Firsts and Lasts

They say you’re not supposed to do anything different on race day that you do for any other run. Well, when you’re used to running in 40-something degree weather and the temps on race day are in the 20s with winds (making it feel like 10), it leaves little choice but to alter the routine.

My biggest concern was clothing. Hat or headband? Gloves? Turtleneck or crew neck? I settled on wearing what I normally wear for my 40-degree runs (long pants on bottom, sports bra, tank, long sleeved shirt on top) and added a jacket. I purchased a wind-resistant headband and thin smartphone friendly gloves on Saturday, so they went on as well.

I went into the race with three goals:

A – finish the race, run the whole time, cross the finish in under an hour
B – finish the race, run the whole time
C – finish the race

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you know what happened.

10K photo 1

Despite the conditions and the race itself, I finished my run with a time of 58:52. Goal A crushed! I also got third in my age group. Whoop, whoop!

Now, to talk about the race itself. The Bishops Events Turkey Tumble for Autism was certainly not what I expected. I picked up my packet on Saturday, and found that the medal I ordered (to commemorate my first 10K finish) was well, let’s just say it looks and feels like it was purchased in bulk. I got better medals for FREE from the other 5Ks I did earlier this year. Plus, who gives a medal at packet pick up? I could have easily not run the race while still reaping the rewards of a medal to add to my collection. (And trust me, with the weather the way it was, I considered it.)

This should have been my first sign to how the race would go. We arrived at the park where the race was held with a few moments to spare and I was immediately confused. Where was the start line? Am I in the right place?

Turns out I was.

The race was poorly organized (the 10K group started by following a truck around the course) and not marked well. Think golf signs with turn left, turn right, stay straight on them. Since there was no official start line, my GPS watch time was off (I didn’t have enough notice to start it before running, so I finished with a mileage of 5.75) and even Map My Run gave me a grand total of 6.12 miles. Since I wanted to make sure I hit 6.2 I kept running after exiting the chute. Better safe than sorry!

Additionally, there were no mile markers. Usually, I’m not a big fan, but in this case, I would have taken anything to let me know I was actually on the right path. Finally, I understand that it was frigid outside, but they should have also had more race support. In my mind, having people stationed around the course to cheer you on can be a game changer in your overall race-day emotions.

The upside to all of this was that the race wasn’t crowded. I was a bit concerned when I saw the race was two loops around the same course – thinking that I’d be tempted to start walking after the first loop was complete. However, that didn’t factor in at all. I often felt like I was on a solo run – allowing me to pace myself adequately while not feeling pressure to keep up/swerve around anyone. I kept a good pace throughout the race, but didn’t feel bad slowing down when the wind was whipping at my face or when we had to go up/down steps. (Yes, there were steps involved.)

Would I do another race by this company again? Probably not. But the wind, cold, and race day atmosphere can’t take the grin off my face.

At the beginning of the summer, I was working my way up to running a 5K distance. Now I’ve completed a 10K distance. I couldn’t have done it without the support & encouragement I’ve received both from the running community and from the JA. All of you help inspire me and push me to keep on reaching upward to bigger and better goals. Upon finishing the race, I told the JA that I ran over half of a half (marathon). He looked at me and laughed. “Whatever you want, babe…”

Stay tuned, my friends.


This post is part of the Marvelous in My Monday link up, hosted by Katie at Healthy Diva Life. Thanks for letting us start our weeks with you!


15 thoughts on “Firsts and Lasts

  1. Congrats on your 10k and beating your time. I’ve run a few poorly organized races and it’s really frustrating, especially when you’ve trained for the race. At least it makes for a good story. πŸ™‚

    • Ain’t that the truth! It’s always nice when a race exceeds your expectations, but when it falls flat…well, that’s a bummer. You are right in that it made for a great story!

  2. Congrats! Sounds like you made an awesome day out of what could have been a crappy one! And a PR?? Awesome! So, is a half next for you? I vote yes πŸ™‚ Also, I’m a bit of a stalker on your blog- let me tell you, Frederick is an AMAZING half and would be perfect for your first one, just sayin πŸ™‚

    • Hahaha. Thanks! It was my first 10k, so anything would have been a PR. However, it did feel nice to come in under my goal time. Heard great things about the Frederick half; it’s certainly a contender!

  3. Congrats on your first 10k! Sorry it kind of sucked though. At least you didn’t get lost on the course, right? And I always say the same thing after a 10k about being half of a half!

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