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.)
ResultsI 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!)