up. wigan botox

  38. Congratulations in your first 10k, Also I hate when there are many hill. I know that some times it is hard to pick the route but at least less hill would be great.

  39. “I don't want to wear my race shirt because it says AFFORDABLE BOTOX! across the back.”--- Haha! Me too! And it’s really unusual to see a Botox center sponsoring a running event. Anyhow, what’s important is that it is still for a good cause. :) People from the Make a Wish Foundation must’ve have been really glad because a lot of kind hearted people like you joined the race.

  40. That was a good run, Vanessa! Even though the sponsor was a looks a little bit weird, it was really a great cause. I hope more and more cool and unique activities like these will be held in the future.

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