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Friday, August 22, 2014

Fitness Friday: My First 10K!

Scratch another thing off my 30 in 30 list! It's been a few weeks, but on Saturday, August 9th, I ran my first 10K race! The Penn State Hershey Chocolate Tour combines two wonderful things, running and chocolate, and all to benefit the Penn State Hershey Melanoma Center. My third race in all, it was a lot of fun despite being on an ugly hot, humid day.

The race day included a 10K walk, 10K run, and then bike races of various lengths. I hitched a ride with Sarah, Matt, and Julie to Hershey, which was helpful since I'm still a newb and Sarah and Matt are pros at this whole race thing. After the riders left, we got registered (complete with our neon yellow t-shirt and post-race ice cream coupon) and got ready to roll.

I took a shot in the dark and guessed I'd finish in about 1:10, since that was my 6 mile time a few weeks ago. The route was a nice figure 8 around the Milton Hershey campus, which is beautiful and relatively flat, but pretty boring. Corn field, house, house, corn field, farm, house, farm, house, repeat. Like I said, it was beautiful, don't get me wrong, but a little more scenic entertainment would have been nice!

The most exciting part of the day, geeky enough, was that I got to try out my new Garmin Forerunner 220 for a long run/race. This thing is amazing and I am so glad I saved up for it. It was super easy to set up, syncs to my computer without a problem, and is so much more convenient than pulling my phone out of my waist pouch all the time. I can easily see my pace, time, splits, etc. right on my wrist and it also has an alert (sound and/or vibrate) that I can customize for run/walk intervals. Brilliant!

My watch worked perfectly throughout the race and was super comfortable. I need to learn not to look at it so much though; a watched pot never boils. I need a wrist band to cover it that says, "Don't worry about it. Just run."

Having run 6 miles only one other time before, I was surprised how well things went. I definitely started having the, "WTF are you doing? This is ridiculous." thoughts around mile 3, but just kept running. I am still listening to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children on my iPod as I run, so that kept me occupied as the sunny miles wore on. There were water/chocolate tents at each mile marker giving out bottled water and chocolate to the runners. I definitely took advantage of the water, but cannot imagine eating more than a Hershey Kiss while running! I downed at least two bottles of water and am still not sure how I didn't have to stop to pee. Porta-pots are a mighty strong motivation to hold it.

The last mile was rough and I admittedly took it easy. It was only about 80 degrees, but there was not a cloud in the sky and the humidity was just hanging in the air. I came across the finish line to happily see a 1:09:47 on the clock. A fraction of a second under my predicted time -- I'll take it. I averaged an 11:11 pace and had relatively good splits.

Happy finisher!
After some post-race chocolate and Turkey Hill ice cream, we put in another 2 miles to keep up with training for the Run Like a Diva half on September 13th. The crazy part? I didn't even hurt the next day. Whoa.

Despite the disgusting weather, this was a really fun race. I felt good and was really happy I did it. Good race with good friends. I can't wait for the next one!

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