Also known as “Holy cow I can’t believe I finished”.
I wasn’t sure this race was actually going to happen, after getting tendonitis and having to take a month off running, I was seriously concerned I wasn’t going to be able to run. I registered for this race in NOVEMBER and I’ve been working my mileage up ever since, I was going to do my best to run this race!
(Cue the obligatory selfie with my race bib – and how awesome is it that they gave us Boston stickers? Love to see the running community supporting each other)
Race morning started way too early. Like 5:15AM early. Ouch. Major props to my parents for waking up before the sun to cart me over to Chapel Hill and waiting on the course for 2 hours to cheer me on, they are some seriously awesome people! My mom actually bruised her hands from clapping so hard for all the runners, she’s going to have to pace herself for these longer races!
The race started up a little rough. Traffic going into Chapel Hill was HORRENDOUS. The pre-race e-mails warned us traffic might be bad, but it was BAD. The race was set to start at 7:30AM and at 6:50 we were still crawling through traffic a couple miles away while I was slowly freaking out about making it on time. It got to the point that I decided to just walk to the start line. Which turned into running to the starting line because I was seriously cutting close. Nothing like a 1-mile up hill warm up before a race right?
I saw lots of other runners booking it to the start line so I felt a little bit better about the situation. Luckily I made it with time to spare!
And hightailed it to the back of the crowds, definitely not trying to be speedy during this race. Speaking of speedy, the winner finished in 51:11. Holy cow. I can’t even comprehend that kind of speed.
The race started and ended in Kenan Stadium (UNC’s football stadium), which was pretty cool. It felt pretty awesome to run through the stadium to cross the finish line!
The weather was pretty perfect for running, in the 50s and a little overcast, couldn’t really ask for anything better.
The first couple miles went really smoothly, we circled around the stadium twice before heading through UNC’s campus. My parents were at the 1st and 2nd mile marker which gave me a huge boost to start with. I passed the 12:00 mile pace group after a quick bathroom trip at mile 2 and made it my goal to stay ahead of them. I told you I wasn’t trying for speedy.
Miles 4-6 got a little rough, my feet blister like crazy during long runs (anyone know how to fix this? I feel like I’ve tried everything new shoes, new socks, band-aids, turning socks inside out, lotion, nothing helps!) and I was starting to feel it at this point (gross? Maybe, but isn’t that why we read race recaps?).
I had half a PowerGel at mile 5 which helped a lot. I’ve never fueled during a run before but I new sugar would be necessary at this point. I could tell it helped me out, even if orange is not such a tasty flavor.
Miles 7-10 I got in the zone is was just determined to finished. I stopped for another half of a gel at mile 8 and chugged along to the finish.
Around mile 8.5 I hit the TOPO Challenge:
Laurel Hill is slightly less than a mile climb uphill, and awards were given to those who could get up the hill the fastest. The race promoters made a big deal about this hill, and I was slightly worried, but I shouldn’t have been, that hill was nothing. I walk up steeper hills to class! Perks of living in the mountains. Climbing hills is 1000 times easier at sea level. I made it to the top in 9:28!
I ended up finishing in 1:54:27 with an average mile time of 11:27. Not fast by any means, but I’m just proud I finished!
How awesome are the finisher medals?
All in all, minus the traffic jam at the start, I absolutely loved this race! I would already be signed up for it for next year if I actually new where I’d be living/what I’d be doing next year.
Have you ever run a 10 mile race? Do you like the distance?
What races do you have on the calendar for this year?