Monday, February 10, 2014

Cupid's Love Dash - 10k recap

Another year of my chocolate race has come and gone! I was just as excited for it this year as I was last year and while I came in around 30 seconds slower, I'm still pretty happy with how I did.

It's funny, at this race last year I was just about 6 weeks pregnant and had just found out. This time I had a four month old waiting eagerly for me to finish.*

This year though had one really good thing going for it - they offered packet mailing for $9. Not having to drag out an infant and a bored 5 year old was a win. My packet came last Monday and my shirt was...well...huge. I ordered a medium and I sort of looked like I was playing dress up. The race director emailed me and said she'd put aside a women's medium for me to pick up at the race, which they had no idea what I was talking about when I got there, but fortunately a unisex small doesn't look quite so absurd on me. It's weird, this body image thing. It's not too long ago I was pushing 200lbs on a small frame and needing XLs. Even me remembering to order mediums now when I register is a big thing; asking for smalls...that's going to take some time. The good thing though is that this year the shirt is white - all of my tech tops are dark, so the bright white on this one I think will be good visibility for evening or twilight runs.

Last year's shirt versus this one. I actually like the graphic on last year's better and will wear this one outside of running too, but I have to admit it's the jersey style tech material, so the smooth tech material of the white one is nicer to feel.

This year was different too in that I wasn't the only one I knew running it - I'd managed to drag my aunt to it too, and it was her very first 10K! I was the one who'd brought this race up to her, so she'd get a medal for her first 10K. This was a PDR for her (although she'd run 6 before) so I thought she definitely deserved one, and anyone who has read this blog before knows I'm a complete medal freak.

Of course this year with the crazy weather, their shipment of medals was affected by the storm - so they only had age group medals. And if we want our medals, we have to go pick them up from their store. (That's really not terrible, but it is disappointing to pay for packet pickup to avoid dragging my kids to packet pickup...and have to drag them out anyway! But they are giving us a $10 coupon when we pickup, which hopefully will be useful since I still need to get gear like I mentioned last week.)

 Race day itself came and I was feeling really bad for the race director; they posted on their facebook page that someone had stolen one of their aid stations at 4:30am. Yikes! Who DOES that? But off we went; I love that this race is close and has a ton of free parking...much nicer than the Chicago races I've done, to be honest!

 Like last year, the race started on time. We were told going into it the route was mostly clear except for an icy patch; with a course the same as last year, we started the first mile with an out and back that would take us past the finish line and then onto the rest of the course. It had some gentle ups and downs but nothing obscene. (Although I will say - the ice never materialized, but their definition of clear is not the same as mine - the course was full of slush and snow, so this was a harder run than my normal clear streets and was a lot more like my 5 mile run last week.) Miles 2 and 3 were also pretty flat, and I hit the 5K point at 35:43 - which is not a PR for that distance but, A) it's way faster than any 5K I've run since Miles was born, and B) I was pacing myself to finish the 10K rather than a 5K. This gives me a LOT of hope that that sub-35 5K is within reach!

Mile 1: 11:08
Mile 2: 11:39
Mile 3: 11:28
5K split:  35:43

Mile 4 was much the same - some rolling up and downs but nothing major. Miles 5 and 6 though - we were either going uphill or then slightly downhill pretty much the whole way, with one major uphill stretch until we hit the final .2, and my time showed it. I don't remember this being so hard last year, and what this really shows me is two things. First, my treadmill hill workouts I used to do once a week, even though they were only 1.5 or 2 miles, helped, and since the snow came I haven't been able to run my route that includes a major hill. And apparently, my legs knew it, as I was over a minute per mile slower for 5 and 6 - not because I had paced myself poorly, but because I was not trained for the hills this year. Oops! Fortunately the last .2 was mostly flat and I went back to my normal pace - although by then, my legs were wiped.

Mile 4: 11:33
Mile 5: 12:41
Mile 6: 12:47
10K final: 1:13:53

My uncle hasn't posted the pics of my aunt and I running yet so about a picture of the back of the shirt? Yeah!

Comparing my splits to last year is interesting, as they were 11:04, 11:51, 12:04, 5K 36:23, 12:11, 11:54, and 11:39, final 10K 1:13:27. The difference is those hills - last year, my hill training meant I rocked them. This year, not so much. If I had kept up on that hill training...!

One thing I will say - my garmin told me the course was 6.19. I've never had a course come up short before and I didn't hear anyone else talking about this, so I think I started my watch late. So, who knows.**

One other note - the mile markers in this race were wrong. That was true last year too and I forgot - but I felt bad for the runners who didn't know that. The first mile marker was at 1.3 according to my garmin - the remaining markers were at the .9s, so 1.9, 2.9, etc. It was a little irritating but not a big deal.

But overall, despite the slower time I actually feel like - with one glaring exception (*coughsHILLScoughs*) I'm becoming a stronger runner. If nothing else, considering this was my third ever 10K, I was way faster than my first 10K, which was 1:17:08 in October of 2012!

*Umm...very eagerly. He should have slept through the whole thing, but he apparently woke up about 10 minutes after the race started, which means he spent an hour crying for mama...bleh. Stamp mom of the year on my forehead...for the future we know, even if baby is sleeping, wake him up to feed him, even if you think he should sleep for at least 2 hours based on his normal schedule. Lesson learned.

**Although now that I look, my garmin last year came up with 6.19 too...?


  1. Great race! And way to get out there in the cold, which you didn't even mention (good for you, ha ha)! Did your aunt enjoy it? That is awesome she went, too. And awesome you are able to order smaller shirts and feeling so good about running! :)

    1. Give me the cold any day! I think ideal for me is dry and cold. The wet slush is not my favourite but you can always add layers for the cold! The heat...that is killer.

      She did! She was worn out but told me she was out there because I inspired her, which was really humbling.

      You know, it's funny. My feelings on weight are so complex that I am not feeling like it's awesome...just weird! I never thought of myself as fat, and I don't want to be thin. I just want to be healthy. Not knowing what size to order more proves to me that my brain is not keeping up with my body, hah!

  2. hey, i was there too! great race to you. look forward to seeing you at abe lincoln again!

    1. Bummer, I didn't know you were there - I would have said hi! I am looking forward to Lincoln - determined to end that race with a smile this year!