Race number 10! 10k! Nearly 100 degrees!
One of these things is not like the other. Namely, two are fun and the third is heinous.
Yesterday, I drove up to Davis (near California’s capitol – Sacramento) for the Davis MOOnlight Race. A friend had registered for it months ago with a co-worker and invited me to join them. Looking for an opportunity to achieve one of my 2013 goals, I figured I could knock out my 10k PR and get a sweet medal with a cow on it!
After having my heart broken (a few times…) by a dude who lived in Davis, I knew it would be stifling hot, even in the evening. Somehow I forgot this salient detail when I committed to the race. Earlier in the week, we discovered that it was likely to be about 90 degrees during our race. PR’ing at this event seemed less imperative. Natch.
Eating for an evening race is a little strange. I figured extra carbs were probably a good idea and that any significant eating should be done by 1pm. Donuts. (No, not these. Different fancy donuts. Review forthcoming.) Chicken sausage. Bolt chews. Nuun.
It takes about an hour and a half to drive to Davis from Oakland. I anticipated Saturday traffic, difficult parking, and long bib pickup lines and left way early. I cruised up, parked literally across the street from the start in an un-metered spot (those exist outside of the immediate East Bay, fyi) and got my bib within five minutes. I spent the next two and a half hours sitting in my car with the AC cranked reading Runner’s World and calculating what pace would be sufficiently challenging but far enough from my PR that I would feel any temptation to push myself and narrowly miss it. Seriously, the second I got out of the car and into the 97 degree sun, I barely had the will to live let alone run fast. Seriously. NO.
My running buddy arrived and we hung out in my cool car until it felt like time to head over. She was fully on board with abandoning time goals and merely surviving. She’s from Sacramento and even she was miserable. That made me feel like less of a baby. We met up with her co-worker Anna and Anna’s boyfriend Gary who were running the 10k and 5k events, respectively. After scoping out the swag available post-race, we lined up!
It was hot. The start was very congested as the 10k and half marathoners started at the same time. We started near the back and as usual, everyone took off like there was ice cream in a quarter mile. There wasn’t. Pass ya later suckers!
It was really hot. I was very well hydrated and in the first mile, I was pretty uncomfortable holding what is normally an easy pace. I also started to cramp a bit in my side which never happens. I could tell Velia was unhappy too but we shuffled on.
Around the second mile, I started to feel a bit better and I told V some stories to distract both of us. I’d like to think it helped but we were both struggling. Early in the race, there was a narrow path and overpass that was split in half to accommodate a turnaround for the 10k’ers. It was really tight on the way out. This was my only issue with what was otherwise a fun course.
Not much else to report. The course had some nice little rollers, wonderful spectators and volunteers, and some very welcome shaded sections. Most of the middle was residential. I remember thinking how much I would love to run that route at like 5 in the morning or in November. I was very happy to have my friend with me to comiserate with. Though we had no time aspirations, we managed to hold around a 10:00. For 91 degrees, I had no problem with that.
Mile 4. Mile 5. Last mile!
I tend to feel pretty great in the last mile of a race and this was no different. The relief of knowing that it actually will end motivates me to kick out my last remaining effort. As the finish line came into view, we kicked it in and finished together!
We high-fived, watered, and wandered the post-race expo. Great party atmosphere with lots of swag!
We also both opted to get the participant medal (medals were only included for half-marathoners) because um, it had a cow on it and glowed in the dark. And races deserve medals always. Scientific fact.
It was great suffering through my first race with my training buddy. I couldn’t be more grateful for her energy, grace, and tenacity.
Overall this race hit every mark:
* Nice course
* Super well-organized including really enthusiastic volunteers and spectators.
* Great swag.
* Easy parking.
Will I do this race again? Absolutely not. Way too hot. Sorry. Hold it at 5am or 9pm. Until then, no. Sorry.
Are you a TOTAL baby about heat like me?
When I was a baby, my mom used to keep a plant mister in the car and spritz me down when she was stopped at a red light. Fact.