If you read my marathon training recap then you already know that I had to DNF (did not finish) this race at mile 5. I was actually really bummed and mad at Alex, since he was the one who made me stop. Ok, he didn’t FORCE me, but he strongly encouraged me to do so and I listened, which I’m glad I did because goodness knows I have no sense of reason when it comes to running. Regardless I still wanted to write about this race because I actually had a great time and would love to do it again.
The race was located about an hour northwest of me in Gainesville (which is about 90 minutes from Dallas). The plan for the day was to get up early, log 6 miles then go to the race, pick up our packets and run the race. Well obviously the 6 miles beforehand didn’t happen, partly because I was iffy about my leg and mainly because I slept through my alarm.
I was actually a little worried about finding the race site because the website never gave an address for the race, it only said “Downtown Gainesville” but it also said there would be signs and people directing us. I had never been to Gainesville but I had driven through it on interstate 35 many times because I would take that road to college and back so I had at least an idea of where we would be going. Once we exited there was actually a person with a sign pointing us to the right place. It was a small race and parking was not an issue at all.
Picking up our packets was also not an issue. I’ve actually come to really like these smaller races for many reasons and race day packet pick-up is one of them. Once we got our packets we noticed the port-o-potty line was empty so we took full advantage of that.
At this point neither one of us was feeling very well, I was having allergy issues and concerned about my leg and Alex has been battling bronchitis for a couple of weeks now so neither one of us was too thrilled to be there. But the weather was really nice, not too cold but definitely a cooler morning. I did a warm up mile in 11 minutes even and then we waited around for the race to start.
There were 2 distances, a 10 mile and a 5 mile; the 10 mile was starting at 8:00 am and the 5 mile at 8:15. There were probably about 400 people total and about 150 or so running the 10 mile race. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so close to a starting line before! The energy was good but there was a lot of waiting around. The race started a few minutes late but no big deal.
Originally the 10 mile course was supposed to go under I-35 and over by the zoo they have in Gainesville but they must have switched it because they told us 10 milers that we would be doing 2 loops of the 5 mile course.
We started out and since it was a really small town we ended up on a few back roads by some fields and over to a park area. I started slow but pretty much from the get go felt awful and sluggish. My legs were tight and felt heavy and oddly enough my pain wasn’t so much in my right calf like it has been but more in my right glute and left calf, go figure!
Alex stayed with me the whole time and throughout the first miles I felt bad but I knew I was still getting warm. But once mile 2-2.5 hit and I was still feeling a lot of pain I told Alex that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do another loop when we got back. He was more than happy to oblige since he himself wasn’t feeling too well.
At this point we had wound our way into some older downtown neighborhoods and even though the streets weren’t great I really liked the shade that the old trees provided.
I know there were water stops but I honestly don’t remember where they were and since I never took any water I don’t know what they had. I actually do remember the first water stop because they had some elderly folks working it and one guy was in a wheelchair and another guy had a walker and they were all just so happy to be out there helping. I thought it was the sweetest thing and I actually felt bad for not taking any water from them but it was early on (like mile 1 maybe) and I never take water that early.
About mile 3.5 I told Alex I was feeling better and was reevaluating my previous statement to stop after the first loop. I told him I was about 85% sure I should stop and 15% wanting to finish.
At mile 4.5 I told Alex that I really wanted to keep running and I was a 60/40 now. Honestly my mind was going crazy because I hate not finishing what I start. Add to that I really needed 17 miles for the day; I knew 17 was pretty much not going to happen but I could at least have 11 and be ok with that. I also remember arguing that if this course wasn’t a loop I would be forced to continue no matter what (ßI thought this was a good argument, Alex disagreed).
But no matter what was going through my head Alex was there being the voice of reason telling me that I may feel “ok” but I wasn’t 10 minutes ago. And while this is just one race we have several more and a marathon to think about. I begrudgingly let him win this one and when we got to the starting line we went ahead and called it a day.
I was mad, really mad. And then it occurred to me later, when did I become a person who is mad that I wasn’t able to run 10 miles and instead had to settle for only 5? I should be grateful that I can even run 5 miles, or 6 if you include my warm-up mile. I should be glad that I can do that and I should also be glad I have someone there to tell me when I need to take care of myself.
And for the record, I apologized to Alex later (mainly because it still hurt to walk and I couldn’t imagine how much worse it would have felt if I had run 5 more miles) and forgave him for making me stop. Honestly I appreciated him for it even if I was a little frustrated.
When we got to the finish line it was pretty dead, only a few people had finished the race and so they were still setting a few things up for the post race festivities. We got our medals and I sat on a curb and sulked while Alex grabbed a cookie. But other than that we didn’t stay and I wasn’t in the mood to hang out anyways. It looked like it would be fun if I had been in a better mood because there was a band and they had breakfast tacos that they were getting ready and beer. Like I said, I would totally do this race again given the chance.
The medal was awesome and I really love the long sleeve shirt.
So aside from it being a rough day mentally it was a good race over all.
And just to throw a few stats out there for you:
- The course actually measured long and when we got back to the start my Garmin said 5.2 miles. So for the day I did 6.2 miles (a 10K) and I finished that 10K in a minute faster than I did on my PR race a month ago!
- I also went and looked at the results for the race this morning and if I had stayed on the course and finished the 10 mile, based on the pace I was running and knowing what I did my last 10 mile run in, I would have been in the top 4 in my age group, possibly 3rd place. That’s kind of cool but it also kills me a little inside to think about that.
- Alex took second place in his age group according to the 5 mile results! (But we won’t mention there were only 2 people in his age group because honestly that doesn’t matter, I’m still super proud of him!)