Last Saturday was the Get in Gear 10k. There was also a half-marathon and a 5k on Saturday. The evening before was a 2k for kids!
I ran the 10k because that race was part of my running club‘s USATF racing circuit. As I mentioned in my weekly recap, my coach had me “taper” a bit for this race, so my legs were a bit more rested than they normally would be mid-marathon training. I think it worked! Read on to hear more….
Let me start with packet pickup. It was held on a very rainy Friday night at the Minnehaha Park pavilion from 12-8 pm.
I actually was stuck at work late on Friday, so Dustin went to packet pickup for us. We received dry-fit finisher’s shirts…and of course, the women’s cut was v-neck and doesn’t really fit well. Why is that always the case? I would have loved a soft cotton tee that I could wear around the house, as I know I won’t run in this shirt (too short, too loose, etc.)
The race started at 9 am. Dustin and I parked at the VA Medical Center and took one of the super easy shuttle buses to the start. Parking is a bit of a challenge, but the shuttles made it all a lot easier.
We were at the start line by 8 am with almost too much time to kill! Eventually the rest of our team showed up and we did a 2 mile warmup. (FYI, Dustin opted out of the race- he was experiencing some achilles pain and has his 50k race next Saturday, so he didn’t want to risk it. The men’s team had plenty of runners , so he took pictures instead and did a long run later that day with Matilda)
The start line had a large screen streaming footage of the start and finish line. Very impressive for a smaller race! They also had a full band that played the National Anthem. There was no wave start or corrals, so the start area was a little chaotic. The half marathon and the 10k start together. I actually pushed my way towards the front only because the USATF racing rules go by gun time instead of chip time, so its important for us to be towards the front. I did feel a little silly up there with all the truly fast people! This race is incredibly competitive. The winning men’s time was 29:36 or 4:46 per mile! The winning women’s time was 36:11 or a 5:50 pace. Amazing!
There was one support stop with water and Gatorade for the 10k. Around mile 5, the 10k and half-marathon split off and I believe the half marathon had additional support stops along the way. Its actually rare that I get to turn off towards the finish for one of the shorter races, so I was quite pleased to be pushing towards the finish rather than continuing on for a half marathon!
The course has a few hills. There was an especially tough one on the St. Paul side of the river (one that is familiar to those who have run the Twin Cities Marathon!) Fortunately, my running club had an awesome group of spectators cheering right there at the top of the hill, so you had no choice but to push it up the hill!
The Finish Line:
There was water and some other goodies at the finish.
Overall, this race is well-organized. I can’t really speak for the half marathon or the 5k, but I thought that the 10k was well done and a lot of fun. I actually really like the 10k distance. It’s a challenging distance to race! I want to sign up for more 10k’s in the near future.
My coach wanted me to average around 7:15-7:20 min/miles. I didn’t quite achieve that goal, but I was really happy with a 2 minute PR!
Final time: 46:13, 7:25 min/mile average
Afterwards, my coach told me he was still pleased. He would prefer for me to go out too fast in a shorter race than hold back (though obviously this method doesn’t work in a marathon!) He also seems to believe that I am faster than I think. He wants me to get more comfortable with the “uncomfortable” which means pushing the pace as hard as I can, as long as I can. If I slow down, that’s okay.
I think I did exactly that! I mean, I definitely can’t maintain a 7 min/mile for very long, but even after starting too fast, I was still able to hold on to an average of 7:25.
After the race, I quickly dropped Dustin off back at home and then met some friends for brunch at Cafe Maude (so good!)
Cheers to a really fun 10k. Get in Gear, you are definitely going to be my “rite of spring” next year!