It was a bit chilly at the first, but it ended up being a perfect temperature. I didn't get hot and sweaty at all but I also wasn't cold while running. At 8:00am sharp the race began and I ran the first mile and a half with my friend Diana before I pushed her to go ahead of me with her bad self. The sweet couple that hosted us (that Diana knew from college) were standing along the course to cheer us on so we stayed together to see them before splitting, and heading up our first hill of the course.
The hills weren't as bad as I thought and just as I imagined it was the flat parts of the course that were rough after so much up and down. I must admit that this race honestly blew me away. First it was incredibly organized and easy to navigate and second the fans, volunteers, and spectators really made it a special experience. I don't think I could went more than 100 feet without seeing people cheer me on, and it really made a difference.
The course for this race was a loop and at mile three I got a bit emotional as I saw the first runner heading back towards the finish (who finished in 47:34, superhuman). I don't even know if I can describe it, but you could just see everything on his face. How early he got up every morning, how hard he trained, how much he regimented his diet to prepare for this. It made me so happy to see this person in first place reaching their goal that I seriously got teary.
I snapped out of it and got my head back in the game, but really enjoyed continuing to watch people on their way back. I wasn't jealous or envious of them at all, but so proud of them. At the halfway point we ran off the road and through Riverside Park which had a crazy steep hill that I was not prepared for. Somehow I didn't stop to walk on it but had to take it seriously slow for the next quarter mile afterwards to recover.
Unfortunately the second half didn't go by as quickly but wasn't nearly as dreadful as I was imagining. I kept trudging along and was excited to see that our hosts were still out at their cheering spot where we saw them at the beginning of the race. It was great motivation because they were right before the infamous Farm Basket Hill. The last 1.5 miles were uphill. Who's bright idea was that?!
The last 1.5 miles felt like an entire 5k. I stopped to walk about four times up that hill and stayed motivated by the old man and pregnant women who were chugging along right in front of me. Each time I had to stop for a bit I still kept on with a ferocious power walk so my time wouldn't get too off. When I finally crested that damn hill I could see the finish the line and my power came back.
My friend Diana finished before me and I saw her near the finish. She snapped the awesome action photos. When I was about .10 away I broke out in a full sprint towards the finish line and definitely felt like a beast flying by people. Why don't more people sprint that last stretch?
Although I still need to add another 2.1 miles on for my half this upcoming weekend it sure feels good to know I finished the 10 miler. After 10 hilly miles I'm sure that 13.1 flat miles will be fine even though I didn't get as far with mileage during training. My mental doubt has been pushed aside and if I thought it felt good to cross the finish line on Saturday I know it's going to be a million times sweeter to do it this weekend and finally hit a goal I've been working towards for so long.