So many fun ways to title this RR:
FE from Hell; Tracy Runs with the Devil; A Cold Day in Hell; etc.
I have been really looking forward to this event in Hell, Michigan. It was a fundrasier to buy the couple who used to organize this race a wheel-chair accessible van, since the wife (Dolores) had a stroke last year and they weren't able to get out of their house very easily anymore. 100% of the race proceeds went to the cause, and in the end they raised all they needed to buy Dolores her van. Very cool.
Over 3000 runners were there - a huge turnout and proof of how great the running community is. It made for a crowded start, but what beats hearing 3000 people sing Happy Birthday to our lady Dolores, who turns 80 next week? I was in tears!
My day started at 6:30 with some coffee and getting ready. Some of us were carpooling and meeting at 7:45. Of course Chuck (our own Charles1968, brave enough to get into a car with a strange lady he met on the Interwebz) called at 7AM to find out where the exact meet was. After I gave him directions, he politely told me he was already in town (40 minutes early) and would read a book at the meeting spot. Ok! I have a neighbor, one I ran into at the Crim, who was running this too, so I picked her up - her costume was a blue skirt and jacket, with horns and a pitch fork (Devil in a Blue Dress, get it?). So off we go to pick up Chuck and my friend John (another stranger I met thru Daily Mile, we've run together and he's great and wanted to pace me to a PR for this race).
The ride there was so fun - a bunch of Michigan runners talking about all the events they've run and will do again, etc. Chuck is an awesome guy and it was so much fun to be with those guys; usually I drive to races alone and no wonder I'm such a bag of anxiety when I get there. The distraction of friends is a good thing on race day.
The start area was packed with runners, and we were delayed a bit - wow was it freezing, but once we were off it was good to be running and getting warmed up. This was an out and back course, so the great downhills we had were hard to appreciate - I knew I'd just have to climb back up them! Some of the hills weren't bad, a couple were not so nice, but they just never ended. It was hard to get into my groove because it was just one hill after another. The effort felt difficult the entire time, which it should - this was not a training run.
My last 10k was on a cool day in June, and I know I've gotten a lot faster since then (relatively speaking, of course). My time back then was 1:21, a 13:06 pace. Yesterday's splits were:
Mile 1: 11:44 (target pace is 11:50, so this is good)
Mile 2: 10:41 (my best mile ever, but a bit too fast)
Mile 3: 11:30
Mile 4: 11:44 (on target but my chest is feeling the pain from an elevated HR all this time)
Mile 5: 12:44 (struggling, took a walking break up a hill to get my HR down
Mile 6: 10:45 (giving it what I got, we are almost there, I pass a few folks)
Mile .22: 2:01 (9:04 pace, my HR gets up to 201 during this short time, so glad I didn't puke)
My goal was to run 6- 12 minute miles and finish between 1:12 and 1:15; I ended up with a pace of 11:27 and a finish time of 1:11:06.
We met Stephanie (ChubbyLungs) but didn't get a pic of her in her cute Dorothy costume. We met up with Tif (33Michigan) and squeezed Chuck into a photo up between 2 sweaty, dirty women - he didn't mind =)
It was a great day in Hell!