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.
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!