Out of all the racing I have done so far, 10Ks have been the most fun for me. Needless to say, I found the Go! St Louis Halloween 10K to be an enjoyable experience.
This race was the first race that I actually stayed over night in a hotel to compete in the race. I took my family with me and we made a weekend getaway out of it. I picked a hotel that was pretty close to the starting and finishing line, just about a quarter-mile away. It was nice getting up at a decent hour and not having to do any rushing.
Pre-race was not my normal preparation for an event though. I just did not feel like packing my pre-race nutrition stuff. I am thinking cookies would not be a very good fueling practice, but they were yummy. I had a cup of coffee also, Starbucks no less. What can I say, Starbucks was in the hotel.
I had gotten my race packet the day before so all I needed was to walk to the start line and do my thing. I left the room about an hour from the race start, which was 7am. The temp was great. It was borderline long sleeve but decided that I could manage in my summer racing gear. This decision was spot on. It warmed up quickly and it became a perfect workout temp.
When I got to the start line, way to early actually, I saw a park bench and I planted myself. I am not to in to warming up before races, probably should, but who am I kidding. I am no pro. I found it interesting to watch people warm up. Everyone seemed to have their own ways of warming up.
Start – I took two puffs of the Ventolin puffer with spacer. I decided to start in the very back this time. I figured that everyone would go hard out the gate and I was going to take an easy pace out. Actually, I was going to take it easy the whole race, although that was not what happened. Being in the back was something when 5000 people are attending. After the race began, it took roughly 15 minutes to cross the line. This is yet another reason for not warming up. I would have been cooled down before a crossed the line.
1 through 2 – Crowded for sure. As I expected, everyone shot out like a cannon. Not me though. I was a good boy and took my time. Yeah, it is really easy to get caught in the thrill of the start, but one needs to use their head because there is a 10K distance to cover. I did take long before I started passing people left and right. Sadly, it started to become sort of difficult because people where walking what seemed to be ten across sometimes. First mile I behaved myself pace wise, but felt speedy the second mile, so I started upping the pace.
3 through 4 – Where is the water stops in the race? The only highlight to the race was running through the Anheuser-Busch Brewery which happened a little after the 2 mile marker. It was a beautiful facility. By this time people I passed started complaining about where the water stops were. I was wondering that myself. I was hoping soon because I was stating to feel the need. Also, my lungs started squawking about not liking what I breathed in while strolling through the brewery. So, I took a couple of puffs off the puffer to quiet their grips. That seemed to do the trick and I soldered on without slowing my pace. Holding my breath at pace was tricky, although I seem to be getting better at it. Yes, there is a water stop in this race. The water stop was just after the 3 mile marker. I grabbed a couple of the warmest water I have ever tasted in a racing event, yuck. I downed both cups and it did hit the spot. The rest of this stage of the race was uneventful, just passing a lot of folks.
5 through 6 – Another couple of uneventful miles. What can I say, I am a country boy and the streets of downtown St Louis are boring. I will take a race course on a country road any day. I tried to up the pace at this juncture of the race, but my legs told me that this was not happening. Hopefully my readers won’t take this as bragging, just want to put it in perspective. I had been averaging about a 13:40 m/mile for the first 4 miles and I was hoping to get in the upper 12s just to feel speedy. It probably had a lot to do with shoe selection this time. I was wearing my New Balance 760s and I am just not fast in these shoes, although they make great long haul shoes. I selected them because I thought I wouldn’t have it in me this race to go fast (this race was two weeks after marathon), so why not use comfy shoes.
Finish – Oh my, am I going to PR this thing? The final stretch was about a quarter-mile long so I could see the clock. Yeah, the time on my GPS watch was telling the same story. I was going to cross the line with a personal record in a 10K distance, although this was not the highlight of the race. The most thrilling part of this race was seeing my wife and boys at the finish line. This was the first time that my family was able to attend one of my races. Frankly, I could care less about the time. Nothing was more special too me than seeing my family at the finish line. I was one happy daddy. Yeah, I ended up PRing the darn race. It sure wasn’t planned that way but I did.
Personal thoughts – I am such a dummy. I should have taken it easy. Heck, four days ago I was on Prednisone for a real bad fare-up. Huh…what am I trying to do, kill myself? It took six puffs a Ventolin to get me though this race. However, I tried something new this time, taking a couple of puffs after the finish. I think it did help with the aftermath flare-up that I get. I am going to continue that practice if it helps.
Thoughts on the race – It was a well-organized race. What surprised me the most was the whole race course was closed to traffic. That was something new for me. I thought only one water stop was a bit troublesome, they needed at least two. The finish line accommodations where awesome. I sure did not get the leftover crumbs in this race and a medal to boot. I was really pleased with this race and would do it again.
(I have pictures of this event on my Facebook account if anyone is interested.)