Bluff City 10k Recap

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Rough. Tough. Nasty. Finished.

Those are the top 4 words that come to mind about the Bluff City 10k. The day started off really pretty slightly overcast which was going to make for a nice cool run.  However mother nature is a finicky bitch so a thunderstorm decided to interfere with it all.

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A trash can actually started floating away.  I tried to get an accurate picture for how nasty it was and this is the best I could do.

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I ran into this lady while it was coming down and it reminded me why I wanted to do this 10k.  Chris is the Research and Program Impact Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis.  One of the most important aspects of running these races is the impact that happens with the organizations that they support. Working in nonprofit, I know how much this support means.  And I love doing things that support those that I care for that are also doing good works.

The race started late, 8:20 which was enough time for two things to happen.  My muscles cooled off and I had pumped myself back up for the race.  Then I started to freak out.  I was running with a new running belt, a new phone, and it was raining.  It was a full on steady rain.  I didn’t want to kill my brand new phone but I also am recovering from injuries and didn’t want to be without my phone in case something happened. It was too late to turn back so I just went.

Everything was feeling nice and good.  I had a steady pace.  Going up the hill of Madison, about to hit McLean I felt my leg muscles start cramping.  They had gone cold from the wait.  Even the walk to the starting point hadn’t warmed them up as I had hoped.  It happened right at the one mile marker.  So mile 2, as is usually the case with me, was my slowest and was making me question everything I had ever done in my life.

Mile 2 was a complete bitch to me. My left calf was a rock and my foot felt like it had been smashed, my right ankle was hurting so bad my foot was going numb and I couldn’t feel my calf muscle.  I wanted to never run again and was writing this blog post in my head about how this race was going to be the end of my running career.

And then I met a lady. Actually this lady right here.

She just happened to be in one of my post race pictures and it made me think of what we accomplished. We walked a good bit of mile 2 talking about how we were hurting.  I did 6 miles last week and she did 8 but we were both ready to call it quits.  I pumped her up and she kept me going.  At mile marker 3 I was ready to go again.

I decided then to use every downhill as a way to gain my speed back at that point. I saw someone in a bright yellow shirt that looked like she was doing some interval running so it became my mission to stay up with her.  Miles 3 and 4 were significantly better than mile 2.  Around mile 5 I started talking to the lady and the bright yellow shirt and found out she was using me as her pace person much like I was using her.  We decided to finish the race together that day and encourage one another to keep it going.

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Mile 5 was my fastest mile of the day.  This is also where I became so hungry that I started burping.  This is never a good feeling.

My GPS said that the race was 6.65 miles.  And that last half mile felt like the longest trek I had ever made.  Part of it I know had to do with hunger.  Like unreasonable hunger and all the food places down Madison starting up for the day.  I know from now on I will need some form of food in my little pouch when I’m going these long distances in the morning.  I finished the race at 1:43:44 according to my app.  The chip has me finishing nearly a minute after this and after the person I crossed the finish line with which is annoying.  But I finished it and made a few new running friends along the way.

And I got a medal!

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This may now be my favorite post-race selfie.

I also earned this badge through my fitbit charge hr by the end of the race:

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And I fully enjoyed eating this when I finally made it home:

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Running makes me happy

Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Toward the end of last year, my love affair with running hit a rough patch.  I felt like I was doing too much when I was running and kickboxing and trying to fit in some Piyo and yoga into my life.  I felt overwhelmed, the weather never wanted to cooperate with me, I wasn’t seeing any improvements, and then I hurt my ankle for what felt like the millionth time so I decided to take a bit of a break from running.  I continued with kickboxing and would do some Piyo when I wasn’t kickboxing. Doing this I was staying in shape but I constantly had the longing to go run.

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Once it was consistently over 55 degrees, I started lacing up my running shoes again.  I actually prefer running when it is warmer outside and my asthma doesn’t seem to bother as much working out in heat than it does in the cold.

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I had some rough starts. It was almost as if my legs had to remember how to actually run correctly. Now as of this past weekend, I’ve done 3, 5k’s so far this year and Saturday I will do my first 10k.  I’m both super nervous and excited about this first 10k.

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My first 5k of the year was a walking one I did with a pregnant friend to help her baby come.  We walked it in 1:04:15.  There was absolutely no running in this 5k although I could tell my legs wanted to at some points, my ankles were not.  The rain stopped just long enough for us to do the race and eat some BBQ afterwards.

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One of the runs, I had wanted to do since starting running was the Shelby Farms Earth Day 5k.  You get a tree for running the race!  My finish time (not chip time-which I’m finding to be a big thing for me) was 49:06.  This race had a lot of mental issues for me.  I had a brace on one of my ankles but the other ankle started messing up in the second mile.  My first mile I did in 12 minutes, I have no idea about the second one because my app stopped running and I didn’t figure that out until about a quarter of the way into mile 3.I fiddled with electronics, laughed with a lady beside me, and finally decided to say screw it when even pandora didn’t want to work with me.  I was feeling very mentally drained until I saw one of my main influences in running, Yela cheering people at this hill.  Seeing her made me realize the race was almost done and I was able to kick it up a notch and finish with a smile and a limp.

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This past Saturday I did the Latino Memphis Cinco de Mayo 5k at Overton Park and finished at 46:58, which is 2.5 minutes faster than the Earth Day 5k. All of my miles were between 14-15 minutes with mile 2 being right at 15 minutes due to some shin pain.  I felt awesome after the race. So HOT but extremely awesome.  I had a beer afterwards and it felt magically.  I hate beer but it just seemed appropriate at 10 am after a race. I met up with a good friend (Brigitte) to get some miles in after this race to help get us ready for the Mad Dog 5k on May 16th.

I’ve also started walking 2+ miles at work with co-workers nearly every day.  I have found it is really helping with my overall productivity, especially since I still work through my lunches most days.  This helps me to get through the midday slump and I also don’t feel the urge to eat all the things come 4 pm.  These walks are great not only for the health benefits but also because of the positive talks that come out of it as well. We talk about work but also about how changing into a healthy lifestyle has changed us not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.

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This running season has taught me a lot about myself already and it just started.  I feel stronger in my claim to calling myself a runner and look forward to anytime I spend outside walking, jogging, running.

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