With October winding down, I decided that my race this month would be the Kooky Spooky Race in Golden, CO.
I originally signed up for the half marathon, and for the last couple months tried to get ready. That didn't happen. Between adjusting to running at 7700', busy schedule, laziness, and several other excuses, I couldn't do it. My longest training run was 6 miles - and I just couldn't get myself to double that on race day. So, I decided to switch to the 10K.
Since I started running, I've always said the 10K is my favorite distance - just long enough that it pushes you, just short enough that you can still run pretty hard during it. Which is funny to me, because out of my 40+ races I've done, only 3 previously have been 10K. This was my first 10K in about a year, and I was really excited for it!
I got to the race site early so I could make the switch, then just sat around until a little before race time. As it got closer, I started to get ready. I gracefully dropped my handheld water bottle, immediately breaking it on impact. Uggghhh... Luckily, I had a spare in my trunk!
The race director made a comment about the hills - she hoped either you love them or at least you knew about them, because they'll destroy you if you're not ready... YIKES!
We gathered near the start, and there was the countdown... 5...4...3...2..1... GO!
We started the course and it was an easy downhill for the first mile and a half to two miles. Piece of cake! I ran at a faster pace than normal, which I usually try to avoid to start the race, but I was feeling great and I knew the course was going to get tougher.
Miles 3-4 the hills started - people started walking left and right - I had one goal: I didn't care how slowly I ran, I would not stop to walk. So I just plowed ahead one step after the other, my pace slowed by about a minute and a half, but I kept trudging on. Then at mile 4, we hit the fun part - a mile of steep downhill down a windy path - I FLEW down this. The whole time I wondered if I was going to run out of gas after this portion, but I didn't really care - it was FUN! At mile 5, it was a relatively flat, easy hills to the end. I kept pushing and pushing and hit the 6 mile marker. The final stretch was uphill - enough to take everything out of me. I kept trying to push, and the finish got closer and closer. I crossed the finish line, heard my name announced, and just smiled. This is my first run in 4 months that just felt GREAT.
I ended up setting a 10K PR by over a minute, and in this one race, fell in love with running again.