(Originally written July 6, 2016)
I did it! I completed my 2nd 10k on Saturday, July 2, 2016. It was hot, humid & long, but it’s done! In Georgia in July it’s going to be hot. Thankfully, the race began at 7:30am & they had 4 water stations with plenty of water at each stop. Unfortunately, it was still not enough. Fortunately, I had my best supporter there & he met me before the last hill at mile 5 and brought me a bottle of water which I alternately drank & poured on my head. (At some point, I noticed other, smarter racers carrying small water bottles with handles on them. I gotta get me one of those!)
At the beginning of the race there was sporadic shade with the sun still behind some of the big Georgia pines, but it didn’t take long for the sun to rise full in the sky and eliminate the cooling shade. I did my best to not overdo it; tried not to get caught up to the rest of the pack who is always ahead of me. I ran my race, alternating between running and walking. Did most of my running downhill or in the shade. If you run in the South in the summer, you know what I’m talking about!
One of the cool things I love about doing races is running somewhere different or somewhere you are normally not able. On this particular race it was running along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (PIB) in Gwinnett County. PIB is one of the many “Peachtree’s” we have here in metro Atlanta. It’s a very busy 4 lane road & definitely not one you would willingly be out on on-foot. This 6.2 mile race ran approximately 3 of those miles on PIB. The right lane was blocked off for us & local law enforcement was at the beginning & end of the blocked off portion of the road. I really kept to the curb & side walks when they were available, just in case. You can never be too careful when running on a major road!
The other cool thing about this 10k was the Bling! 10k finishers received a finisher’s medal BUT I also placed 1st in my age group, 55-59. Now, here’s where I have to fess up. It’s true that I was the only one in my age group, therefore I was 1st. I’ve gotten many a medal that way, and in all honesty, I’m ok with that. I was 1st because no one else showed up & I did. That’s my story & I’m sticking to it!
Last cool thing about this 10k is I wasn’t last like my 1st one. I finished in 1:36:36 & averaged 4 miles per hour. There were 2 other people behind me, a 55-59 year old man & a 40-44 year old woman. Even though I would rather be last than not at all, it felt good to be 3rd from last!
Final thoughts: At some point during this race as I was all alone, slowly running up PIB, hot as 400-hell, my feet hurting, my legs hurting, my arm hurting (from a heat rash) I think to myself, as I always do when running, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?!” (Incidentally, that was also the question my husband asked when he brought me the water.) I always come up with the same answer….”I don’t know, but I know I have to do it. It’s what I do.”
I’m already looking forward to my next 10k, but will probably wait until it cools off just a bit here!