On Sunday October 21st was the Dawg Dash 5/10K held at the campus of the University of Washington. I'd seen the Dawg Dash for years as I'd played in the pep band for it while I was in the Husky Marching Band. So I knew it existed, but it was WAY before I started running.
In my plan to work on my longer distances, I signed up for the 10K and have been working on getting to that 6 mile mark in my running. Now mind you, I haven't actually ran 6 miles since my last 10K race, which was the only time I've attempted to run 6 miles. So, I wasn't sure how I was going to fair.
I like routine, so the night before I got everything laid out, bib pinned and I was ready to go in the morning. What you don't see here is the under armour layer I put on that morning when my hubby advised me it was hovering around freezing outside. Yeah, a singlet wasn't going to cut it keeping me warm on my run. Hells yeah, rocking the Team Sparkle skirt!!!
My hubby drove me to the campus where the race started and ended and we proceeded to get some swag as we waited for the race to begin.
Got my face painted and everything! Here's my waiting in the porta potty line. BTW- no sanitizer in any of the porta-potties, bad bad!
Hubby decided to dress up a bit at the race, brought his Frankenstein hat. Kept him warm, it was really freaking cold!!
There was quite a few people, but not as big as I thought it would be, just under 5000 participants.
Don't know why, but hubby loves getting stretching shots...I don't get it.
Then it was off to racing! This is where the pictures end for a bit. Hubby had the camera while I was running. I didn't realize it, but when we were standing around waiting for the race to start my feet were freezing, so when I started to run they were actually pretty numb! D'oh!! They hurt/got feeling in them for the first 1/3 - 1/2 mile of the race, really uncomfortable way to start!
The first 1.5 miles was a bit of a hilly course going through the Greek system then through the Ravenna neighborhood and park. It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day and I wish I had the camera with me because the fall foliage and sunshine was AMAZING! The first two miles were good for me surprisingly and I was cruising along. The first water stop was around 2 miles, I grabbed a cup, downed it and kept running. I had a GU with me that I was going to take at the next stop which should be in about 2 miles, right?
Got to about mile 3 and the wall started getting really close and I was approaching it fast. I needed to take my GU and I didn't have water. I learned the hard way not to take a GU without water and I wasn't going to do it again. I guess I had burned up more of my energy than I thought I had at the beginning. I slowed down considerably and I was taking shorter running blocks and more walk breaks. I was looking desperately for the next water station, or a water fountain of any kind!
Finally the water station appeared...at mile 4.75! The race was practically over and now we get the second water station. At that point I didn't care, I tore open the GU took it down with a cup of water and kept running. The last mile and a half felt like eternity...and the course had two flights of stairs in different locations. Really? Stairs? Whose dumb idea was that!!! Then I finally made the turn into the Quad where the finish line was.
I saw hubby with the camera at the ready, he was running after me taking pictures!
Almost there...my posture was so bad, I just wanted it to be over with!
The final stretch to the finish line and I'm flashing the "dubs" (GO HUSKIES!) At this point I was sprinting to the finish, head down and legs churning.
I was done with my second ever 10K race! WOOHOO!! As I crossed the finish line I saw the time reader board and it said 1:10:45, I couldn't believe it, I'd beaten my last race time by 4 minutes! I'd PR'd!! I was SO excited!!
Who kicked butt on the race course? That's right, I kicked butt!! I threw on my sweats as I was starting to get cold, guzzled my coconut water and went to grab some water and a banana they were handing out. Not much in the way of fueling for the runners afterwards, just a bottle of water and bananas, kinda lame. Then we hung out and cheered on my band peeps playing for the crowd, they actually happened to be playing "Tequila" when we went over to listen.
GO DAWGS! GO BAND!
All in all, I knew it was a tough course for me and really only the second time I'd run that distance ever. So I was half expecting not to get a good time and half hoping I would do better than my last race. Later that night I took a look at the "official" race time to find out my official time and my heart sank. My timing chip recorded my time as 1:14:33 seconds, beating my previous 10K time by a mere 17 seconds and not the 4 minutes I'd thought it was. I was heartbroken and still a bit am actually. I have no idea where that clock time came from, but it wasn't when the 10K racers started as I was only 30-60 seconds behind the sound of the horn and crossing the timing mat.
Needless to say the race became tainted for me a bit with the timing snafu. Overall, it was a learning experience for me in the way of really watching my pace when I first start out. I was having too much fun with the course and I was passing people with ease (that should have been my first inclination that I was going too fast), and to take a small bottle of water with me that I can toss after taking my fuel when I want to, not when the water stations are. OH...and a little bottle of hand sanitizer, not going to have that issue with the porta-potties being out of it again. YUCK!
Each experience we have gives us lessons to build on and shape the future. I hope that I can take these lessons to heart and have a smarter race the next time. Maybe I can last longer and finally get a better time!