Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Challenge Recap

I finally completed my first 10k this past weekend!  The 12th Annual MVP Great Pumpkin Challenge in Saratoga was a great success and I couldn't be happier with how it went.  I finished the race in 54:40 (estimate) and came in 5th out of 22 for my age grouping (20-29).  The race itself was beautiful--it wove in and around the state park, not to mention we had great weather!  I had convinced my mom to run the 5k along with me since the routes went together for the first 3 miles of my race and she ended up beating her time as well! 

Prepping for the race I had a fulfilling dinner the night before at a local restaurant, Chianti, which is right downtown off of Broadway street.  They had some amazing dishes and an "early bird" special that I had to take advantage of.  Local field green salad to start followed with an eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and sausage GF pasta dish and then finished the night off with a dish of strawberry sorbet and decaf americano (but was it really decaf?).

We returned to the hotel which was brand new and really nice so that I could catch up on some real world stuff (aka searching for jobs/ writing resumes) and I attempted to fall asleep after watching part of A Little Princess, great movie by the way! I am also convinced that the decaf americano was NOT decaf since I ended up not falling asleep until 2am. The bright and early wake up call at 7:30 was not as bad as I thought it would be but I definitely needed the complimentary coffee!

Before the race there was coffee, doughnuts (which I didn't attempt) and a fire pit that was roaring and keeping me warm. Pure bliss if you ask me. Bonfire BEFORE a race at 9:30am? Yes Please!

The course itself was beautiful, as mentioned before. Mostly flat until the end (about miles 4-6) where we hit two big hills.  To be honest I was a bit nervous for these hills and made sure to take a slower pace for the .5 mile leading up to them and snagged the water, of course. There were so many spectators and fellow 5kers cheering us on and telling us that we were so close that it flew by and before I knew it I was approaching the final hill at mile 6 then it was home free to the finish line!

It is amazing how much of a mental game running is.  I have now identified that it takes me about 1 1/2-2 miles to get past the mental barriers, then from 3-4 I'm in the zone, 4 can sometimes be a challenge and then 5 and beyond is great!  I always feel happy and accomplished when I finish which is an amazing feeling!

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