I’ve been dying to post my race recap but I haven’t had a moment’s peace until now. My inaugural 10-mile race is in the books, folks! The Papa John’s 10-Miler in Louisville, KY was an awesome race. It was fun, there were tons of hills (tons), and the finish was great.
I can safely say this all now, of course, three days post race.
I was a hot mess prior to the event. I was so anxious that it was affecting my digestion and my mood. I was worried about what to wear, what the course would be like, if I should use fuel or wear a hydration belt… the list is endless about the things I was worrying about. It really didn’t help that I was traveling for this particular race, and not just for one day to the race destination and back. We were actually vacationing with family for the days just before and just after. Not only did I have to make sure I packed everything I might need for vacation, but then I had to pack again for Louisville when I was already not at home. It was very stressful!
The night before the 10-miler, we met up for dinner with my friend from Cleveland, Eugenia and her family, and my good friend (actually, my camp counselor who I hadn’t seen in years) who lives in New Albany, IN (very close to the race). It was so nice to catch up with her! She has been such an inspiration to me the entire time I’ve known her, and I was so happy to finally see her again. We had a yummy meal and Kate toured us around to see some of New Albany.
Me, Kate, and Eugenia at dinner!
I had been keeping an eye on the weather (thank you, polar vortex) to see where I would be in terms of apparel and comfort while running. I was preoccupied with the fact that I hadn’t run outside since December and I was quite nervous that I wouldn’t know how to dress appropriately for the temperature and the duration of the race. It was supposed to be in the high 40s/low 50s. Mistake number one was asking everyone else what they were wearing. The first thing I said to my husband after I finished was, “I should have worn long sleeves.” His response? “I told you so.” And he did. No one knows me like me, and I should have known I would be freezing my bum off.
This is what I wore:
Me and Kate bright and early the morning of the race!
I also collaborated with the crew on creating a team shirt. And I was the only one not wearing it for the race! Granted it’s a little big on me so it would have made for an awkward run, and everyone says “don’t try anything new” on race day, but I still felt ridiculous in all of our group photos. Case in point:
Running friends!! Nice shirts. 😉
Despite all of my bowel troubles and anxiety leading up to the race, race morning was awesome. I finally got to meet some of my running friends in person. I’ve “known” some of these folks for two years! They were there to root me on throughout my pregnancy, as well as after, and they have been there every step of the way through my longest training ever. Without them, well I would never have driven down to Louisville for the race, but I also wouldn’t be nearly as motivated as I am for every other run! Great friends, these peeps.
On to the race details. The music at the start was great. It definitely pumped me up. I purposely planned my playlist around starting a song that I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear anyway because race starts are always loud. Music, talking with friends, etc. When it was go time, I felt great. I stuck like glue with my fellow Cleveland running buddy. We were relaxed, chatting it up, and we were both in great spirits.
Me and Eugenia just before go time!
Here’s how things went, mile by mile:
Mile 1 — I looked at my friend, Eugenia, and said (likely yelled due to music), “only one mile?!”
Mile 2 — saw the entrance to Iroquois Park and got a little excited to see these hills everyone had warned me about.
Mile 3 — entered Iroquois Park. These hills don’t seem so bad!
Mile 4 — wasn’t thirsty but saw they were handing out bottles of water with tops at this stop. Picked one up, just in case.
Mile 5 — halfway! W00t! Holy hell these are some MAJOR hills!
Mile 6 — end of the park. A little sad to be leaving the challenge of the hills.
Mile 7 — seriously? 3 more miles? Eugenia and I split at this point. She needed to go faster. I needed to lay down and die. I got a horrible side stitch between miles 7 and 8! I tried to run through it. I tried changing my breathing. Nothing worked. I finally couldn’t go on any longer and walked for a minute until it subsided. Dropped my bottle of water somewhere in this mile.
Mile 8 — 2 miles left. And an awesome water stop featuring major spillage down my face and chest, in true race fashion. Really?
Mile 9 — still feeling the effects of the side stitch but only one mile left!
Mile 10 — FINISHED!!!!
The last quarter mile of the race ended in the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, which is a turf field. It was a strange experience. I kept thinking I was going to slip because it was so squishy, but it actually felt quite nice on my legs after running 9.5 miles on pavement. I wanted to make a big statement for the cameramen at the end of the race but I was so cold and my stomach was in such upheaval, I just wanted to be warm and near a toilet.
I found my husband, and Eugenia and her family, and tried to warm up as quickly as possible. I didn’t end up using my hydration belt, and although I ran with my beans I never ended up eating any. Since I felt like I was going to pass out either from cold or from having to use the facilities, I quickly grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and chugged it. There was pizza for the finishers but I just needed to get the heck out of dodge. Us Clevelanders hightailed it back to the hotel where my husband had met up with Eugenia’s husband. We jumped in our car and drove back to our hotel. I was never so happy to see a bathroom.
Post race brunch was held at this awesome restaurant called Toast on Market in New Albany, IN. It was delicious. I was warm, wearing my team shirt (yep, I did that), and enjoyed an awesome celebratory mimosa and finally had a chance to chat it up in person with my running buddies! Fun times.
The crew at Toast post-race.
Overall, I would say my first 10-miler was a success. I finished in 1:40:28, which I was a little disappointed with, but at least I can say I got a PR. Despite all of the hiccups prior to race day, which were all self-induced due to anxiety, I would definitely run this course again. It was super fun and very scenic. And I liked the hills. 🙂
I have a few 5K’s coming up. My next big race is the Rite Aid Half Marathon on May 18. I’m taking this week as an off week and then getting back to training next week. And you know what happens on an off week, don’t ya? New shoes! W00t!
Happy Tuesday, friends!
Have you ever traveled for a race? How did it go?
What is your longest race to date?