Friday, November 11, 2016

10K ---it had to be done!

Earlier this year I finally was able to put on my shoes I won in a 'banner bag' at the Marine Corps Marathon expo last year.  It was a long time from November 17 to the beginning of August 2016 when I was able to actually run more than five feet with out pain.  
Who wouldn't be excited to put on these colorful kicks?  

With a couple 5ks in the books, and a half marathon looming in mid November--what was I thinking--I decided I needed to find a 10k to do!   The November 13.1 is more of get to the finish line than race for me, and it'll be interesting to see how the body handles it.  

I found a 10K that was in honor of the five brothers from Iowa who mandated they serve together in WWII.  Unfortunately, I was on my feet for four hours the night before and had a Tanka bar, water, and some chocolate for dinner/snack, followed a few hours later with scrambled eggs before bed. Probably not the best 'night before' a race.  

Before the event started, I stayed a little warm in the museum named for them.  This trunk surprised me in that I have only known on synagogue in the vicinity, and this trunk shows that there was one closer to the "church row" neighborhood at one time.  
After WW2, several families were sponsored by the local synagogue and relocated here after surviving the holocaust/camps. Bravery and amazing perseverance. 

The five brothers home on leave are shown in this photo that is inside the museum. I don't know if I've ever seen such a photo. A long time ago, I had come across a tv station playing the old movie The Sullivans. It was created during the war for publicity, selling bonds, and raising country pride. 

I ran this race a few other times when the granddaughter of the only married Sullivan brother opened the ceremony. From that experience I knew the wind blows quite coldly across the Cedar River. Today would be different. It was in the high 40s when we started the race, sunny, and not even a slight wind. Even so, I was skeptical that it would hold.   
Racers line up in the alley, to get the heat the sunshine allows. 

I started the race with my hydration pack carrying one bottle of water, and the other holder with my cellphone for MapMyRun. I had on Athleta capris, injinji  toe socks (the only kind I run distances in), and then my 'fighting cancer' tank, overlayed with my Detroit 'marathon in training' shirt, and an looser adidas shirt. I haven't done a lot of outdoor training lately, and definitely none in November Iowa weather that would suggest expect relatively hot temperatures. Before the race, I had a Mama Chia packet for some nutrition and sugar. I had one Huma gel with me in case I needed it.

I started off in the midpack of the crowd and worked my way through some walkers.  I got up the road to where someone was saying "5kers to the right" and I was like "where do the 10Ks go".  The guy seemed shocked there were still 10ks behind in the pack.  Someone else told me to aim for the lady at the bridge in pink :-)    
The Cedar River, almost back to normal river levels.

In years before, this river scene has come at the final stretch. This year, due to putting the race more on trails, less on roads (read: fewer intersections = fewer paid emergency personnel at intersections=lower cost and more money in the pocket of the military museum), the sun was shining fully and there was no wind, which meant it was easy to get heated quickly.  At the end of this stretch of trail was the 5k spot, and then we crossed the river, had the only water break, and continued on the trail system to get back to downtown. I was so thankful I ran the event with my hydration pack. I had my chocolate Huma gel just before the 5K point and washed it with the water I carried, wondering if I'd see a water stop.  I recalled why I still had that chocolate Huma left at the house, it's not my favorite next to the strawberry or apple!   

It was slow going for me--thinking back to even last fall after recovering from acral lentiginous melanoma toe surgery in the spring, and it was slow going compared to my last 10k two years ago.  In any event, around mile 1 I had passed another person, then walked, then got passed, then ran, then walked and we leap frogged for a few minutes, but then she started walking more and I kept up the run/walk pattern I had settled into.  Around mile 4 my low back started aching. This is one of my injuries from the vehicle collision last fall.  I had an epidural in July which allowed me to run again, but I hadn't really gone any father than 4 miles in training--again, with the 'you have a 13.1 in a few weeks, what were you thinking??' thoughts.  

On the other side of the river we entered into some trails I've never seen before, let alone run along. They actually were inside the green space from where the race use to go (past the baseball field and a cemetery).  I had shed my other long sleeve shirt, was in the purple cancer fighting tank and I was not chilly at all.  It was a HOT fall day.  The brain and body had a disconnect in this area. I'd say "run to the second tree" and my body would start walking at the first tree.  

I started noticing glistening lines on the trail as well.  In earlier places there were one or two or four or five.  By the time I came to this section, the slugs were all over the trail and I felt compelled to take a photo of the slug trails. Unfortunately, I don't think the photo did the trails justice.  Up ahead of this part was a curve where there was a race volunteer. He saw me take the photo and asked if I really needed to take a selfie at that part of the event.  I said it wasn't a selfie, it was a slug trail photo that was a beautiful nature shot. Heck, I didn't even know if it turned out. I squatted, pointed, shot the photo, and started running again.  

All those little black things on the concrete trail are actually slugs, leaving a glistening moist trail in their wake.  
 I ran further on the trail and closer to downtown.  I'd never been on this side of the river via the trail system and I found it was a nice view of the buildings and of downtown.  We climbed out of the river trail and onto the pedestrian crossing of the river.  At one time, it use to be completely enclosed, but now the side pieces of glass are missing. It's a beautiful tunneling work of art.
Pedestrian river crossing 
 Just on the other end of the bridge we turned right, then left and then two blocks to the finish.  I walked that block between the right and left turn. The guy at the left turn corner said, "Only two more blocks".  To which I replied, "Thanks, that's why I'm walking now!"  I didn't want to walk in the final stretch, so I did it in the little bit before the finish line area.  ---Pride, it'll get you.

I crossed the finish in a time a few minutes slower than what I was aiming for. However, with the unexpected heat and not being use to running in that, I think the time was spot on.  It was a good run and good training for the Williams Route 66 in a few weeks. 

I was proud to have finished this race.  It was my first 10K in a couple years, and my longest event since the vehicle collision last fall. My time wasn't the best, but it was a finish time. The finish line is always better than a DNF for whatever reason, and even a DNF trumps a "stayed on the couch" any day. The funds went to a great cause.  I didn't get a shirt this year because I registered late, which is the way it goes. I don't expect a race to have extra shirts.  That said,  I was disappointed in my lack of shirt because 1. it was purple, 2. it was long sleeve. 3. it was a technical shirt!  When was the last time you got a lightweight technical shirt???