This was my second experience with this race, having done the 5-miler portion last year, and I really wanted to do it again because it was so well organized and everything about it was high quality.
The “swag” was pretty much the same as last year – a nice long-sleeve cotton T-shirt with the Goldenfliers logo (last year it was a sweatshirt), a thick glass with the logo, and a small towel.
I picked up my packet on Friday night, and it came with the timing chip which had to be zip-tied to your shoe and returned after the race (they provided the zip-tie). Last year the chips were on a Velcro strap you had to put around your ankle, and I don’t believe you could get it before race morning, so this was an upgrade!
My training plan called for 13 miles, so I got to the site of the race around 7 a.m. with plans to do 3 miles prior to the 8 a.m. race start.
I pulled out my Garmin, and ta-da – dead! I charged it the night before, so I didn’t know what happened! I was very aggravated!! (Turns out it needed to be reset – which I will now always remember how to do after Googling it.)
(That is me pressing the Power button and that is my Garmin being a little BRAT.)
Luckily, I do have an app on my phone that I used during Life Before the Garmin to track my runs. It would at least help me know when I had hit 3 miles.
I did 3 miles (the app says 2.98 but when it was on the active running screen it said 3, nice of it to “round up” for me >:() and was completely sweaty – the air was cool but moist, and it was warming up.
Do I look sick? Oh yeah, that might be because I kind of still am. I look hideous in all my self-portraits. I can’t wait to see the official race photos (/Sarcasm).
I felt pretty good during the 3-miler, and my cold had pretty much dissipated with the exception of lingering congestion and a small cough. I thought I would be fine and attempt a really good pace for the race – 9:30-9:45. Don’t know what I was thinking!
We had to walk about a quarter-mile past the 5-miler starting line to get to the 10-miler starting line. Yes, I did look at the 5-mile start longingly, but I shook it off. 10 miles it was.
The race was a double-loop around the LSU Lakes/City Park area. So the 5-mile sign next to the start sign was there because we’d be coming back around again.
I think one of the biggest things I did wrong was fail to fuel properly. I had half of a trail mix bar and three Gu Chomps after the 3-miler and before the 10-miler. I brought only these Sports Beans along for the road. I really wish looking back that I had taken some Gu. It made a big difference in my 17-mile training run last weekend. Oh yeah, and a real breakfast would have been good.
For the first 5 miles, I felt pretty strong. I checked my phone app at most mile points to see where I was in time, and I felt like I was keeping a 9:40-ish pace for the first half.
The first 5-mile racer passed me at about 3.5 miles – they started 15 minutes and a quarter-mile behind us10-milers , so yeah… there was that. 🙂 I also almost got run over by the EMS bikers – they honked at me 😦
I passed the 5-mile marker at a little past 48 minutes.
Then the wheels fell off pretty quickly, I don’t think I’d even gotten to the 6-mile marker before I suddenly felt absolutely terrible. My ankle was hurting, of course, as it always does, and my knee and IT band were both feeling sore. My shoulders locked up and were feeling tight and sore.I was having trouble keeping my breath, my lungs were feeling overworked, which is not typical. I don’t know if I can blame it all on being sick this whole week, but I think that contributed, as did my lack of fueling.
Water/Powerade stops were usually every 2 miles, but I wished I had my own with me because I was so thirsty.
I slowed way down, and was passed by a number of people for the last 4 miles. I wanted to stop and walk SO much, but I kept telling myself that when we got to the Powerade stop at Mile 8, I could stop and walk while I drank. I did just that, and I had to ask for a 2nd cup. I tried to stretch my shoulders and arms and legs, and then started running again. I told myself if I really needed to walk, I could do so at Mile 9 (really my own personal Mile 12), but by the time I got there, I felt OK enough to keep running for the finish.
I was really disappointed by my final race time – 1:40:42, a 10:05 pace. I was on pace to meet my goal at the halfway point, and just couldn’t finish it out. I am proud that I didn’t stop to walk outside of water stops. That took a lot of mental strength.
I did make a conscious effort to run the tangents (running inside curves to maintain shortest distance measured by race organizers), but still somehow managed to go .2 over.
(I had to pull out my phone and press stop and save after crossing the finish line, so there are a few added seconds to the final time).
It was a good learning experience as far as the need to fuel, and my overall combined 13(.2)-mile time was not bad – 2 hours, 9 minutes, 17 seconds.
Not sure why I am posting this ugly picture of myself! The Powerade table to my left was right past the finish line. I immediately went there and drank three cups of Powerade, then painfully sat down on the ground and stayed there for about 5 minutes.
I was at the race by myself and didn’t see anyone I knew, so after sitting and stretching for a few minutes, I got up and looked around, grabbed free water and Powerade bottles, then headed home. There was jambalaya and some other things, but I was not in the mood. I got my typical LeanOne Chocolate Smoothie from Smoothie King on the way home.
I wore my compression socks for most of the afternoon Saturday, and the legs were still a bit achy. I took a nap and woke up with a serious headache, I think contributed to by congestion? But overall my cold appears to be gone as of Monday afternoon.
Things I would like to see at this race next year:
1) Technical T-shirts instead of cotton
2) Disposable timing chips
3) A finisher’s medal, at least for 10-milers – yes, I LOVE getting medals.
4) More participants! This is a really good, high-quality race. I’m surprised it is not bigger than it is. Maybe if they gave out medals… 😉
Runs planned this week – 3 speed miles on Monday, 5-Mile Turkey Day race with my husband on Thursday, and an 18-mile long run on Saturday.