Thursday, May 16, 2013

Race Report: Texas Flower Country Women's 10K

Charity: Any Baby Can

Finish Time: 1:33:42

Some good, some bad.

Let's start with the not so great:
  • Epic storms the day before.
  • Car troubles the week before.
  • Anxiety attack on the drive to Fredericksburg over all the possible things that could go wrong.
  • No bag check.
  • Questionable decision in making my first 10K a trail race, although it was a mild trail. Thankfully hills were mild, and the ground soft but not sopping. Sections of gravel that made me super nervous about going too fast for fear of slipping. Uneven downhill near a creek. At one point, a woman ahead of me tripped over an unseen root. She fell in such an amazingly graceful slow motion, that another woman and I who stopped to assist thought she deserved a panel of judges; she was fine.
  • I hydrated poorly. Due to the four hour car drive so late in the day, I was afraid to drink too much because I didn't want to make potty stops every five minutes. I also thought two water stations would be enough over the course. I am getting religion with a fuel belt, people!
  • I walked too much in the middle. Period.
  • By the time I got to the finish line, the bulk of the buffet had been eaten by the 5K participants. There was still some food coming, but it wasn't worth buying the extra tickets for my family (who had eaten well at the hotel).
  • There were also no more mimosas by the time I finished. Or rather, no orange juice. I had champagne, but I was looking forward to the mimosa part.
  • The line for the massages were around the corner by the time I finished as well. It just seemed like it didn't pay to go the long distance.
Now for the good:
  • Hill Country reminds me of where I grew up in California (only Texas is far greener). I even saw some California poppies on the farm.
  • I really did try to run it with the formula, "the first third with your head, the middle third with your personality, the last third with your heart." The first quarter I did very well in pacing and timing; had this only been a 5K, it would have been stellar. Somewhere in the middle, though, I seemed to have lost my mental way. It felt lonely and slogging. I ended up turning on some Pandora low enough for me to hear (and I was pretty solitary at that point) to keep me on pace. Last quarter, I found my heart again and pushed forward. I managed to run and smile across the finish line, which is always the goal.
  • The surroundings were gorgeous! Although the farm took a toll from the winter, there were still some stunning fields of yellow flowers. The creek had a lovely little waterfall at which I had to slow down for twice. Got greeted by some cows on the other side of the fence. Deer tracks. Fuzzy caterpillars. Flitty butterflies. I'd be glad to learn some techniques of trail running if these are the results.
  • Supportive running group It was an all women run, and women of all ages, body-types, and abilities were present, (Just take it easy on the biscuits and gravy and mimosas next time, ladies!)
  • Dog friendly! Okay, maybe not my dogs. But I met a couple of furry running companions that made me miss my pooches.
  • Saw a scorpion in real life for the first time when walking through the gardens afterwards. This is both awesome and scary, because if there is a creature that freaks me out, it's scorpions.
  • I finished a 10K.
  • I did not come in last.
Do it again? Oh yeah ... although maybe just the 5K next time. If there's no medal, I'll do it for the food.