This definitely was not one of the best or most fun races I ever did, but it's over. I did the Wellness in the Woods: Battelle-Darby Creek 10K and finished in 1:22:56. The course was hilly and was mostly on rough limestone-gravel paths, and it felt a little long to me, but maybe because it was so weirdly marked. I passed two "Mile 1" markers, two "Mile 2" markers, two "Mile 3" markers, a 5K turnaround, a "Mile 4," "Mile 5," and "Mile 6" marker. If you count all those, the course was just over 9 miles, and that's about how it felt.
When I saw the "Mile 4" marker, I realized that I was actually much further from the finish than I thought, and I felt a bit demoralized. I had already taken a couple of walk breaks (up some of the bigger hills) and I was losing steam. I had not remembered to start my stopwatch, but it was already 50 minutes after the race was supposed to have started and I knew I was going to do the next 2.2 slower than I did the last 4 miles.
Then I heard my own voice in my head saying, "I don't have to carry that stuff anymore." By that stuff, I meant the miles I had already run that felt slow and lousy, the miles coming up that were also probably going to be slow, my expectations for the race, my disappointment in my weight gain... I had a lot of baggage in my head. I decided to drop it all and just treat it like I was going for a run in the park. I had no one in sight ahead of me or behind me (this was a very small race and most of the field was much faster than me) so I really was just on a run by myself. I focused on running straighter and taller and lighter on my feet. I still ended up taking a lot of walk breaks, especially on the hills.
I did accomplish one major goal: I finished this race without my toe pain flaring up even once while I was running. I am glad I did all that physical therapy, too, because the rough stones required a lot of ankle flexibility. I think I just didn't have enough endurance for this challenging course. I had much more fun training for it with the Up & Running program than I did actually running it.
The one major regret I have is that at Mile 5, I put down my Glider Gloves, planning to go back for them. I ended up being too tired to go get them. I loved those gloves and wish I had not worn them for this race since I had no pockets to put them in when I got too warm. My review of those gloves is still one of my most-visited posts, and when I Google "glider gloves review" my post is the first one that turns up. The upside to losing them is that I now have an excuse to buy some purple ones. When I wear them with the new green jacket (with pockets) that I bought today on the way home, I'll match my blog.