Race: Capital City Stampede 10K
Place: Frankfort, Kentucky
Date: June 14, 2014
Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a brand spankin’ new 10K PR! I couldn’t believe it. I honestly couldn’t believe it. Believe me, after the week I’ve had…I couldn’t be happier! And this is once again proof of how important it is to take those rest days. Rest brings magic. And it was not easy to skip my Friday morning spin class…but…I am getting back into the habit of obeying and respecting those days of rest.
Guess it worked.
Yes…it’s that time again. The final race of the Frankfort Trifecta Run/Walk Series. The first race was a 3K, the second was a 5K, and the final leg…a 10K. Now…I don’t know if you know this or not…but I absolutely despise the 10K distance. I hate it. It’s just…not long enough for my legs to get warmed up, but I can’t sprint it either. UGH! Damn you 10K distance. But, I don’t care when it comes to this race. Because I love running in Frankfort. I have met so many great people there…been able to run with them…run their streets. I’ve forged so many friendships through running, and I count myself lucky to know so many people in Frankfort.
So…this meant an early morning to allow for proper travel time. I got up early enough to do my PT stretches, drink some tea, take in water, put on sunscreen, drink some coffee, eat cereal, brush teeth, get out the door. The ride to Frankfort actually went quickly. Seriously. I was just flipping through one of my magazines and before I knew it, we were exiting and making a stop at the Kroger to get pre-race bananas and allow me to use a flushing toilet (because I’m a princess!). With all of that accomplished, it was off to the State Capitol Building…which was where the race starts.
I got into the line to pick up my packet. And it was while I was standing there that Linda found me. It was hugs all around. We talked about the race and she mentioned that she broke the cardinal rule…and did her first kettlebell class on Thursday night and now her legs were screaming at her. She, much like me, figured kettlebell was more upper body. Whoops. Anyway…I was being called up to get my bib number and my goodie bag, so I told her I’d catch her in a bit and we parted ways.
For being a runner who completed the three-race series, I also received a mug. Awesome! Cathy and I walked these back to the car. It was 30 minutes to start time…so I peeled my banana and gave that a good noshing while we moved. I finished it up at the car. Good timing. Cathy dug some safety pins out of the race bag she carries and pinned me up. I zipped up my hoodie (YES…a hoodie…because it was about 49°F this morning!) and we meandered back down toward the start line.
This year…there was actually a start/finish line. A big black and white checkered inflatable arch. Awesome. Moving on up, Capital City Stampede!! Looking good! We stood at the top of the circle where I did a few stretches and high knees, getting my limbs as warmed up as possible. I hate stretching, but since my injury in the winter, I’ve embraced stretching and don’t just half-ass it anymore. Even days I want to skip them or just do the bare minimum. Nope. Not anymore. About 10 minutes before race time, Cathy sent me for some strides down the hill and back up to the line, just to get my legs warmed up.
Because I’ve had the right hamstring from hell this past week. All week, my hamstring hasn’t hurt, but…it’s felt so tight. So, that was my biggest concern going into this. My legs weren’t wanting to fire like they normally should or would. Another reason I’ve been taking on my stretches, my foam rolling, and even using the dreaded “stick” on my hamstrings. It was still tight this morning, but you just work with what you have, right? Right!
Five minutes to race time and I get into the starting area. I’m a few rows back from the guy holding the 6:00 MILE pace sign. No…I’m not that fast. But I was standing in the middle between that guy and the lady holding the 8:00 MILE sign. So, I felt I was in a good spot. The start area was filling up now, with lots of chatter going on. Even though I don’t live or train in Frankfort, I’ve never had a difficult time making friends at a race. And I overheard some people talking about those relay races that happen and someone mentioned the Market to Market one, which my friend Kelsie wants me to run with her on her team (and I’m really hoping I get to do so!), so we talked about that while the start was delayed…because the roads needed to be completely cleared for the safety of us runners! And they said some people were sneaking through. When the okay was given…we were off…without much of a warning!
I started my Garmin late…oh well…
I was off. Immediately tackling an uphill climb. Up…up…up…around the Capitol…around the back…and then…the downhill. I was feeling okay. I felt like I was struggling a bit, but I was focusing on my form and my breathing. Neither of which were very good at this point. HA! As I’m coming down the hill, I see Cathy on the sideline and hear her shout, “GO TWIN! YOU’RE ALMOST DONE! ONLY SIX MORE MILES TO GO!” It cracked me up and I threw my hands up in agreement and continued to pound that pavement.
I didn’t feel like I was hitting that first mile very hard, but apparently…I was. When my watch beeped on my first mile, I had covered it in 6:54. My entire intention was to ease into the race. Run the first two miles slow, pick it up, then kick it at the end. That wasn’t happening. But the pace was set and while I didn’t look at my watch to know what I was running (I never look at my pace), I did know that it was faster than I would have liked to run it…so I eased up. But not by much. In fact, I didn’t officially ease up until Mile 4.
This was a fantastic course, in my opinion. We ran around the Capitol…then down the straightaway, across a bridge and then we sort of did the last part of the Pro.Active For Life 5K portion downtown. But, we go beyond that and head further into the downtown area. It’s fun to see people come out of the shops and cheer people on. There may not be a lot of crowd support in Frankfort, but what is there is vocal. And that makes this place special. Mile 3 had us heading back toward the Capitol, but turning away to run down this long stretch of road.
I call this the hardest part of the race. From around Mile 3.1 to Mile 6.1 it’s three miles of…NOTHING. Runners are sent down past a few homes, under a parking garage of sorts, then down this winding road (and hill that we will have to run back up!) into open country, it seems. It’s hard because there really is nothing out there. Just you, the road, one water stop (which was manned by two very adorable little girls!), and the runners. It was just past Mile 4 that I saw the leader (Adam…as always!) heading back the other way. He had a huge lead. Like…seriously! I kept waiting to see that second place runner behind him…but there was no one there. Not for a good long while. But then they came…and not long after that…with a biker beside her, the lead female…Kendall Hayes (no surprise…she’s even faster than lightning this year!). There was a female just slightly ahead of me (she was WAY ahead of me at the start, so I really closed the gap). She made the turn…then a couple of seconds later…I made the turn.
As we were nearing the 5 mile marker, I had two runners tell her she was second female overall and that I was third female as we ran past them. That was encouraging. Mile 5 clicked by and Greg, the runner just slightly behind me the entire time picked up his pace and said to me, “We can catch her!” That made me smile. “I don’t know!” I said. But, the gap was closing…and he did go on and pass her…and I was hot on her heels as we climbed the hill, ran back under the parking garage thingy…where a car pulled out in front of us. What. The. Hell. Damn truck. But, we moved on. We made the curve and I could see, up ahead, the lights that marked the road we’d turn on to run…up a hill…to the finish line.
My legs were screaming. For the first time ever, I had a calf muscle wanting to cramp up. It didn’t…but it felt off. My hamstring was fighting me. My quad was tight…but I pushed it. She just pushed harder. I heard Cathy screaming at the finish line and I crossed…just a few seconds after her.
With a new PR.
I’ll take it!
Cathy came around and immediately congratulated me on closing the gap so much on the female ahead of me. Then she told me to go grab some water…which I happily did. I was running as fast as I ran my half marathon before I ran Buffalo…but this just felt…so much harder. My splits were not the way I wanted…the first two miles being the fastest, the middle two being the slowest, and the last two being the last ditch effort to maintain some semblance of my strong pace. Go figure. We decided to take a walk, but I stopped and said Linda wasn’t too far behind me and I wanted to see her finish.
We got to that finish line just in time as she was powering up the hill for a strong finish! I was screaming for her the entire way and she finished strong. She was happy with her finish, despite no new PR for her. And we took a short walk together before she turned around to go cheer her sister in to her finish. Cathy and I finished our circling of the Capitol building and went to grab some water from the McDonalds table. We went to settle in on the steps and heard the announcement for free McDonalds sandwiches. While I couldn’t eat them, Cathy said it would be way better than her protein bar. So, I went to grab her one. I asked which one was the sausage biscuit…but they told me wrong. Cathy was okay with her egg biscuit though, because she said the biscuit was the best part. I noshed on the Quest Chocolate Peanut Butter High Protein Bar. It was a bit chewier than I expected, and I’m assuming it’s because it melted once and then solidified. We’ll see when I try the next one. But it wasn’t bad at all. My jaw just got tired of chewing for so long. But, it was something more than cereal and a banana…and that was what I needed.
As the final person crossed the finish line, they were getting ready to hand out awards. They started with the overall winners…and when the females were announced…it was Kendall as first…Jennifer Watson as second female overall (by 10 seconds on my time!)…and then…ME! For the second year in a row, I came in as the Third Female Overall in the Capital City Stampede! Proud of myself. Proud of the ladies I ran with. Kendall is always amazing and I don’t know who Jennifer is, but she ran a hard race and really pushed me.
Then…the age group awards were handed out…and Linda won her age division!! Fantastic!! I high fived her. They went through the age divisions backwards…and I cheered and applauded for everyone! Hey…they earned it.
And then…it was time for awards for the Frankfort Trifecta. And coming in first for the women for the entire Frankfort Trifecta was…Kendall! BUT…for the second year in a row, I came won the Female Open Division for the race series!! YAY! Both of my titles…maintained! So happy!
So…the official results of the Capital City Stampede 10K are that I finished with a new 10K PR of 44:03. WOOHOO!! I managed to shave almost a minute and a half off my previous 10K time. NICE! I was 20/322 finishers of the 10K run overall. And, I was the 3rd female finisher overall for that race. Surprised. Content. Happy! Really happy!
Really looking forward to returning to this race series again. This is my series. It involves some drive time, but I always have found it worth it. So much fun. Great city. Great people. Great time! Is it any wonder I love to run in this city? I’ll be back Frankfort Trifecta. Next year!! Already counting down the days!