I went back and forth about registering for this race since it was over an hour drive and it's been a different kind of week, but in the end, I decided to sign up and I'm so glad I did! There are few running events within driving distance of here, so I hardly ever get to do casual short races unless I'm home visiting family.
One thing that prompted me to sign up the realization that I'm going to be moving up an age group in just one week! Unfortunately, this age-group move, is NOT going to be benefical to me. (Unlike my mom's last age-group move; She was THRILLED to be turning 50. "Now I won't have to compete with those 45-year-olds anymore! I'll be young and spry compared to those 54-year-olds!")
The 19-24 Female Age Group is not that competitive. Really good runners in that age range are on college track and cross country teams and not messing with the weekend races. Many others in that group are still in bed at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. So the few of us that are out there are pretty likely to snag an age group award!
The 25-30 Female Age Group, however, is a whole 'nother ball game. Those former college cross country stars need somewhere to keep competing and you better watch out for those hardcore new moms with the jogging strollers!
Anyway...back to today's race: the Oak Island Lighthouse 10K. It was a decent sized race with over 400 participants between the 5K and 10K so I was surprised they didn't have chip timing. They trolley-ed us out to the race start, which was at the bottom of the bridge that leads out the island. (I was more than a little nervous about running over this huge bridge on a windy morning. Luckily, though, they had the road blocked and we got to run right up the center of the road, away from the low railings and the potential tumble to the waterway below.) I guess since we were right on the bridge, they couldn't set up a starting line. We were all just milling around in a pile when they called "Start!" without much fanfare or warning.
The bridge was windy, but not so bad, but within that first mile, my legs started doing funny things. My right shin was hurting so badly that I had to stop to stretch twice and I was running on the sand and grass beside the road because the pavement just made it worse. Before mile the halfway point, both calves were cramping and I was just in general, not happy with the way things we're going. It was hot and I had no idea what my pace was since I was stopping to stretch. I was fantasizing about my soon-coming Garmin (which actually arrived later today!!!!) and frustrated because I didn't see any mile markers after Mile 3. Somewhere along the way though, my legs worked themselves out and I started to get myself together. I felt pretty good by the time I reached the end and was pleased and surprised to make it in under 58 minutes!
I didn't feel like sticking around for awards, but my friend that happened to be there for the 5K texted me later to tell me I won 2nd in my age group! Like I said though, this is my last race in the 19-24 group, so I better savor this, because I don't anticipate another award for a good decade or so.
So, all in all, a good run! Have any of y'all experiencing random shin/calf pain out of nowhere like that though? I hope it was just a fluke!