I participated in my first official race this morning, and since I am typing this blog we can reasonably assume that I finished without dying! The Cap 10K is a major event in Austin, and many people consider it to be one of the signs of spring in Central Texas. I was a little overly convinced of my abilities heading into the race because I can run a 10K with Patience a couple times a week (yeah, it’s a 10K, but the terrain near my house is no where near as extreme as the hills in downtown), and I didn’t examine the course as carefully as I probably should have (Enfield through downtown to Mopac is a bear!). However, I’m still pleased with how I did, and I know I can push myself to do better next year!
The big fun for this year’s Cap 10K is that Austin was supposed to be chilly and rainy all through the morning. It didn’t seem to prevent people from coming out for the race though (official results show over 11,000 participants!). My biggest issue was getting out the door without the dogs losing it; Patience threw a massive temper tantrum when I headed out the door around 7AM wearing running clothes but obviously leaving her behind. She may not love running 10K with me, but she is supposed to get walkies, darn it! Parking in the City Hall garage was fine, and my only mistake was not paying closer attention to where I actually parked my mini-van before heading to the start line (I got to play find the car afterwards).
Okay, the start line was insane! I got to know several of my fellow runners far better than I wanted to at 7:45 in the morning as we all packed in to the starting space. Wisely I joined a group at a pace a few minutes below my perceived ability level because I figured I could just pass people if I wanted to move more quickly. With that many people opening the start line was more of a shuffle toward the gate, but I passed the time line only a few minutes after the clock began. Running up Congress was the easy part, but when we turned onto Enfield and I realized we were going to crest the hill at West my heart began to sink. That hill has been the bane of my existence as a drive because it is steep and has a stop light at the very top; now I had to try to avoid letting it defeat me as a runner. I made it up that hill, and the next, and the next, but I finally had to drop to a brisk walk when I realized I wasn’t going to get a flat straight away for a while. My peanut butter toast wasn’t giving me quite enough fuel, and I’d foolishly skipped the first water station. My sweatshirt was rapidly becoming too hot, and I wished I could take it off, but I’d pinned my race bib to the front. After a break I began running again only to have to drop to a walk two more times throughout the race, once on another hilly portion and once past Austin High School when I was convinced there would be yet another hill (there wasn’t). However, I took advantage of every water station after skipping the first, and the cool water helped me keep going to the end. Despite my aching legs I made sure I ran across the finish line even though my body will probably hate me tomorrow.
My official race time was 1 hour 2 minutes 54 seconds, which is pretty darn good for walking part of the way. I’m impressed that I actually did it, that I was able to get myself to run again after walking, and that I still want to do it again!
However, maybe I should try a 5K on terrain for an intermediate level run between now and then.