Saturday, June 26, 2010

Solstice Run 10 Mile Race Report

This morning I ran the Solstice Run 10 Mile race in beautiful Northville, MI. David came along to cheer me on, but we forgot to bring a camera so there's no photographic evidence of the race. It was mid to upper 60s at the race start, with cloudy skies, so not too shabby compared to the overheated sweat-fest that was the Cheesetown Challenge last week.

Before I get into the blah, blah, blah of the race report, I just want to say that today was great. This was the first race I've done in quite some time where I didn't have moments of despair where I felt like quitting. I feel like I've turned a corner and I'm ready to head into marathon training with a positive attitude. Now for the blah, blah, blah part of the post...

The race started at Northville Downs, which is a horse racing track. We started out by making a loop of the race track. The guy next to me was making horse noises as we ran. It was pretty funny. I don't think they groomed the track, because I could see hoof prints in the dirt but it was easy to run on, so no big deal.

There weren't a ton of people behind me as we exited the track to hit the streets. David was there at the exit so I told him "I'm battling for last place again" and he laughed. But by the time we left the track parking lot (about 3/4 mile into the race) I could see that I wouldn't be last unless something went drastically wrong, so I decided to relax and enjoy myself. Also, no police cars were trailing the people at the back so even if I were last, I would have felt less pressure.

First thing we came upon after leaving the parking lot was a fairly steep hill. I'd heard the course was hilly and that was no lie - there were hills throughout the course. But I approached it with a positive attitude, thinking about how good the hills are to make me a stronger runner. Around the 3 mile mark, we started getting a little rain, but it was just some random sprinkles that continued from time to time through the race. Felt pretty good.

At about 3.3 miles, we entered a subdivision. This was a loop through the sub, so we exited out the same street. As I was entering at mile 3.3, I saw the lead female runner at what turned out to be just past the 6 mile mark. So she was not quite twice as fast as I am, which strangely enough is comforting to me. Heh, I have low standards apparently.

Starting around 6.5 miles, we entered my favorite part of the course - about a mile and a half that was liberally sprinkled with downhill portions. Ahhh, so nice to be able to pick up speed without feeling like it's any extra effort. I loved it!

There were certain portions of the race where the roads were a potholed mess and seemed pretty hazardous. It was only for short stretches and represented a tiny part of the course, but I hope that's fixed up before next year because I could see some twisted ankles happening there.

In the last couple of miles (maybe more, can't remember) the 10 mile course joined up with the 5K and 10K courses so there were suddenly a lot more people around. The shorter races started later than the 10 mile. What I liked about meeting up with the other races is that I knew we were getting close to the end, and also if anyone passed me I just assumed they were doing a shorter race and thus were not beating me at the distance I was running. I love the mental games I play. :)

Around mile 9 I suddenly became very tired, but the end was near and I was getting excited to cross that finish line. With maybe .4 left to go, I saw David smiling at me so that gave me an extra kick. Then I headed down the path into the park where the finish was and saw David again (he had come down the stairs quickly) and got a high five and another big smile.

It seemed like we had to make almost a full loop around this park path which felt like forever because I just wanted to see that finish line! And finally there it was. Woo hoo! David had dashed across the park to see me at the finish, so he was there but I wasn't looking for him since I wasn't expecting it. Alas, I am too slow so they were out of medals by the time I finished, but I signed up on the list of people who didn't get a medal and will get it later.

Then we went off to the art show that was taking place nearby and I bought myself a pretty ring as a reward.


desertrunnergirl said...

Oh Cathy - I don't mean to be your blog stalker, but I love our race reports! You have such a great sense of humor and I enjoy how you capture the little moments in a race. You always put a smile on my face.

Great job on finishing the solstice ten-miler today!

Cathy said...

You're my only reader and I appreciate it, so stalk away. :)

QiWhiz said...

I'm your other stalker, and I also enjoyed your report. You're smart and funny, and I also like the mental games you play when you run.

Cathy said...

Oh yay, I have two readers. :) Thank you!

Joe said...

Great job at the Solstice, Cathy! I like your attitude. We had a lot of club members at that race, maybe we'll see you on one of our runs.

Your Pace or Mine Running Club

Cathy said...

Thanks Joe. I introduced myself on the club forum recently and am hoping to join you for a weekend run very soon!