Start and 1st mile: The start was in down town, which allowed for ample parking, a difference from the point to point race we usually have where you have to be dropped off or shuttled. There were lots of nice porta potties, and while I felt like there was as many runners as previous years, I never had to wait in line. I had gotten up super early to carb load and have coffee, so my stomach was very agreeable and cooperative in what I needed it to do. We had to line up in a chute where anyone could get in any position, which was a little tight at the start. Usually, we start on a road and just all run over the timing map, but this year we had a chute. As usual, tons of people got towards the front that didn't belong there, so the first mile was spent weaving in and out of people. My first mile was a bit fast, as I kept seeing low 8s on my watch. I kept trying to reel myself in, but I had already found a pace partner and wanted to stick with her. First mile: 8:53 YIKES!
2nd and 3rd mile: Wow, starting to really feel the affect of the humidity. I usually don't drink on a 10 K course, but started taking water at every water stop and pouring the most over my head. We were soaked from sweat, and I could feel myself slowly overheating. This route is very very flat and forgiving, which is nice. NO hills at all. 9:00 and 9:10.
4th and 5th mile: My legs literally felt like lead. I kept willing them to go, as I saw my pace getting slower and slower. My pace partner and i were both suffering and struggled silently together. She would pass me, and then I would pass her, and we did that for two solid miles. Again, every water station was a cup on the head. I had to repeat my mantra "comfortably hard" over and over again. 9:27 and 9:30
6th mile: I kept telling myself that just because I was slowing down, I would still finish and still have a good time. The whole race I never once looked at the time, and I think that is how I kept positive. I just focused on pace and trying to get that pace stable. It was kind of hard running almost a mile seeing the finish line, yet not getting any closer. Plus, we were running directly into the sun for that mile. Most of the race had nice tree lined streets with ample shade, which helped keep us out of the sun. 9:33
Overall finish time: 56:45. Not a PR since i did Dog and Jog in 56:35, but will take it! I am proud that I didn't get defeated and I kept plowing on, even when I wanted to throw up towards the end. I do like the new route and can't wait to tackle it again next year.