So this past weekend I closed out the spring 2012 racing season with the Cascades 10K Firechase in Sterling, VA. This was really different than pretty much every race I have done so far this season and it was SO fun. I can’t recommend enough trying out a small community race, especially if it’s in your community! They have a totally different feeling. They’re GREAT for first-time racers (very low pressure). They are also budget-friendly (I registered really early and it ended up costing me $20). Smaller community races typically allow jogging strollers and sometimes even pets… so grab your kids and your animals and head to the race course!!
Traditionally my race reviews (some past reviews can be found here) include a pros and cons list, but small community organized races get more grace from me. These are hard events to put on and, while I think large racing companies can benefit from some constructive feedback, I’m just going to say… you guys rocked!
The course was basically two loops around a neighborhood, which was also a bit different. It was relatively easy with just a couple hills to add a little challenge. They had local boy scout packs (are boy scouts called packs? I know girl scouts are troops… whatever, I digress) manning the water stations, which was precious. People who lived in the neighborhood were also setting up independent water stations, which was helpful because IT WAS HOT. The race began at 8 am and even then I was drenched in sweat in minutes. I actually got slightly dizzy just before mile marker 5 but thankfully it passed. The race benefited the local fire department so there were plenty of police officers, firefighters, and EMTs out on the course rooting everyone on. The finish line was probably my favorite part because it was just a GIGANTIC American flag hung between the ladders of two firetrucks. Perfectly themed for a Memorial Day Weekend race.
Ever since the marathon, my races haven’t been my best. I think my body is trying to tell me to slow down a little bit. But even with not feeling 100%, I achieved a PR of 58:58 (Prior to this I had never run a sub 1 hour 10K)! I felt like before the marathon, I could’ve run much faster so I’m currently looking for a fall 10K to try out this theory 🙂 The real winner though was Mike because he actually, literally was a winner! He won second place in his age division with a PR of 41:14! I told you he was fast!!
I haven’t actually done a ton of 10Ks (and I’ve done even less 5Ks). I have really been more of a distance lover, because speed isn’t really my thing. However, I really enjoyed the challenge in this race. Over drinks later that night, Mike and I got into a pretty in depth conversation about the different race distances (it’s a good thing we date each other because we are basically unfit to date in the general population). We talked about how 5K are classic VO2 Max races, whereas 10 milers – half marathons are classic lactic threshold races. 10Ks fall right in the middle, so they are a really unique challenge.
So that’s it, boys and girls, spring 2012 racing season is O-V-E-R. Mike and I counted and we both ran 10 races this spring. We agree that may have been too many! We just got really excited for the season and overcommitted. I am looking forward to a summer of working on speed, running just for pleasure, and sleeping in a little on weekends 🙂