After falling asleep an hour early, I got up at 5:40 am to be ready. I did not get a chance to get a Gatorade Prime. So I changed up my pre-race fuel. Once I had everything together, I stopped at Harris Teeter to pick up a banana and a Pumpkin Spice Latte from the Starbucks there. I ate the banana first on the way and slowly drank the latte. I arrived at the parking garage at 6:45 with no traffic issues. I found a parking space and went to pick up my bib, shirt, and chip. I went around by the finish area and found the table. I had no problem getting everything. They did not hand me a zip tie, though. I went back to my car to drop off the shirt. I left everything except my sunglasses, water bottle, and phone. I went back down to where I thought the start would be. The race was about 35 minutes from the start at this point. I had finished my latte as I was picking up my shirt. So, I thought it would be a good idea to find a bathroom. I noticed the Brixx seemed to have people in it when I walked by earlier so I went back that direction. Right as I turned in the seating area, I noticed they were already validating the parking. I decided to get in line and take care of that while I had time. Then I went inside the Brixx and used the bathrooms. I love having real bathrooms at the start of a race!
Having finished everything I needed to pre-race, I walked around the parking garage to the side where the race would start. I walked around and stretched out a little while talking to some other racers. About 20 minutes to start, the police cut off traffic from the road. That’s when everyone started amassing. I think this is might be the largest crowd so far so a Signature series race, especially when it was split in 2 distance and this was just the 10k. I found one of the 2 ladies that I have been talking to at every series race. We talked for quite a while about the problems at the July 4th race and her last race, Dumbo Double Dare. I got her to take my pre-race picture. Then we headed to the back of the racers for the start. We heard the announcer, but couldn’t make out what he was saying. Soon the front of the pack started running. We walked up to the timing mats and then started running. She decided to run intervals with me. She brought back a cold from the DDD. We ended up running through my first walk break. This was easier since I was using my new favorite 1 min run/30 sec walk intervals. It was also helped by the gradual downhill we had at the beginning. It really helped me to keep with her and talk in the first stretch. When we got to the site of the start of the July 4th race, she told me she’d need to take more walk breaks due to her cold. We wished each other luck and I pulled ahead. Shortly after passing that area, I hit Mile 1. The clock was right at 12 min. I knew I wanted to keep 12 min miles if possible to get a good time for Disney’s corral placement for Tinkerbell and Glass Slipper Challenge. I even wore my Princess Half Marathon shirt as motivation. I was very happy to see 12 min at Mile 1. We stayed along 7th street until shortly after Mile 2. I was having no problem with my new intervals. I had tried to drive the course the day before but had missed the first turn off 7th street. I was so happy to see the cops at the intersection since be that point the runners in my area were pretty stretched out. Turning off 7th, we turned into residential areas. The first water stop was about a block after the first turn. I decided to get water on the course and save what was in my bottle. I realized trying to run through a water stop was almost impossible. I could only take one sip. I gulped down another while walking and then threw the rest. I found myself getting closer and closer to people and slowly passing some. WE ran up to the hospital and the turned for a block before running away from it again. Here we hit Mile 3. Every clock I came to showed me to be keeping close to my 12 min miles. It was so encouraging. I think it was in this stretch I caught up to the other lady I see at all the races. We chatted briefly and then I pulled ahead. At about Mile 3.5 we turned on a cross street and then made our way back to the hospital. I saw a baby jogger with a flat pumping it up. She was amazing. This course is hilly and she had a double jogger with 2 kids. I also leapfrogged another woman wearing a Princess half shirt. I think
I saw a third shirt somewhere at the end, too. The Princess shirt did eventually pull in front of me but within sight just after the water stop at Mile 4.5. I did walk extra through this water stop and dumped the last half down my back and a little on my head. The second water stop was at the start of the area next to a park. We kept running by the park and next to King’s College and CPCC past Mile 5. Shortly after Mile 5, we came back to 7th street. I took my phone out and took a picture of the home stretch even though there was still a good mile left. The views of downtown from Mile 5 until crossing 277 were great. I remember the lady at the beginning of the race telling me if we didn’t make it to the end before 9, we would be moved to the sidewalks since the 5k would start and run along 7th. I made it all the way to about 20 feet of the turn when the 5k started and they were preparing to move us to the sidewalk. They let me continue and moved everyone behind me. I saw the wave of runners heading towards me but made the turn just before the got to me. I should say once we turned onto 7th street, it was mostly up hill. I was afraid I wouldn’t make my goal of 1:15 since I thought I was slowing for the hills. I just kept running my intervals and reminding myself of the reason I needed the time. I passed probably 6 people between 7th street and the final stretch on 6th street. Once we turned on 6th street, you could see the finish line. I took a slightly longer walk break so I could push through the finish. I did not feel burned out at the end like I have in the past. I saw the time was about just under 1:17. I was very happy. I walked around and started untying my shoe to get the chip. A volunteer came up to me and offered to get it off and retie my shoe. The girl has my gratitude for knowing how hard it is to bend over after finishing a race. I grabbed a granola bar and waited just past the finish line for my 2 running friends. They finished just after 1:20 at the same time. I was so proud of both of them. One of the best parts of this race is the pizza and pasta buffet afterwards. After saying goodbye to the one I met on course, the other lady and myself got our food and joined a man sitting by himself on the patio. He was another Galloway method runner (recently converted) training for the marathon in January. We talked for a while before heading back to see if our official times were posted. Mine was one of the last ones. I clocked in at 1:15:52. I was over the moon! I walked back to my car with the lady and we parted with, “See you in 2 weeks!” And I look forward to seeing both of them again at the Lung Strong where we will all be doing the 15k. Overall this race was one of the best run ones so far. The police were amazing and friendly. One even had his car door open playing music as we ran past. I would probably do this race again. When I checked my phone, I was amazed that my last Mile was faster than some in the beginning. I’ve heard and dreamed of negative splits, but this is the closest I’ve ever come. My mile splits were as follows: 11:13, 12:03, 11:48, 12:34, 11:50, 11:43