The Negative Split 10k was such a fun race! I will confess, part of the reason I signed up for this race was for the medal! It’s one of a two-piece set, the other of which I’ll get at my half marathon next month. This 10k was about 5 weeks before my planned half, so I figured it would be a good race for testing out my racing plan. I had no real time goals, I mainly just wanted to have fun and gain racing experience.
Super fast, super easy. We got fun bags and a pint glass! The only slight bummer was that there was no packet pickup the morning of the race. Usually not a big deal, but it was a 45+ minute drive to the location for my packet. They did make it super easy for a friend to pick it up for you though, so that was nice! While I was there, I spotted a poster of myself. Naturally, I took a selfie.
And of course that just happened to be the moment that a Fleet Feet employee came around the corner and spotted me!
I went back and forth on what to wear. The weather is always to unpredictable! But, once I saw that 20mph winds were a possibility, I decided leggings and a fleece lined top were in order.
And of course some bright layers! I figured the colors would be cheerful in the gloomy weather. Since we would have an early morning, we got everything packed up and ready to go the night before.
First thing after waking up, I drank some Nuun. Then, it was time to eat and head out!
My whole cheer squad came along, ready to face the weather and wait for me at the finish line!
As soon as we found a parking spot (which was surprisingly easy!) I jumped out and headed to the porta-potties in hopes of getting in line early. Imagine my surprise when I got there and found no lines?! When does that ever happen?!
We arrived plenty early, so we had lots of time for pictures.
One fun thing they had at the race, was a photo printing station. You could take a photo, post it on social media using a specific hashtag, and they’d print it for you for free! How fun is that?! So I got my photos printed up while we waited.
When it was time, we headed up to the starting line. While waiting, I got to meet some of my fellow Skirt Sports ambassadors!
We chatted a bit while waiting for it to start, and then we were off!
The race started by running across a bridge over the river, with the waterfalls off to the side. I, as usual, got caught up in the crowd and the excitement, and caught myself running too fast! So I slowed it down, and used the downhill to recover a bit. I spent the first couple of miles enjoying the view and chatting with the runners around me.
By the time we got close to the end of mile 2, we merged with the half marathon runners and crossed another bridge over the river.
After that? A nice little jaunt uphill. I walked.
The first couple of miles seemed to fly by, and my pace was right where I wanted it. The Hill had slowed me down a bit, but I didn’t mind.
(selfie at the top of the hill! That little bridge behind me was the one we had just run over!) The next couple of miles, I have mixed feelings on. The views of the river were AMAZING and it was also a lot of fun to watch all the runners who were returning from the out and back portion. But it was windy. Soooo windy. Between the wind and a few small hills, I decided to slow it down, as to not wear myself out.
There were also a bunch of fun signs placed around the trails, so that was definitely a fun way of keeping entertained! This portion of the race was an out and back, and the turnaround came at the top of a decent little hill. So I was looking forward to running back down the hill and maybe making up a little time. Nope. The wind had other ideas! Gravity wanted to pull me one way, but the wind was trying to push me the other! As I approached the mile 4 marker though, the wind settled down, the trail evened out and I was pack on pace.
This was about the time my brain started fighting against me. See, I was really unfamiliar with both the area and the course. I made the rookie mistake of not familiarizing myself with the course map before the race. After passing the mile 4 marker, I sent a text to my husband that I had 2 miles left, so that he could have an estimate of when I’d be done. Then I started thinking I had made a mistake somewhere, maybe taken a wrong turn? I could see the finish area, and there was no way it was two miles away! As I got closer, I could hear the cheering and the music. So I picked up my pace. After all, I must be nearly done! And then I got even closer and saw that I was not, in fact, nearly done. The trail split off, the 5k runners were to turn and run to the finish line. The 10k and half marathoners? They were to keep going. Moral of the story? Check the map before your race!!!
I’ll admit, I gave up a little after that. I can look back now and see that it was just a mental issue. I know I still had plenty left in me, but I let it drag me down a bit. When my mile 5 split came up on my watch, I did some bad runners math and decided there was no way I was going to finish when I had hoped. Since my finish time was more of a “it would be cool to finish at this time” and less of a “I’m going to beat this time or else!” type of thing, I decided to just run at a comfortable pace for the remainder. I’m still kicking myself on that one! Because, shockingly, my math was wrong and I probably could have finished really close to when I had hoped! Second lesson: don’t try and do math while racing!
That last stretch had another good sized hill, and I definitely took it easy up that one! It was also where I got to see several people I knew who were running the half! Once I hit that mile 6 marker, I kicked it up a notch. The best part of a race! There were ton of people cheering, and as I entered the finish chute, I looked around eagerly for my family. I couldn’t see them. Did they not make it there? Then I spotted them!
Best moment ever!!! They were all cheering, and my daughter was holding up a sign she had made! I threw my arms in the air and crossed the finish! A quick hug for my family, and a quick wave to my MRTT ladies, and it was off the get my medal!
The after party
I didn’t stick around too long afterwards, my poor kids were tired and cold! I snagged some food (of which there was plenty!!!), and totally stole a few Oreos to give to my kids. Shh…don’t tell!
After that, it was time to get the traditional post-race jump shot!
I also found my poster and got a photo with it. Because that’s how I roll.
I took advantage of the photo printing, and snagged a print of my finish line photo and my jump shot. Those are definitely going to hang up next to my medal!
All said and done, my finish time and my splits were close to what I had estimated. The wind and the hills slowed me down a bit here and there, but I came in just about 3 minutes over my PR time! And according to Strava, it actually was a PR. I’m not sure how they figured that though. Maybe it was calculating based on just 6.2 miles, rather than the 6.3 miles I actually ran?
What I loved
- The race team. The people who put on the race were amazing. I loved following them on social media and seeing them feature and support their runners.
- The starting waves. I almost wish I had done the half just for this alone! Instead of starting with the fastest and working down to the slowest, they went in reverse. Scheduling all the waves (from the half to the 5k) so that everyone would be finishing within the same hour or so, no matter their distance or pace. As a back of the pack runner (who has come in dead last more than once) I can’t even tell you how awesome this is!
- Amazing course support. Plenty of well stocked aid stations. Fabulous volunteers. Lots of fun signs to read along the way!
- Awesome swag. The medal is huge and super awesome, and I love the long sleeve tech tee!
The verdict? I loved the race and I’ll definitely do it again next year. And I’ll make sure and study the race course first 😉
Added to Tuesdays on the Run