This past Saturday, I got to run my first 10k of 2014! The Martian Invasion of the races 10k in Dearborn, MI! As I had talked about in my previous post, I hadn’t been training all that much this year, so I was pretty nervous. We got up and out by 6am with enough time for a stop at Tim Hortons for my Pre-race bagel with peanut butter and Breakfast for the BF. Turns out I just got a plain, untoasted, pre-race bagel. They forgot to give me peanut butter! How rude! ANYWAY…. We arrived with no issues and I found the lot that I had parked in last year and we hung out in the car until 7:15, so as to avoid the start of the marathon.
Ford Field was where the start and finish were located and there were LOTS of people all excited and ready to run! Luckily, this year, the weather decided to be awesome. I remember standing in 2 layers of pants, a long sleeved shirt, and a hoodie shivering like crazy. This year, it was mid-high 50’s at the start and about 65 by the time I finished! It was the perfect day for a run!
We stood around for about 45 minutes and people watched. I think that’s one of the great things about themed races is all of the people watching! There was a group of ladies all in silver, a guy in a green full body suit with a silver bike helmet (he was also a pacer!), a lady dressed like Marvin the martian…! It was all really fun to take in.
When it was finally time to line up, they provided a jazzy version of the National Anthem before the start. It was nice to hear something a bit different for once! I was feeling ready to go and excited to give this a try!
Last year, I got my 5k PR at this race and was really looking forward to seeing what the 10k route looked like. With the sound of the horn, everyone started to inch forward until they hit the starting line and the beginning of the first hill. I know I spent a lot of time weaving around people last year, but I think at this point, I knew to take my time up the hill and keep my pace slow for the first mile.
There was still a good amount of weaving because of the walkers in the 5k…but honestly, for some reason it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. (Maybe the weather just fixed everything?!) But I also think that this was because they lined everyone up with pace signs at the start. It was extremely helpful to know, that, for the most part, the people around you were going to be going about the same speed as you. I love when races do that!
I wish I was able to take some pictures of this course because for the most part, it was really great! The course went through the really nice neighborhood around the Dearborn Golf Course. REALLY big beautiful homes. One looked like an old English Mansion and right next to it was a building that looked straight out of the French Quarter of New Orleans! the route then proceeded onto a highway for a short time and then onto an entrance/exit ramp (?) which was a round and slightly bowled shaped area (right after mile 2 on the map) and onto a road for the out and back portion. This part was a bit difficult on my knee and hip, but I tried to adjust my form accordingly. I hear it had an effect on other people’s injuries as well. The road was slanted on either side, so it didn’t get too much better on the way back, but after this was over, it was a really enjoyable course! The 10k went onto a bike path and back roads and sometimes sidewalks and parking lots. But it was all really nice, and at some points the path went through wooded areas. There were also two bridges along the course that were a little difficult to run over, but it changed it up a bit! The only part I didn’t really enjoy was near the end of mile 6. The course went out onto a busy main road and while it was nice running on a flat and wide surface, it was hot and the car exhaust wasn’t awesome.
I had a little bit of an issue with pain for the first 2 miles or so, but I adjusted my form and kept my pace steady and didn’t push too hard and it seemed to help. I was even able to pick up the pace here and there to pass some people that I needed to. The last .3 miles were great! Everyone was out cheering and enjoying the day, and all the Aliens lined the streets to welcome you back to Ford Field!
In the end, I didn’t get a PR…but I’m really, very okay with that. When my dad asked me how it went later in the day I said “I finished and nothing hurt!”. I think that’s a good goal for me to have this year with 3 half marathons ahead of me (June, August, October) I just need to focus on that. That being said, I got 1:07:27, which is almost 10 minutes faster than I thought I’d do! So that was a pleasant surprise! The race had the usual Running Fit post-race foods…cookies, bagels, and bananas along with Water…which I was SUPER excited about. and I got my Alien medal…which, let’s face it, is a big factor for a lot of people when they decide to run this one. It’s SO COOL! Also, the shirts were really awesome this year and the second I saw it I knew I had to run it for the shirt! (I wear my 2013 one all the time!)
I had a really great time this year and because of that I would totally do it again next year, and I think that you should too! Even if just to dress up fun and skip along the 5k route with friends…it’s just a really fun atmosphere!
Have you ever run this race?
Would you run a race just for the swag?