I was all worried about running in a down pour. The night before I got my garbage bag and a ziplock bag for my phone all ready and I even planned out my “rain friendly” running outfit (if there even is such a thing). The weather report did not look very promising. However, even after a rainy night it tuned out it was only overcast when I left my house at at 7:15 am. By the time we were lined up at the start the sun was peaking though the clouds. About one mile into the race the sky was clear and the sun was shining. It was a perfect 62 degree morning.
I met up with a friend and we started the race together. She knew I was planning to go all out so I took off on my own from the very beginning. I gave this race 100% of myself. I ran hard and with my heart the entire time. “Gratitude” was my one word mantra for those 6.2 miles. I smiled, waved and/or said “good morning” to every volunteer and spectator I passed. I looked out at the trees, fields and ponds taking in their beauty as I ran hard. “Gratude,” I thought over and over to myself. “I GET to be here. I GET to run this race.”
I didn’t have a specific time goal for this race, but I did some math based on my only other 10K time (57:??) from 2012 and my splits from my current training runs. From those numbers I expected to finish around 50 minutes (give or take a minute). My calculations were right on because I ended up with an official time of 50:23! Later in the day, after checking the results website I found out that I placed 4th in my age group. What? the what??? Based on the times that I saw I am almost certain that I passed 2 or 3 other woman in my age group in the last .1 of the race when I turned on a sprint to finish strong.
In every race I always find myself getting choked up when I think about how far I’ve come. Yes, I’ve become a better runner, but I have also become a better me in the process. It never fails that a few tears of acknowledgement make their way down my cheek mid stride. I could not be more blessed.
If you’ve come to this recap hoping to find information on the actual Morton Arboretum 10K here’s my take. It’s a small race about 800 runners this year. The last time I ran it I believe there were over 1100 runners (2012). I’m not sure way there was a decrease in numbers because it’s such a great race. The course is beautiful, yet hilly. The course had ample water stations (although no Gatorade) with delightful volunteers. Your race registration buys you and your family a day at the Arboretum, so if you want to stay hang out and eat a $5 pancake breakfast you have that option. Another helpful hint: It took me several races with this race director to realize that I needed to order an XS shirt because they are sized unisex. I usually wear a woman’s medium, so I’m not sure what size more petite runners would select. If this race (and their fall 5K too), fit into my schedule I would not hesitate to run it again.
What’s next on your race schedule?