I volunteered at this race last year, so I got to see all the yummy stuff that the runners get to eat post-race. I needed to get something close to 10 miles in, so I opted to run the 5k/10k combo.
I wasn’t quite sure how to pace this thing. If it had been an actual 15k, I would have started slower and finished faster. However, the 10k started 30 minutes after the 5k and I wanted to be at the start line when that happened, so I wasn’t straggling behind everyone else for the whole race. So, I decided I would push a little harder than I normally would for the first 5k to attempt to get in under 30 minutes.
I woke up at 6am (much better than the last race’s 4am wake up time) and got ready. It was supposed to be in the 50s/60s and sunny, so I opted for shorts and a short-sleeved top.
I arrived in plenty of time. I had picked up my packet the evening before, so I had already pinned my bibs and attached my timers. I made a quick stop at the port-a-potties, then sat in my car for a bit (it was cold) until I got a message from my cousin Gillian (who was running the 10k) that she had parked. I met up with her, we got her packet, and then waited for the 5k to start.
5k, Mile 1: 9:43
There was some nice crowd support at the start of the race, along Athens Way. After a quarter mile or so, we turned onto Great Circle for an out-and-back section. I just tried to maintain a steady fastish pace. I was feeling pretty good.
5k, Mile 2: 9:34
The halfway point came and went without a water stop. I was kind of wanting some at this point. We had passed Athens Way for the second out-and-back section in the other direction. I just told myself it would be over soon.
5k, Mile 3: 9:18
The only water stop on the course was right at the end of mile 2/beginning of mile 3. I briefly stopped to gulp down some water, then pushed on. I started counting in my head to distract me from the discomfort of knowing that I really had six more miles to go after this.
5k, Final 0.1 (0.14 to my Garmin): 1:12 (8:44 pace)
I pushed with everything I had and right as I crossed the finish line, the gun for the 10k went off. No breaks allowed! I joined the throng of people heading towards the start line again.
Official 5k Time: 29:40
I liked that I managed to run negative splits on this race!
10k, Mile 1: 9:57
10k, Mile 2: 10:13
I was pretty tired from running a sub-30 5k, but I knew I could push on. I hoped that the 10k would have a water station before the two mile mark. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. While my strategy for the 5k was to run it straight (except for the water stop), my 10k strategy was a one minute walk at the start of each mile.
10k, Mile 3: 10:37
10k, Mile 4: 10:29
The first water stop of the 10k was at the start of the third mile right before we got on the greenway. We were on the greenway for the next three miles. You could just see runners for miles ahead of you. It was a little disheartening because you could tell you weren’t anywhere close to being done. I tried to enjoy the nice view of the river for these three miles, but I really was just ready to be done.
10k, Mile 5: 10:49
At the start of mile five, I started singing Disney songs in my head. I got through “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, “Love is an Open Door”, and “Let it Go” before we finally got off the greenway for the final mile.
10k, Mile 6: 10:45
I continued with “Part of Your World”, “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, and “When Will My Life Begin” on this mile.
10k, Final 0.2 (0.26 to my Garmin): 2:10 (8:20 pace)
We were finally turning back onto Athens Way. The crowd support was back. I gave it everything I had, for my fastest quarter mile of the entire day.
Official 10k Time: 1:05:22
A little slower than my last few 10ks (and my last 15k), but I’ll take it!
After finishing, I downed a banana, then went in search of mac and cheese. There wasn’t any. 😦 I guess all the 5k finishers got to it because all they had out were sausage balls. Instead, I grabbed an ice cream sandwich from the ice cream truck, and then met up with Gillian.
This was a well-organized race with a unusual-for-Nashville flat course. I was a little worried about the logistics of running both races, but had no problems doing so. (For what it’s worth, next year they will be offering an actual 15k, so I doubt the 5k/10k combo will exist anymore.)
Now that I’m going on my third year of running, I am figuring out what kind of races I prefer. You’ve seen me mention before that I like a lot of crowd support. This one has some at the start/end, but not much elsewhere. (And it’s impossible to have any on the three mile section of the greenway.) Not necessarily a negative thing for other people, I just like more.
But the volunteers were fantastic, packet pickup was quick and painless, and the ice cream was tasty! And chocolate milk! I do wish I had been able to get some mac and cheese at the end, though. I was sad that I missed it.
Night Before: I think I had Zaxby’s. I was being lazy.
Pre-Race: half a bagel with peanut butter
During Race: just water
Post-Race: banana, ice cream sandwich, chocolate milk
Sports Bra: Gracie’s Gear
Top: Asics short-sleeved top (I need to retire this one and get a new white top; this one got stained with hair dye during the last race I did in the rain)
Bottom: Lululemon Speed Short
Socks: my trusty Injinjis
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2