Run/Walk for the WIN

>> Monday, June 23, 2014

This weekend was lots of fun, and it all kicked off with the Laurel Festival 10K footrace. I anxiously walked to the start line with around 100 others after a half mile warmup knowing I hadn't run this course in four years. Stephen likes to attack it whenever we're in Wellsboro, while I stay far, far away. In my memory, the hills were impossible.

Here's the elevation map:

So, you can see how the whole start it basically up, up, and more up. What we had going for us this year was the weather, though. I've done this race in the pouring rain . . . as well as in 90+ humid heat. This year? Not a cloud in the sky, zero humidity, and temperatures in the 50s. Perfect!

That first long climb is difficult . . . OK very difficult, but somehow I didn't need to walk until the very end of the hill mountain. Surprisingly, it's that second, smaller climb around mile 3 that's always the hardest for me. And it's here where I decided to employ the walk/run method. I was right next to another guy chugging his whole way up and ended up beating him by running for a count of 30 and then following with an equally timed walk "break" -- just keep moving. I truly believe walk breaks can be an amazing way to conserve energy in these types of challenging courses.

When I got to the downhill portion -- and wow, is it a long downhill -- at the end, I just let it all fly. And imagine my surprise when I got to around mile 4.5 and kept hearing "Yeah! FIRST FEMALE!" I think I told someone to shut up. I wasn't wearing a watch and I had no idea what my time was. In fact, I wasn't expecting to do well on the course that day . . . but as I turned the corner into town, I heard again and again that I was indeed the first woman in the pack.

I crossed the line around 48:20, first female and 16th overall, certainly not a 10K PR for me, but a PR on this particular course by around 2 full minutes. In the past, other gals have finished in the low 40s, so I'm not claiming to be a beast or anything like that -- still, it was cool to come in first. Most of the other women I directly competed against were mothers in their 30s, so it feels like a level playing field in that respect!

I'll write up a more detailed race report for WalkJogRun, but just wanted to share my weekend victory with you all!

This race is probably the first and last time I'll place better than Stephen (he came in second overall for men). And of all the races to win in my life, I'm thrilled to have it be one in my hometown on such a mountainous course.

Did you race this weekend? How'd you do? And have you ever walked in a race and done particularly well?

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