Monday, March 29, 2010

Rock the Parkway 10K

Well,  it rained.  A lot.  I was really worried all week about having to run in the rain. I've never done it before. Usually at the first sign of rain during a scheduled run, I head straight for the treadmill, or just call it a sign and skip the workout all together (bad!).  It wasn't raining at all until I was standing around waiting for my race to start.  My hands started getting really cold and I could feel myself getting tight.  I bounced around and stretched as much as I could.  Luckily the race started just as I wanted to say eff it and go home.

Running in the rain isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I might even venture to say it was kind of fun! For the first mile it was only sprinkling, nothing too bad, just slightly annoying.  Mile two the downpour started. It was raining, raining.  Much to my surprise it didn't slow me down at all, I just kept going.  Once I was totally soaked through I didn't even realize it was raining anymore. Weird huh?  My shoes got a little squishy, but never felt heavy like I feared they would. So yay! Running in the rain! 

This was the first ever Rock the Parkway race and I'm giving it mixed reviews.  Leading up to race day it was great! Lots of communication (but not too much...coughhospitalhillcough), super easy packet pickup, nice people, you know, good stuff.  The day of the race there was plenty of parking, which was surprising considering how many people signed up.  There wasn't a lot going on before the race though. I think there was music? No "pep you up" announcer guy, that I could hear anyway. Actually the sound system at the start really stunk.  I had no idea what time it was, when I was supposed to line up or if they even said anything!  Nothing too bad though. It's the first year, I get the kinks.

The course itself was kind of lackluster.  We were only on "Ward Parkway" for less than half the race. The other half we were on some side street that was narrow and boring. But whatever, I wasn't really in it for the atmosphere. I'm sure the Half Marathon got all the good scenery. The course was "out and back", which I thought would annoy me, but while slightly boring, I liked knowing where I was heading back. It really helped me pace myself.

Now here's where I'm not so happy.  The timing. The website promised "chip timing".  We did not get our chip timing! The only thing that was posted was our gun time.  Gun time is the time on the official race clock from the second the start gun is fired until you cross the finish line.  Chip Timing is done with a little dohickey that you put on your shoe and times you from the second you cross the start line to the second you cross the finish line. There are always lots of people at start lines, so you really don't even cross the start line after the gun for a a little bit, even so much as a few minutes, depending how far back you are. So usually Gun Time is way off from your actual time. Luckily at this race I was toward the front of the pack for the start, but still, my time is off.  It upsets me because I'm pretty sure I finished in less than an hour, but I will never know.. Boo. I'm so mad I forgot my watch!

Anyway, Here are my stats:
Distance: 10K (6.2 miles)
Gun Time: 1 hour, 41 seconds
Overall: 484/1079
Age Group: 80/187

Not too shabby!  I really wanted to be faster, but I was purposely making myself go slower than I wanted to because I thought I'd putter out at the end, but after finishing I know I could have gone faster.  Good to know for the next race I guess.
Soaking wet, but happy to finish!

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States