One thing I knew going into this race was that I had a big PR coming. It had been 3 years since I last raced this distance (same race too), and I’ve changed so much in that time. The day before the race I decided I’d run it similarly to a half marathon with the risk (and likelihood) of bonking the last few miles. I felt like I didn’t have anything to lose with basically a guaranteed personal best on the table, so just going for it seemed like a ‘why not?!’ kind of strategy.
I was really nervous for how I’d feel during the race because my right shin has been bothering me consistently since my last easy run. I pegged my shoes as the cause (as I had the same thing when I wore them a few other times before that run…apparently in denial that they were wearing out faster than they normally do — total bummer because the fit has been my favorite yet! Funny thing (actually not funny) is this was the same model that I was wearing when my original lower leg injury started last summer). I decided to wear the newer model (the Adrenaline GTS 19’s instead of the 18’s) for the race, and ended up being fine for the race! I had some soreness the first mile and then it was gone! That being said, I retired the 18’s to walking shoes! I have another brand new pair of the same ones, so I’ll just be extra cautious with them and not ignore the signs even if they don’t have much mileage on them.
Friday night, my husband and I went to the expo together. We ran into one of my friends from high school, which was fun! And we also saw Ryan Hall, US record holder runner, was at the expo signing copies of his new book. We didn’t spend much time at the expo though, so I just snapped this pic and we were on our way.
When we got home, I set out my outfit as I always do. I was a little unsure about what to wear. If I remember correctly, the forecast was 40 degrees at 7am (when the 5k started), and mid 40’s when the 25k started at 8:30am. I ended up adding a tank under the long sleeve, and I was happy with that choice come race morning! I was pretty comfortable for the race.
I started with the 9:00 pace group and was to the right (or just ahead) of the guy with the pace sign for the most part up to mile 10.5-ish, and then was running just behind him for a mile, and at mile 12 I really started to feel like garbage and lost the group. But, I continued on and did my best! This race can be so crowded for so long…I felt like I was tripping over people for miles and miles! I literally had my hand out in front of me at times because I was afraid I was going to run into the person in front of me.
I honestly forgot how hard this race is…in my opinion, it’s mentally challenging the first 8 because it’s on the boring side visually, and then the hills begin and they’re all within a few miles so it’s physically challenging. It’s easy to feel beat down those last few miles!
Here’s my official finish stats:
This goes to show you how consistency will take you far! My last time racing this was in 2016 and I finished in 2:39:01 (10:14 pace).
My mom pointed out that I crossed the half marathon marker mats during this race at the same time as my Nashville Half finish time. How crazy is that? I like numbers, so thought this was kind of cool!
I am so so so proud of this race! This video makes me laugh though because I look like I’m crawling haha. It wasn’t a speedy sprint to the finish like the last few races…I definitely didn’t have much left in me. But I can’t believe I ran over 15 miles as fast as I did. I still picture myself as a turtle, so seeing improvements over the years like this is so gratifying!
After crossing the finish line I walked through the food tent, which in all honesty was disappointing compared to Gazelle Girl. Then I went to the Gazelle Sports area and picked up my Double Down Challenge medal. Such a fun bonus for also completing the Gazelle Girl Half last month. The River Bank Run medal background isn’t actually two-toned…it just photographed weird. But I thought both medals were pretty cool!
Would I run this again? I’ve learned to never say never. I spoke on instagram about my feelings about this race. That said, I also have expressed how it’s a race everyone in the area thats a distance runner should do. It’s such a huge race (it’s also the 25k Open Championships, so some elites are always there) and cool to be part of something that brings the city together. But, I feel pretty dang good with how I’ve left my half and 25k races this spring. It’s time for a little break for this girl! And by break, I mean less running and more weight lifting!