This past weekend was the Great River Road Run. This is a 10 mile race held in Alton, Il every year. The last time I ran this race was in 1996. Yup..over 10 years ago. This is the first year I was able to work back up to running 10 miles.
Husband chose not to go with me. In his mind it was an hour drive, then over an hour of waiting in the cold, then an hour drive home. He's not a runner and doesn't like cold weather. I don't like cold weather either, if that makes a difference. So I drove myself. It didn't take me an hour, I drive faster than google maps estimates.
I did meet a co-worker at the race. While she normally does longer miles and has run 1/2 marathons and full marathons before, we didn't run the race together because we have different paces.
A couple of things. First...I thought for sure the elite athletes would be passing me when I was only at the 2 mile marker. haha! This race was 5 miles out and then 5 miles back. I'm happy to report that the first guy passed me well after the 2 mile marker, it was around 3.5. That's right, while I was only at 3.5 miles into the race, the first runners were at 6.5. Wow! The first girl passed me at the 4 mile marker. Impressive.
Second..these were real runners. It felt good to be running with them. When I run the shorter races, you do have a lot of runners but then you have a lot of people who are doing it for charity. Sometimes it feels a bit weird because I'm in my running clothes and they are in normal workout clothes. By running clothes, I mean tights. I either were short tights, capri tights, or long tights depending on the weather. While I feel comfortable in these clothes, when I'm surrounded by a lot of others and nobody else is wearing tights, well, it can be a bit uncomfortable. This race, everyone was either in tights or shorts (crazy!). I felt like I was around like individuals. I felt like I belonged. I felt like one of them. It felt really good.
I had high hopes going in to this race and was disappointed when I immediately had pain in my heel. I was so disappointed. It eased up a bit, but for the most part it hurt the majority of the race. I hit the wall at around mile 7. I think I was just so upset that my heel hurt and I had trained and looked forward tot his race. I didn't stop though. I kept at it and even surged at the end, not much because I was tired, but a bit.
I ran the 10 miles in 1hr and 26 min. According to the official race results I had an 8:37/mile pace. That's incredible! My co-worker was exactly 10 minutes behind me. Later that day when Husband and I were looking up the results online, we found that I came in 488 out of a tad over 1100 runners. I felt really happy about that. I finished in the top half! The Husband had me do a search for his co-worker (I didn't realize his co-worker was running it) and, well, his co-worker came in 50th! That's amazing!
What's up next? Well I did run on Tuesday and my heel is still hurting. I'm going to try another low mileage run this weekend to see how it feels. Oh, and tonight I have soccer, so I suppose the run this weekend will really depend on how it feels after tonight. Next week I have an apt with a sports medicine doctor to see why my knee has been hurting for a couple of months.
As far as my next race. I have signed up for the Castlewood Cup. This is a 15k (9.3 mile) trail run at the park by my house. This race is February 26th. The race is described like this:
The race will be a true test of trail running with a 15k course that includes uphills, downhills, switchbacks and even a creek crossing.
This race will truly be a test for me. While Husband says I should be able to do it no problems, I did just run 10 miles, I know it's not as easy as that. The race I did was mostly flat, I trained on flat trails. This upcoming race is a lot of hills. I run those hills, I can do short runs on those hills but no way I could go out this weekend and do 9 miles on them. I also hate cold weather. So to get me to actually go outside in the cold temperatures and run and do hills, that's going to be hard. I was telling Husband about this race and showing him pictures from the race this year, including the creek crossing which had high water. He said there was no way I would cross the creek or run in the cold weather. So I signed up to prove to him that I could do it. In fact, since I live only about 2 miles from the park, I'll start training on the trails within the next couple of weeks. Only 400 people are allowed to enter this race, I don't want to be the last person to finish.