I wasn’t prepared for this course. Note to self: North Louisiana has lots of HILLS. At least compared to what South Louisiana has.
Long story short: I didn’t PR. And the course was actually too short, so even if I had PRed, I don’t know that I would feel particularly good about my new record. Not that it makes me feel any better about NOT PRing.
We drove up to Bossier City, home of my in-laws, on Thursday,and I did get in a 4-mile run at a 9:30 pace that night. I rested fully on Friday and picked up my race packet from the local running store, Sportspectrum that afternoon.
On Saturday, my mother-in-law offered to take me to the race since I wasn’t familiar with its location in Shreveport. We had to park in a parking lot a ways away from the race start, and I got a bit of warm-up walking a half-mile or so to the start.
I got my bib when I picked up my packet on Friday, but the chips were non-disposable so I still had to pick that up pre-race. I heard The Star Spangled Banner being sung as I approached the group and started to panic! Normally this isn’t performed until right before the race starts, but apparently they wanted to do it a little earlier. Because people were still walking the long distance from parking to race start, the race actually got postponed 10 minutes. Still about gave me a heart attack.
We had to walk through a lot of wet grass to get to the start. I took a Jet Blackberry Gu.
My goal was to get the first mile in around my PR pace. I felt like I had started out too slow last week at the Shamrock 10K and that I needed to have a more solid start this time, something to build on.
I kind of figured there would be hills in this race, but didn’t realize how many uphill climbs there would be. There was only one real steep climb we had to do, which was actually a grassy/muddy one, but they were still work for my legs and lungs that I’m just not used to.
The race was two loops of the same course, so we had to do all of those same hills twice. By the time I passed the 5K mark (which would have been a 5K PR for me by about 20 seconds!), mentally I was through with the idea of PRing. I still tried to push on through the remainder of mile 3 and 4, but by the time I hit 5, I just wanted to be able to breathe again. I slowed down. I guess you could say I gave up.
It’s really rare for me to give up with only one mile left. One mile seems like so little. But I guess I was pretty bad off if I couldn’t bear the thought at keeping up my pace for one more mile. I was breathing heavy and labored, and my legs were like stone. Hills. And just not my day.
I crossed the Finish Line at 53:22, 13 seconds off my PR. The course was short, according to my Garmin it was only 6.16 miles. And I didn’t make a concerted effort to run the tangents.
Mile 1: 8:29
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:42
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:50
Mile 6: 9:04
Afterwards I stocked up on free stuff – there was a lot!
I checked the results and it was just posted by overall placement. I was the 22nd 10K finisher and 5th female overall. I wasn’t sure how they were doing age group awards – a 24-year-old finished before me, along with a 31-year-old and two other women in their upper 40s. I decided to wait until the awards to see how the age group awards were given out.
I called my mother-in-law who’d been waiting in the car and she came and sat with me to wait. They started announcing the 5K awards and were just giving out medals to 1st place. According to the age groups they were doing for the 5K, I would have fallen into 25-29 and was therefore first. But then they got to the 10K awards and the age groups were completely different. The age group I fell into was 25-34, and with a 31-year-old finishing before me, I did not win it. It was a disappointing finish to a (personally) disappointing race, and it was fitting, really.
I did enjoy the race and overall I thought it was well done except for the course being short. The hills are killer, but this was my third race in North Louisiana and the first two involved hills. I should have expected and been prepared for that.