On Saturday, I ran the Second Annual 10K at the Northwoods Audubon Society in Sandstone. I ran this race last year too, so I guess I can say I've run the race every year it's been offered.
Over the weekend, I was on a little scrapbooking retreat (nerdy, I know) with some friends, but I was still only 15 minutes away from Sandstone, so figured I could still make the race. Although I stayed up later than I usually would before a race and fueled a little bit differently (chips and salsa and peanut butter M&M's are good pre-race foods, right?), I felt good when I got up Saturday morning. Jim picked me up at the scrapbooking house and we headed to the race.
The 5K and 10K start at the same time together, and a lot of people walk the 5K. Can you see where this is going? Right at the start, I had the always pleasant experience of running a few steps only to have to slam on the brakes to avoid plowing over a walker. Once the 5K split off from the 10K, things cleared out considerably, since there were only about 30 people running the 10K.
The first mile is on the dirt roadway/driveway leaving the Audubon Center. I wanted to keep myself from going out to fast, and running on dirt helped! The next three and half miles are on paved roads going around Grindstone Lake. It really is a beautiful course, especially this time of year with the leaves changing. At about the 4.5 mile mark, we are back on dirt roads heading back towards the Audubon Center. The final mile is actually on the trails through the Audubon property.
I ran a strong race and kept a consistent pace, which made me happy. The last stretch through the trails in the woods really took it out of me. I wanted to give a good kick to the end, but my legs just weren't having any of that. Cross the finish "line" (okay, patch of grass) in 56:09. At 6.4 miles. Damn long race. At least I remembered that the course was long from last year, so I expected it. But still. I was done at 6.2! Although my finish time is slower than my August 10K (normal distance), I improved on last year's time from the "maxi" 10K by 2 minutes! I'll take it.
I'm still debating about whether to post the "reenactment" picture Jim took of me running through the trail on the woods. I look like a complete dork, so I have to decide how much I'm willing to embarass myself.