This past Sunday (Nov. 17th 2013) I got to run the 1st Kona Chocolate 10k in Plymouth, MI. This was the last official race on my list for the year and I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about it. In the week leading up to it, I spent some time with the treadmill and only got 2 runs in with the new shoes. I hadn’t run 6 miles since the terrible no good very bad race (and even then about 2 miles of it was all walking). So I didn’t quite know what to expect. But I rolled out of bed at 5:15AM and did my normal race routine.
I didn’t have time the day before to go and pickup my Bib and shirt, so we had to get there a bit earlier. We found the middle school at about 7:10 and quickly found a “Spot”. The parking was a bit odd…but we found a good spot and decided to just walk to the start. I got my stuff fairly quickly and changed my plan of using the restrooms at the school after seeing the HUGE line. The YMCA Father’s Day 10k that I ran in June was at the same location, so I knew where to find the bathrooms. And apparently a ton of other people did too. I spent the best of about 20-30 minutes in line. And the line for the porta potties was just as bad. I was glad I got there when I did, though. The line was even longer when I was leaving!
I found my guys (BF and Puppyface) and quickly got ready and took some pictures before heading over to the starting line just as the 10k was under way! I was a little confused because there were supposed to be two wave starts. but there was no cut off as to where the 2nd wave was supposed to be. I saw the pace signs and lined up with the 70 minute people. Just as we were about to cross the start, they stopped us and had us wait…So I guess that was the 2nd wave. We waited for a little while, and then they let us start. It felt kinda of strange being so close to the front for once! We got going and I managed to keep it at a decent pace! YAY!
The forecast wasn’t great and at the start it was just spritzing a little bit. Nothing bad. It was warm out though, so that was the upside of the situation if there was going to be rain. It maintained general yuckiness until I got to mile 4. Then it started to rain a good amount. I don’t think it made things worse, but it certainly didn’t help either! I was happy that I wore the jacket that I did, because the wind breaking parts of it kept me mostly dry underneath… or at least it felt that way.
The course was great. This was pretty much the same one that I ran my first 10k on this year, so I knew what to expect. Not a lot of hills, and a really cute little town. I managed to keep my pace more or less the whole time. I was pretty impressed with this. I also made sure to take .10 walk breaks to check in with how things were feeling.
The only thing that made me a little nervous on the course was the wet piles of leaves. I tried not to step in them as much as I could. The last thing that I needed was to slip and fall! But honestly, it wasn’t that hard to avoid them.
The rain finally stopped at about 5.75mi and all that was left to do was dodge big puddles! Almost ran into someone as I did, but she was really nice about it and we kept going!
I crossed the finish line and got my medal. I was a little bit annoyed at how many people were just standing around at the end of the corral. After running 6 miles, I sure didn’t want to have to push past people to move. I noticed at this point that the line for the chocolate was huge, and moments after, I found my guys. Winston was wet and tired and refusing to walk, so he had to be carried. That made me decision right there! Skipped the chocolate. I was a little sad about this because I had been looking forward to it and I’m usually STARVING after a race. I had to hunt down a cup of water (I was surprised there weren’t bottles at the finish line) which was at a little tent in the middle of all of the madness, and we left. Just as the sun was coming out!
We got back to the car and saw the lot was a mess…someone parked almost directly behind me. Luckily there was enough space to back out. They need to regulate parking or have shuttles next year or something. Downtown Plymouth isn’t the easiest to park in if you don’t know it.
I was happy to put my new Kona shirt on for the drive home… it was dry and cozy! Also, I really like the medal. Nothing too fancy, just a square. But it was heavy duty and had a thick ribbon…which is my favorite kind of medal! The only complaint I have about the shirt is the color choice. Yes, I do enjoy pink…but just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean that I like the pink shirt better than the men’s Blue option… But it’s a minor complaint, because I do actually like the pink. So meh.
I ended up getting a time of 1:04:53 which isn’t a PR, but it’s the 2nd best (by a minute) that I’ve done at a 10k. My PR being on the same course in June, when I nearly killed myself pushing too hard. So I call this a win! I was 89/199 in my age group and 1327/2511 overall! It felt good and I had a good time doing this race. I think once they work out some kinks in the start/finish process, that they’ll have a really good race on their hands! I can see myself running this again!
And with that. My races for the year are complete! I’ll speak more about my goals and the races that I did in a future post…but I accomplished my original goal and then some and I’m pretty happy with that. Even if my major goal of the year didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, I still finished. And sometimes that’s the hardest part!