Friday, May 5, 2017

North Face Endurance 10K

For the 2nd weekend day in a row, my alarm clock went off at 5:20am.  They day before I had to wake up early to drive down to Luray for a practice open water swim as part of the bay swim training.  I haven't had a weekend like this with back-to-back early workout days since Ironman training!
Me, Lacey and Jessie before getting on the shuttles!
I made the drive out to Loudoun County and met up with Lacey, Jessie and Mindy before catching the shuttles to our various races.  Lacey and I were doing the 10K and Jessie and Mindy were doing the half marathon, which started in a different location, but we would all end up at the same finish line.  Between the shuttle ride, picking up my packet and shirt, dropping off my bag at bag check, and using the bathrooms, we didn't have much time to get bored before lining up for the start.  Lacey was wave #3 and I was wave #5 but they seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing so I went ahead and started with Lacey.
Lacey, Mindy and me
Of course, Lacey and I only stayed together for about a quarter of a mile as we ran through the grass around the field.  This was the same course as the North Face Marathon Relay that I did last year, but luckily not *quite* as muddy.  I jogged the entire field portion, a little less than a mile, before giving myself a walk break.  I did my normal run when I can, walk when I need/want to routine as I went through the golf course, onto the wide path and crossed a couple bridges. 

When I got into the trail section, I saw the leaders returning from the out and back course.  I decided to jog until I saw Lacey.  This was mostly single track, so everyone was running single file, and it was a little hard to run past everyone going the other direction.  Everyone was so freaking nice, cheering me on, giving me high-fives.  It was to the point that I thought maybe they felt sorry for me being so far in the back.  I glanced around and was happy to see that there was a steady stream of people behind me also. Phew.  Then I saw Lacey, gave her a high five, and rewarded myself with another walk break. 
Lacey and I finished the 10K!
The sections back in the woods were really nice and scenic.  A girl passed me about halfway through the run, and I managed to keep up with her for the second half of the race.  We leap frogged each other and it was nice to have the motivation to keep going.  I was in the last mile or so when the lead half marathon runner passed me.  Luckily we were back on the wide trail by then and he was able to pass easily.  Back through the golf course, and I was almost done!  I started running just before the 6 mile marker and jogged my way into the finish, thankful I hadn't decided to sign up for a longer distance race as I had been tempted to when Mindy and Jessie sent out the link.
Mindy and Jessie after the half marathon finish!
I got some water, met up with Lacey and got my bag.  We walked around for a little while before Lacey had to head out to make it up to Philly for work.  I hung around for awhile and cheered in the half marathoners, waiting for Jessie and Mindy.  Then it was off to Joann's house for a shower and a day of lounging around on her back deck.

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