After I ran the Thin Mint 5k I was excited about racing again. The following weekend I was going to run a 15k challenge at the Race for a Cure. First up was a 10k, which had to be completed in 1 hour and 15 minutes in order to start the 5k. Total - 9.3 miles that would help me be prepared for the Chicago Marathon. I hadn't trained, but I was going to be running the Windy City anyway. And I was excited.
The time limit for the 10k scared me a bit because I hadn't really been running all that fast since I started back up. When I had registered for this 15k challenge I was a lot faster. I had run a 10k in 1:05 and I had figured that soon enough I'd be able to go under the 1 hour mark. However, life isn't always fair and running had to take the back seat. Now I was slower instead of faster. I tested myself on a 13.1 mile training run, and ran the first 10k in 1:13. I COULD do this. I woke up early Saturday morning and headed for St. Pete.
The view overlooking the water was beautiful as I walked along the marina heading to packet pick up. I would have loved to get my packet during one of the packet pick up days so I would have been all prepared, however my lovely work schedule didn't allow for such convenience.
After I got my packet I headed to the start line where I ran into my fellow Suncoast Striders. I got there just in time for a quick pre-race photo op. It was awesome to see so many familiar faces that I haven't had the privilege to run with in the recent months.
I hung out at the start with some fellow running friends and was excited for the race to begin. The race was delayed for about 10 minutes. I was getting a little antsy - I was ready to run!
Then we were off.
I felt really good at the start of the race. I had a lot of energy and I felt strong. As usual my body just wanted to run, and I ran faster than I should have for the first mile. Oddly my shins were bothering me a bit so I started to slow down. I stopped and walked for a little bit and then speedy Gwenn gave me some words of encouragement. I started running with her, keeping pace with her for about a half to 3/4 of a mile. Then it became hard for me to keep up. I slowed down.
Unfortunately my energy dwindled towards the end of the race. I took some walk breaks and felt a little dehydrated. I looked at my watch and realized it was going to be difficult to finish under 1:15. Knowing I needed to beat that time pushed me to keep moving on. I crossed the finish of the 10k in 1:15:17. I hoped that my watch was a bit off from my official time, and that I would be under 1:15. Usually I'm pretty good at starting and stopping the garmin, but we would see. According the the race rules you needed to finish under 1:15 in order to be scored for the challenge.
I was created with water at the finish, which was much needed. I headed, very quickly, to the start line of the 5k. The challenge runners were supposed to be able to start in the first coral, but I had finished to late for that, and the 5k had just started. I sped up to start with the group, but was in the back of all the runners and walkers. I tried to run through the walkers and keep a steady pace, but it was super difficult and I gave up and started walking. I tried to keep a brisk walk pace, and eventually the crowd spread out a bit and I was able to pick up running again for a bit.
I had to alternate running and walking, but I was happy to be able to get some running in. I wanted to be able to run as much as I could so my body would be more prepared to endure the marathon. Unfortunately there were points where I couldn't find a space to run around people, so I walked. I was also a bit tired so I didn't mind.
I finished the 5k in 43:31. I wasn't happy with the time, but I was happy to have run 15k and to be running for a great cause.
After the finish I walked around with some of my strider friends and we got some pictures by the water. It was great to catch up for a bit.
My official 10k time was in fact 1:15:17. I didn't finish under the 1:15 cutoff, but my results were still totaled for the challenge. 15k - 1:58:48. It wasn't a terrible time, but I was a little disappointed in myself. I see some speed work in my future!
Overall I had an awesome time. I ran two races back to back, finished just shy of the 1:15 I was hoping for, got to run a scenic course, and got to hang out with the amazing Striders for a bit. It was a good day!