After a day to recover from Goldy’s 10 Mile run and digest the experience, I’m still feeling a little defeated and worse for the wear. Usually, no matter my time, I feel a sense of accomplishment. This time, though? I was left wondering, “Why do I do this?”
This isn’t to say anything bad about the race. This is a wonderful race in a beautiful city that I adore! But boy, did this route beat me up. As a librarian, I’m kicking myself for not researching a little better. I should have taken a closer look at the elevation map beforehand. Oh! the hills. I felt grossly unprepared for the hills.
And I ended up experiencing the same issue with my toes seizing up that I had experienced during the Get Lucky race mid-March. I had assumed my toes were cold, and this is why I had trouble with the muscles doing very odd things. But yesterday was picture perfect weather. Alas, I still had moments where I couldn’t go more than a few steps without feeling like I had talons in my shoes.
Now that I’m aware this isn’t just an issue of “cold feet,” I’m going to have to experiment again with new shoes. I think the toebox on the ASICS Gel Kayano 23s is narrower than on the 22s (which are my favorite shoe of all time, but no longer available in my size/width). So I’m on the hunt for a good pair of stability shoes with a roomy toebox. Let me know if you think of something that fits the bill. Running is expensive, no matter what “they” say.
Back to Goldy Gopher.
Pre-race, it was much easier this year to park and get to the stadium. Last year, we faced some major traffic jams on the highway. Hubby knew better this time, and he navigated us there with ease. My wonderful aunt joined us for the ride, as she was also running the 10 mile, and we made it in plenty of time to wait in the long potty line. (What we didn’t realize is that there were plenty more Porta Pottys around the corner, so we probably would have had half the wait time.)
We were a little confused at first and almost ended up in the 5k waiting area, but we finally heard an announcement over the speakers that 10 mile runners needed to be toward the front. We hurried ahead of the cutoff rope and took our places at the back of the pack.
Then…we were off! Lots of fanfare and cheering at the beginning, and the sun was just rising higher in the sky. The little breeze was welcome. I’m not used to running in sunlight after a long, dark winter!
The first couple of miles were nice. I kept a steady pace and enjoyed the scenery.
And then I hit the first hill. It wasn’t so bad, because I power-walked most of it. But I made the mistake of thinking, “Well, that must have been the bad one. Glad that’s done.”
It wasn’t done. There were several “rolling” hills that kept me huffing and puffing along. Once I hit a decent downhill in the middle, I ran far longer than my usual interval time, because I knew I was trying to make up for a lot of lost time.
I was definitely back of the pack. It gets lonely back there, though. I find the longer the distance, the more isolated I feel. There were intermittent runners on the trails, though (not participants in the race) who gave kind waves and smiles and “You got this! Way to go!”s. It helped immensely.
By the time I hit the last big hill at mile 8.5, I was just done. I threw a little pity party and allowed myself to walk most of the way. And by “allowed” myself, I mean I didn’t have a choice at times…if I ran too far, the talons reared their ugly claws.
Ending on the field in TCF Bank Stadium was a good pick-me-up, though. It is fun, and even though I was one of the final few 10 milers, I still felt energized by the crowd and atmosphere. And I was really excited to suck down a bottle of water (ended up being two!) just past the finish line.
To repeat myself, this is a fun race. I think it’s worth it if you prepare yourself. It’s well-organized and a very fun crowd! You should challenge yourself, and this is an awesome way to do it if you’re not used to hills.
Though I’m still feeling defeated, I am also motivated. To do better. To be better. I know I can. I will have to work my ass off (literally) to achieve, but I cannot let this stop me. Even though I felt like it was one of my worst runs, I still crossed that start line, and I crossed that finish line.