After running the Mo’ Cowbell Half Marathon Sunday, I had a couple days of soreness, especially in my quads, but was thrilled to feel recovered by Wednesday. So I signed up for The Great Go! St. Louis Halloween 10k, which I ran for the first time last year (recap HERE). They had to change the course slightly to avoid construction that’s going on at the Arch, but it’s pretty similar to last year.
My running has been sporadic lately. The last three weeks I’ve done only one 3-4 mile run during the week and then a long run/race on the weekend. In the past deviating from a schedule like that would have totally freaked me out, but I am really embracing the listen to my body method and I’m ok with it. In fact, I had no pre race jitters for this 10k. None! That is a first. I guess it’s hard to take a race too seriously when you’re dressed like this.
It was 53 at the start but I went with the shorts and t-shirt anyway after consulting this awesome Runner’s World What to Wear Guide. I was chilly while I waited at the Big River Running tent, but the compression socks helped as did these adorable gloves I got for $1 at Target.
We did a short warm up run around 6:45am and then it was more waiting around until the 7:30am 10k/half marathon race start.
Loved this girl’s ninja turtle costume. I’m a big fan of the turtles.
This guy’s sign was a hit. Runners tend to like beer.
At some point it began raining lightly (oh good–cold AND wet!) but fortunately I was able to stand under the tent until the very last minute.
I lined up around 7:25am.
We started right on time, which has always been my experience with the Go! races.
We headed west on Market past Union Station.
There’s a short downhill but you don’t get to enjoy it very long before heading back uphill. I don’t mind uphills at the beginning of races so much as the end. And I have a lot of experience with this uphill from running from SLU to the Arch and back in college, so I knew what to expect.
We turned north and then back east. None of this was especially picturesque, especially in the gloomy weather.
Eventually we made it to Broadway and turned south, where I saw one of my favorite costumes, a woman dressed up as a St. Louis cake. There are giant painted cakes all over town at various landmarks celebrating St. Louis’ 250th birthday. So naturally she’s got a candle on her head (and I was worried about my ears falling off).
Then I passed someone I couldn’t identify. A rat maybe?
As we passed Busch Stadium we reached the part of the course where the faster runners were already heading back and passing us. The guy on the left had another one of my favorite costumes–a member of KISS.
This was another one of least attractive parts of the course. Good thing there were costumes to look at.
As we approached another water station, I didn’t stop, but I did take a photos of the guys dressed as a hot dog and bacon. I saw several bacon costumes. Bacon is the new black.
This was around the 4.5 mile mark, and for the first time the race was starting to feel hard. I needed something to focus on.
What’s that in the distance? Could it be…..the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?!
I became obsessed with catching him, and I may have, too, if he didn’t split off for the half marathon. He ran 13.1 miles in this costume.
And he was having fun, dancing around.
It became clear why he was dancing when I saw these volunteers dressed as Ghostbusters. Awesome. This is such a fun race.
Then we circled back to Busch Stadium, a little over 5.5 miles done. I needed a new target to focus on, and I found one in this woman in the distance dressed as a taco.
I was able to pass her and some other people. I rounded a couple corners and could see the finish line in the distance. I always forget how painful shorter distances can feel as you’re trying to use up all your energy at the end. But I finished strong and happy!
I thought those photos turned out pretty great and I guess the Go people thought so too because my friend Mariah pointed out my picture was one of the ones Go posted on their website (HERE). And the funny thing, a local blogger who writes For My Tummy and was also at this race also had her photo chosen. Small world!
Then I got my medal
And my free stuff
They give away so much stuff at the end of Go races it just makes good sense to pack a plastic bag in your pants. 🙂
Right after finishing.
Then I took some more costume photos.
Guy with a bat on his head
Gingerbread man (he said this wasn’t as hard to run in as you might think)
Two hot dogs walking away
A banana enjoying his morning coffee
And me. Meow!
I’m happy with my performance for several reasons:
1. I completely forgot I’ve been injured. I had no leg pain at any point yesterday or today. I’m not even sore today. This seems like a major milestone in my recovery.
2. I had a loose goal that it might be nice to break one hour, and I came very close.
3. I ran the second 5k faster than the first 5k.
I was trying to make each mile faster than the last, but I haven’t mastered that skill, especially when I was more focused on the other racers than I was on my watch.
My post injury race times are similar to what they were when I first started racing. I’m ok with that. It gives me something to work on. Measurable improvement is one of my favorite things about running and I’m excited to feel healthy enough to start pushing myself a little more!