Ukrop’s Monument 10K – Richmond, VA

Four days later and my perspective on this 10k has only improved every single day.

This race is the race anyone who has ever lived in Richmond and considered running has done. And this was my first year ever doing it. I know I suck but technically last year was the first year I started running more than three times a year. My mom did her first in 2005.

This race is huge. I’m talking 36,000 people huge. It’s kind of a big deal. And there are people of all shapes and sizes who do it. And people dress up. And the crowd is amazing.

The weather that day called for rain and much warmer weather than we have been experiencing. Fun fact: Out of the four races I did last year it rained at tree of them. I have extremely bad luck. I decided that due to the rain I would wear a rain jacket to keep comfortable. This was mistake number one. The weather was WARM! Like upper 60s and for someone who considered 40s long tshirt running weather wearing a jacket was stupid.

But I was swept up in the moment and I was so excited and nervous for the race to start. My mom and I started out together but she quickly left me behind.

The first two miles were great. I was going a little too fast (mistake number two). As in 20-30 seconds per mile faster than I should have been doing to start. And I was getting hot fast. But I was determined to keep my jacket on. (mistake three)

I started overheating and my face was getting way too warm. My saving grace was that my iPod band slipped off my arm around mile 2 and since that was off I decided the jacket could come off now. I whipped it off as quickly as I could.

This saved me. Unfortunately I was already super hot. I poured water over my head, was only wearing a tank top, and it was raining. And it wasn’t enough. I didn’t recover until sometime after mile 4. My mile times suffered a lot between 2 and 4 and then I was able to pick it up a little bit for the last two miles but my legs and lungs were already spent.

However, since I knew it was going to be miserable I decided to focus on everything around me. I found encouragement in the people around me fighting their own personal battles. I laughed at the costumes. I reveled in the crowds and cheers and happiness around me. One particular favorite was a sign saying “our beer makes you faster” and an older gentleman running over and shot gunning a beer.

I crossed the finish line and my legs hurt more than they ever have before on six miles since the first time I was able to run that far. I knew I had given it my all.

I accomplished my B goal running at a 10:30 pace and finishing in 1:04.

I know now I need to keep up with my speed work and hills because they are paying off. This time for 6.2 miles last year would have been impossible. Slowly but surely my workouts are paying off.

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Just a small portion of my 36,000 friends and I running a 10K

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Mom and I getting ready for the race to start

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My reward: strawberry rhubarb pie with creamy Bev’s vanilla ice cream

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